On Somali Youth Day, to honour the members of Somali Youth League (SYL) and their key role in the nation’s path to independence, the Federation of Somali Trade Unions (FESTU) pays tribute to the young people of Somalia and remembers those who risked, and even sacrificed, their lives so that we could enjoy the independence we gained in 1960. The nation will be forever in debt to the SYL heroes.
Youth in 2017 are confronted with a different struggle, which needs to revive the spirit of liberation. Far too many of today’s youth cannot take advantage of their legal rights and the gains we as a country achieved. The high levels of unemployment and poverty condemn thousands of youth to a life of economic hardship.
The present unemployment demoralises young people, it crushes their aspirations for a better future, it lowers their self-respect. Their talents and their enthusiasm are wasted. They have so much to offer to the society but have no opportunity to empower themselves and serve their country.
Youth must be in the vanguard of the struggle to create jobs, open up educational opportunities and create healthy and prosperous society, so that tomorrow’s youth can be free from the evils which still blight the lives of so many young people today.
While young people who have left school are struggling to find employment, work that they could be doing is being given illegally to children who should be enjoying their right to be at school. A much more concerted and effective campaign is required to highlight and condemn all forms of child labour and set targets to eliminate it. FESTU demands severe penalties for those illegally employing children
The best possible way to celebrate the struggles of the youth for the country’ independence is to mobilise the youth of today for the struggle to create jobs and to contribute to a more meaningful and constructive role in nation rebuilding
Youth are not only the leaders of tomorrow but also the partners of today.
Ahmed Osman Said
Omar Faruk Osman
FESTU General Secretary