Monday, 3 June 2013

A challenge that the youth must assume…

By Laura Fonseca (undergraduate FIGRI student)

Nowadays, the entire world is facing social problems. In the past, we used to think that in European countries and in the USA, people lived a dream-like life even if it wasn´t the case. However, after the financial crisis of 2008 it’s clearer that problems are everywhere and the illusion of magical places to live is more and more ambiguous.

Social problems are clearly a government issue but the way people react to them essentially is too. Lack of opportunities, poverty and the lack of a state presence, which is the case in our country, have bound people to look for a better life even if it is by illegal ways. Also, we can’t forget about the government corruption that has excluded people instead of gathering everyone together.

The story of many people whose lives have drastically changed, like Pablo Escobar, just to mention the most common example from our country’s history, encourages young people to take the easy way to make money and get power. Pablo Escobar was a drug dealer who after a few years doing illegal business became one of the most influential people in the country.

The drug problem, even if it seems to be the biggest problem, is not the only one. Robberies and fraud are part of the daily life of many neighborhoods, not just in Colombia but around the world. The main feature of these neighborhoods is the lack of education due to the lack of government action.

It’s a cliché to hear that young people are the future. They reflect the level of life of where they live and as a result almost everywhere, they are the outcome of an accumulation of defects in the education system.

No matter why the conditions are as they are, either by violence and poverty as is the case in underdeveloped countries, or as a result of a financial crisis as is the case of European countries. The important point is not what generated the panorama; the really important fact is the way people find solutions to get over the problems. Young people can leave their countries looking for better opportunities abroad. For example, in Spain, the emigration rate increased sharply between 2010 and 2012 (during the financial crisis), and Colombians have always gone to the United States to follow the American dream. Another option for young people is to stay and work for the country, in order to create jobs and contribute positively to the social conditions.

Discovering the country’s needs is not an easy task. Creativity, leadership, and invention are capabilities that should be taught and encouraged from an early age. All this with the aim of preparing better people that could lead the world to a better future.

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