The underlying problem of disadvantaged young people in my country Sierra Leone is poverty-chronic poverty. Lack of resources to improve the lot of young people defeat every purpose to break the vicious cycle of poverty that young people are trapped in. People generally think that the government is the chief culprit for this entrenched poverty. Our government should not be entirely blamed because it has run out of ideas to bail out the youths economically. Poverty alleviation of young people means positive development in any country.
‘’For over ten years now, I have got the requirement to go to college, but I do not have the money to pay college fees,’’ said Joseph, a frustrated youth. Some youths, however, have undergone skills training organised by NGO’s and organisations like GOAL, Concern, YMCA and World Vision. There is also the National Youth Commission (NAYCOM) set up by the government for the welfare of the youths. But this is a drop in the ocean because youths who do not benefit from such projects, schemes, and programmes are in the majority.
What is needed are ways to facilitate education such as the provision of scholarship, grants, and sponsorship for higher learning; and adult education projects.
The government’s current free primary education is not enough. Fees and other charges for secondary school and tertiary institutions should be reduced considerably.