Current Challenges in Leading Youth

Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die,” said Herbert Hoover, the 31st President of US.

We cannot deny the truth in that statement. The youth suffer when their leaders make bad decisions. The corollary is this; the youth develop if their leaders make wise decisions.

Yesterday’s issue of our newspaper carried two local news stories about two types of youth who are completely opposite to each other.

On the first page we carried a story of a youth group that is positively charged. It is raising society’s standards by active, voluntary contribution to rebuilding homes of the needy.

And on the seventh page was a story of a youth group that is negatively charged. It is causing damage to society by vandalizing schools and by destroying public property.

As a newspaper man, I just wish we carried more news stories of the former kind, than the latter.

The first group called Ayadi Relief Organisation is a group of young people, who are striving to uplift the lives of the poor in the Kingdom by renovating the houses of those in need.

Project Baitkum Baitna – ‘Your home is Our home’ – which started on December 1, 2014 comprises four teams – Team Wahed (one), Team Farah (joy), Team Jood (generosity) and Team Amana (integrity) with 12 members and two supervisors each.

These teams have started renovating houses of the poor Bahraini families and are expected to complete their mission today.

Noora Ali, the Director of Baitkum Baitna, the fifth project of Ayadi, said, the programme was not just confined to renovating, restoring and repairing the houses. It also aims at helping the residents in solving their problems and making changes possible.”

Like their mission, the volunteers are all fighting to keep the foundations of the houses strong.

Each team has been allocated a budget of BD500 to carry out their project, apart from expenses for carpentry and painting.

They say, “It is not easy when we have 70 per cent of the house to rebuild, especially when all funding relies on donations and sponsorship. Also the limited time available is a big challenge.”

Ayadi, I then realized, has not only the huge load of actual work to do, but also the very difficult task of holding fundraising events to woo sponsors, who could help them in this noble mission.

The second group too seems to have a mission. A distorted mission. A mission to cause more misery to innocent people, and to cause more damage to public property.

These vandals, in the last two weeks, attacked three schools located in different areas of the kingdom.

The assaults included breaking windows, arson, throwing petrol bombs, blowing-up gas cylinders and pelting stones.

The officials have summed up a total of 397 different attacks on schools in the recent past.

It is obvious that the leaders of these groups are bent upon disturbing public life, and destabilising society.

So, I believe it is the leaders who matter. It is the older generation and what it preaches that matters.

If the leaders lead well, and if the youth make the right choices, I am sure, not just Bahrain, but the whole world would be a better place.

The need of the day I believe is leaders who want development, not destruction.

I am reminded of Martin Luther King Junior’s words: ” Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”