By Elkass I.L.Sannoh
The Minster of Youths, Employment and Sports, Hon. Paul Kamara has said that he is the Chief Rebel and that people should not be surprised of his radical and uncompromising stance to effect change in sports and the mindsets of people of this country.
While officially opening a three day workshop for young people on reproductive health issues organized by the Sierra Leone Youth and Adolescent Network (SalYAN) at the presidential Lounge of the National Stadium in Brookfields, he said that some unidentified youths barged into his office without observing the appropriate protocols requesting for an increment in their allowances, revealing that he ignored them because he saw their attitude as very rebellious.
“They are rebels and I told them I am the Chief Rebel,” the minister explained. “The youths must begin to see the creation of the National Youth Commission as an introduction of a radical and a drastic change to transform their mentality,” he continued.
He also maintained that he expected the young people to be patriotic and nationalistic and be ready to make sacrifice for their country in order to bring about positive change.
He recalled that the country has gone through a bitter history which was actively perpetrated by the youths and said that mentality must be overhauled and decent behaviours and attitudes adopted.
Speaking on population and development, the Chairmen of the occasion Mr. Mohamed O.B. Sandy, said that the three day workshop marks a milestone in the development and growth of the nation’s youths. He explained that the organization was formed on 29th April, 2008 at the National Stadium by different youth representative groups who are oriented in youth and population development, to fight against the spread of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS.
He revealed that about one million eight hundred thousand people from the ages of 10 to 24 years in the world are infected with the HIV/AIDS Virus, which he stressed is alarming and needed to be seriously addressed at the local level.
Giving an overview of the training workshop the organisation’s National Coordinator, Mr. Mr. Augustine Harding, stated that any nation that disregarded the significance of youths ids a nation doomed to fail.
He disclosed that the training was funded by the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Youths, Employment and Sports.
He said that since youths makes up 60% of the population in the country, UNFPA have budgeted one hundred thousand Dollars ($100,000.00)to give scholarship to youths to embark on development projects all over the country.