Poverty is the state of being extremely poor, especially being in a less fortunate setting. One of the best ways to get rid of this is to invest in the youth. It sounds like a cliché because it has been highlighted too much, but it is the only way to get ahead. 2015 being the final year towards the achievement of the MDGs, it is even more important to see that youth are supported the best way possible. How do we do this though?
In this article of mine – which was finalist for the NUHA Foundation Global Blogging Prize 2013 – I categorically delved into practical ways that youth can help themselves through free online education platforms. I also stressed on the need for governments to sponsor education despite the tough fiscal times.
I believe that online eduation can perfectly work in eradication of poverty.
Statistics from UNESCO as of the 2014 Literacy Day show that over 126 million youth between 15-24 years old are illiterate. This means that they are living on social and economic margins. A huge portion of the number cannot contribute effectively to their country’s economic progress and sustainable development.
This has majorly contributed to poverty in our country. I talked to the Kenya Model United Nations Communications Director Phoebe Omune and she weighed in on the matter.
“Skill-based education (both technical and soft skills). Salaried short opportunities should be created on an annual basis by both government and private organizations by law. Ensuring those past the retirement age are phased out to leave opportunities for younger people.” She agrees that quality education is the way to go as far as poverty eradication is concerned.
Avril Nyambura, an award-winning Kenyan musician has had a life that has taught her a lot. She’s got a phenomenal success story:
“I was raised in the then very small town of Nakuru where everyone almost knew everyone. But as much as everyone knew everyone I was very reserved and my family was very close knit. So I didn’t have very many friends aside from my school friends and neighbours. I think exposure was one of the things I lacked but then again I think it was a bit of a good thing because who knows what would have happened to me if I got overwhelmed by the glitz and glamor of the entertainment industry when I was not ready.”
She lacked exposure and the resources that she needed. She’s now entrusted with a role as ambassador for First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s Beyond Zero campaign. She’s a living inspiration to many.
The government and the private sector can do that by providing more opportunities, for example, the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative which also has the online Intellectual Property (IP) Hub that teaches young upcoming entrepreneurs on that topic.
During the recent 2015 Time for Global Action Youth Forum organized by the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon stressed that this is “first generation with the potential to end poverty and the last generation to avoid worst effects of climate change.”
He recognized the fact that it’s already tough out there and finding jobs and a way to earn a living is the most difficult aspect in a contemporary human’s life. This shows that he believes in the power of the youth to change their lives; to change the world. To end poverty.
Lastly, NTV’s news presenter Victoria Rubadiri had this to say on how education can change lives:
“We do this by teaching unemployed youth useful skills that will help them come up with solutions to help their communities. We can do this by exposing children from disadvantaged backgrounds to new experiences either through books, technology or a trip to a thriving business to learn the ins and outs of entrepreneurship,” she says.
Therefore, the best way that the World Bank can adopt to help eradicate poverty in Kenya is by providing an online entrepreneurship hub with ample resources that will help young people start businesses.
I believe giving youth a quality education by use of online platforms like the YALI free course, Stanford University public courses and HP Life Business Courses is one of the best ways to eradicate poverty.
Harun Momanyi, 20, is a fashion/lifestyle editor and Social Media Executive at Radio Africa Group. He is passionate about youth development. He uses this blog to share inspirational stories on how the youth can be the best they can be in life. He interviews inspirational public figures and young people who have made it in life. They offer practical lessons that youth can pick and actualize their dreams. He was finalist for the 2014 Haller Prize for Development Journalism, which encourages transformational change in the region.