Simbarashe Fenton M.
REDCLIFF: A youth organisation, ‘Youth Connect’ has been formulated to unleash the inherent potential in youths in order to provide solutions to the challenges they are facing, this publication can reveal.
Youth Connect is a Redcliff based youth organisation aimed at nurturing and producing vibrant, sound, social and economically active youths who can empower themselves through education, entrepreneurship and most importantly to end early child marriages, gender based violence and the bane of drug and substance abuse.
Speaking on the sidelines of an administrative meeting, Youth Connect, Director Wordlisto Gambiza informed this publication that, the youth in Zimbabwe should provide the much needed answers to the woes facing their communities and the country at large, hence the formation of Youth Connect comes as positive stride in the realisation of the dream.
“Honestly the youth has unlimited potential in as far as development is concerned and we have realized that if we join hands together, have unity of purpose we can learn, use our knowledge to bring out ideas which can transform and reduce the burden of issues facing our communities and this country,” said Gambiza.
The formation of Youth Connect coincides with the National Development strategy 1(NDS1) and guided by Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) hence apart from being a platform were young people converge and share ideas to better and shape communities, the initiative is also there to create a youth unified front, connection which leaves no one behind.
The organisation bemoans the relegation of youths in decision making processes and development narratives in Zimbabwe with communities such as Redcliff amoung others continue to be haunted by long term problems from service delivery, corruption, injustice, unemployment, economic challenges there by creating unconducive environment for the youth to realise their potential, this in turn is leading the youth astray.
“We have realised that Simbi Park and the greater part of Redcliff town among other communities in Zimbabwe has been left out, if not in all, in many development initiatives, resultantly there is poor service delivery, and high unemployment.
“This has affected mostly the youth because they are being left out. They lack critical knowledge and are afraid of politics, to exercise the right to vote. They lack economic and social responsibilities and of late we are experiencing cases of early marriages, drug and substance abuse, violence as a result of chikorokoza and more youths are dropping out of school either due to economic hardships or they no longer value education, so there is also need for career guidance. Therefore as an organisation we would like to address such,” explained Gambiza.
Redcliff constituency ward 6 councilor, Cllr Makanyara Pick welcomed the development of Youth Connect, as a game changer in her ward and the Redcliffe town as well. She reiterated that youth exclusion has been the norm in issues which affects them the most.
“It is a good initiative, it is a bonus to us and the community at large to have young idealistic and vibrant youths who will encourage others to shun the bad, drug and substance abuse which is on hyper increase and early marriages among others.
“Also the coming in of youthful educated members in our society will assist the community to learn more on human rights, participatory development and political education. Having more knowledge on what it entails since there has been a misconception around the topic. Such knowledge will determine the future because residents will be able to make well informed decisions in all aspects of their lives and this will have great impact to social and economic development of their families, the town and Zimbabwe at Large, ” said Cllr Pick.
Youth have a mandate, an opportunity to explore, to try and correct all matters of life in communities by partaking in social, economic and emancipating activities to end the brunt of poverty.
Youth Connect’s Issues and Crisis Management and Gender Personnel Privilege Melaine Nebanda, a psychotherapist (Mental and Health counsellor) believes, that change can only be brought if youths in Redcliff and Zimbabwe are empowered to be self-dependent.
“Empowering youths to stand for themselves, on their own rights as guided by the constitution was the in reason we came together as Youth Connect. I see a bright future for youths who are self-empowered, positive, self-assertive, highly positive self-esteem youths, leaders of tomorrow who are aware of their constitution and youth who are self-dependent, ” said Nebanda.
To date the organisation has social media presence with WhatsApp groups, Facebook and Instagram handles where discussions and deliberations take place. This initiative is aimed at empowering the youths with knowledge, opportunities in their respective qualifications, career guidance and to socialize as youths which according to Youth Connect will go a long way in subverting the ills of the society.