Building the young generation through mentoring care and love.
In Uganda, most adolescents and or youths (over 70%) go through primary, secondary or even tertiary school in boarding facilities and spend over 70% of their annual time at school and only less than 30% is spent at home during holidays.
Whereas the school environment is a fundamental necessity for the youth’s academic and career development with clear rules and regulations which are intended to streamline the students in other social aspects like discipline, obedience to authority, spirituality etc, the youths still miss out on important life and social skills to enable them complete school at this level or face life independently later in life.
The different schools offer different packages necessary for the holistic development of the youths and of course in some schools not a single package is given.
Some cases at this level already reflect cases of rebellion against school or parental authorities and are suspended or terminated; end up in teenage pregnancy, drug/substance abuse and ultimately school dropout or run away from home.
Although some of them are able to move on, chaos sets in when they become independent either rebelliously or when they are out of the school and far from reach of parents control(atTertiary/University education level).
This is where real consequences of the raising system are felt and noticed.The youths at this stage have independence to make decisions on how to live their lives (how to handling relationships, how to get what they want vs what they need or both, when to be back home, whether to be in class or not, financial manegement etc)is all left to them to decide all alone.
The transition from being under authorities to total independence is so sudden and all that is in these young people’s mind is” At last am free, I can live my life the way I want”
Unfortunately,there is not enough preparation for this Independence; At times the parents assume that their sons and daughters are mature enough and will make the right choices but the truth is that most times, they are not equipped well enough to make the right choices. A value system has not been established in the young people’s lives.
They end trying out a lot of things like dating every man or woman that crosses their way or even sleeping with them(many have contracted HIV), spending time out in clubs (some have been killed), involvement in drug and alcohol abuse usually due to peer pressure, many have not graduated because they used tuition for something else.
According to recent research, the prevalence of HIV among high school and University/ tertiary age students grows everyday even later in life the most affected age is 20 -35 years)
Recently is was revealed that 90% of the people admitted in Butabika hospital’s drug and alcohol abuse unit are high school and university age students.
What should we do?
The parents need to scale up and adapt new parenting skills that are consistent with the change of times. Beating and harassing the rebellious child is not the best solution anymore.
There is need for integration of mentorship classes in the schools where the students spend majority of their time to equip students with life and social skills.
Mentoring is most successful when not done by the authorities in the young people’s life.(School, parents or guardians)Therefore you may need to involve the aunties, uncles, grandparents, family friends and other mentors to establish a value system in the young person’s life.
Are you an institution or parent looking for trained Christian mentor to work with your young person and together with you ensure his/her social, cognitive, physical development?
Our priciple “Freely we have recieved and freely shall we give”