Associations in East African: Stop giving youth’ associations money; they’re getting spoiled

Posted: September 5, 2019 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

Stop giving youths’ associations money they’re getting spoiled.  (The case of youths’ associations in East Africa)

By Peter Madol, Nairobi, Kenya

Duol Jok speaking in SSSAK conference at August 7th Memorial park Nairobi 2015

Thursday, September 05, 2019 (PW) — Association  by  dictionary  definition  is  a  formal  organization  of  people  or  groups  of  people. Forming youths’ associations play a key role in youth development, it  brings unity  among  youth  whether  in  diaspora  or  at home  through  social  programs  such  as  cultural  events,  youth  meetings,  youth  music  and  drama. Another aspect, it is where youth converge to bring ideas that can shape their lives. Finally,  it  is  a  platform  to  practice  leadership  skills  at infantry  level  to catapult  one  for  greater  success  in  the  future.

Associations should  be  guided  by  the  aforementioned  principles  and  practices  but  in  reality check,  with  these  youth  associations,  they  are  defined  by leadership wrangles, poor accountability, propaganda, etc. As Hon.  Michael  Makuei  puts  it  when  he  was  asked  that  old  folks  should  give  youth  of  South Sudan  a  chance.  His response was, “what do they know?  Unless  they  learn from  us  in  order  to get  a  clue  about  how  to  run  the  government”. 

He was right to some extent. Indeed, youths  are  wallowing in  the  practice  of  leadership  at these small organizations in  a  manner  that  is  unscrupulous  and  deplorable. At the same time, they claim themselves future leaders of South Sudan.  Let  me  be  pessimistic  a  little here to  say if  this  is  a glimpse  of  what the future  of  South  Sudan  looks  like,  then  the  future  of  South  Sudan  is  doomed judging from current youth rating  and  their leadership debacle.

The youth adopt the same tricks our politicians used to sneak into public offices with the same goal only to eat not to deliver. The association’s leadership don’t pitch their ideas to the youths to convince them in such a way that can change their minds to elect them. It is merely on ways and means to outfox your opponents in the competition. Once you rally your tribesmen, clansmen, friends plus little investment to bribe your way in, and play cheap propaganda tactics between governments and rebels, you get high chances of winning.

Worst above all, the outcome of elections are always contested whether there is fair and just elections or not. No one accepts the outcome of election except the Victor as a result fighting ensues. It’s quite controversial. But looking at it in a broader sense, it is a clear symptom of the youth’s unwillingness to perform the basic functions of leadership.

When talking about accountability in these associations, government accountability is better, they records something just for the records. In our case, there is nothing like financial records to ascertain money inflows and outflows, all the records are kept in the minds. The few who have access to the money especially leader and his working mates select one of the hotel in the city and divide the money without question. It is the reason most youth have stopped contributing because contributing means money is going straight into leaders’ pockets.

As far as I can tell, the money is the root cause of disputes in some of the associations, let me make it clear by posing obvious questions. Holding other factors constant—Why are  some  of  the  associations  in  chaos?—If association  is  not moneygrubbing entity.  Why are youths  so  big-headed  in  these  associations? To the point fighting  erupts.  Too, they cannot be convinced to compromise their positions. If it is not for money motives—why are some so possessed  by  the  holy  spirit  of  associations  and  sacrifice concentrating on  studies. I  stand  to  be  corrected,  chiefly,  the association is no longer what it used to be but it  is  just  a  channel  being  used  solely  to  acquire  money.

The solution is simple; elders, prominent figures and the President should stop giving youths’ associations money until they behave themselves in a rightful way; in a similar vein, some of us did stop contributing to these shambolic associations. I prefer money for scholarship, it is well used.

I am not against the idea of giving money to youths for their associations’ betterment but it is not bearing any fruit rather it is creating disunity, fighting in these associations. In this way, at least they will try to install virtue of moral discipline in their associations.

The writer is a concerned youth of South Sudan and can be reached via his email: PeterMadol <petermadol3@gmail.com>

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

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