Youth must feel like they belong

Thelma Gill-Barnett addresses the panel discussion while MC Buddy Larrier (left) and Miles Mohammed listen.

Youth in Barbados, as well as around the world, want to feel they belong.

This is one of the reasons young people are rebelling, said Miles Mohammed.

Addressing the September 3rd Foundation lecture last night at the Clement Payne Cultural Centre, Mohammed said young people were finding that there were issues and areas of society in which they had no stake because they could not see themselves reflected.

The topic of the night, on which the Foundation sought to commemorate the memory of the six women who lost their lives in the fire at the Campus Trendz store two years ago, was The Causes of and Solutions to Youth Alienation and Crime in Barbados.

“It is natural if you can’t see yourself in something, then why should you have any interest in it? When our young people don’t see themselves or their future in a system or a country that they live in … why should they be interested?”

The Muslim charged that a lot of young people were hard pressed to see themselves reflected in society and that was part of the disconnect that was being felt across the nation.

This generation, he further posited, was one of the best ever produced because the minds of the youth today were not shackled with some of the hold-ups that older adults had, and as such they were free.

“England, America, France, Portugal, Spain, Europe had nearly 400 years of free labour to develop their countries. How can we stand and look at their nation and their governance and try to model ourselves, poor little Barbados, just 45 years old, and we try to implement a system that they have that is already manifest doesn’t work?”

The youth, he said, were discontented and were longing for change and something they could feel a part of, but society was not giving them such.

“Young people are dissatisfied with the world that we live in, and I want us to understand that what is required is a renewal. Rather than us trying to follow or copy somebody’s failed system, what we need to do is sit down with the youth … and get some youthful thinking…

“A renewal has to take place. We have to stop thinking like a colony. We have to stop acting like a colony,” he stated. (LB)

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