ABC SECRETARIAT STAFF WRITER
For youths empowerment to cut across the country, the Attitudinal and Behavioural change Secretariat organises two day training program for youths in the Northern region ,the training was followed by an exhibition which took place on the 27th June,2014 at the City Hall, Station Road Makeni City .
The exhibition only targeted youths who took parts in the two days training, this training was done to identify youths and their support to the ABC Campaign nationwide. Youths were classified in to the following groups; Gara tie-dying, Music, Drama/film, Cultural performance and Graphic design.
The Executive Director ABC, Dr. Ivan Ajibola Thomas in his welcome address encouraged the youths to be steadfast and hardworking and for them to succeed ,they have to be creative, innovative in whatever they do. And told them to be very strong and whenever they fall, they should rise up as there are many distractions on their way to success. He also encouraged them to take their work very seriously ,”let tell our communities that we are serious and can do something great”. Is time for you guys to reject names that the youths have been called such as unserious and the rest of it. He encouraged them to respect their mentors and should have good relationship with them as this will lead them to success.
He also informed the participant that the Secretariat has invited Community Stakeholders in order to creates sponsorship for youths, ”I want them to witness so that they inturn will buy your products, give donations ,pledges etc. This program is organised to promote the culture and activities of the youths. And thanked the stakeholders who were present for the programme.
The Chairman, Rev. Paul M Kargbo who happens to be the Regional Research and Monitoring Officer, National Commission for Democracy in his opening remarks express his anxiety to see a lots of youths gathered for this program. According to him, there are alots of talented youths out there who are very eager to learn but the sponsorship is not there, whilst there are others who are talented but doesn’t know how to identify those talents. And now that they are here in order to identify and showcase their talents, he is encouraging them to put on the best attitude for them to gain from this program. He explained to the youths that negative attitudes will not take them anywhere as the President in his inaugural speech donated his second time to the youths, it is time for you guys to apply your utmost seriousness so that the dream of the president will come to pass. And even the ABC will only achieve if all of us join hands together, he appealed to the youths to be cautious as whatever thing they do will militate against in a distance future.
Mrs Florence Turay, express her joy of being in the program and explain to the participant that they are very important in society and elaborated on her experiences with the youths, according to her there are a lots of youths who doesn’t want to do anything, whilst others are eager to do something but there is no support ,she express her joy to see the large crowd of youths gathered together to exhibits their talents, so she calls on community stakeholders to join her to support the youths and their programmes,” youth are the future so as a matter of fact, they should start taking responsibilities now ”.To her, leadership role start when a child is small to adulthood.She encouraged the youths to have positive attitude, ”when you have a positive attitude, you will always have alots of options” ,whilst those with negative attitudes will always go down the drain.
The keynote Speaker, Mr. Ernest B. Kamara the managing Director of MJ Hotel ,Makeni City ,congratulated the president for forming the ABC Secretariat and to the Secretariat he expressed his pleasure for organising the program. He described the youths as people from the ages of 15-35 years. He describe the acronym youths as ;Y-Young, O-of, U-Useful, T-Training, H-Habit Formation. He also explained that there are common factors surrounding the attitudes of youths ranging from the home, which deals with the growth of the child, community which deals with individual attitudes. The home is where we get informal education, so the home plays a very significant aspect of life. So he warned the youths to have a positive mindset as anything they do now will count against them. He was optimistic that youths should manifest their talents properly so that they will in turn benefit from their God given talents. He also informed them that he has always been helping youths within the makeni municipality and that he is ready to help youths with talents, told them that his doors are always open to them, he ended up by making a donation to support the youths project.
The Representative of Sierra Leone Indigenous Business Association, Mr. John Banato Sesay ,thanked His Excellency the President for Pioneering attitudinal change in this country and for their support to the ABC initiative .He told the gathering that attitude and behaviour has woven in to the fabric of our daily lives. Advertising political campaigns and other persuasive media messages are all built on the premise that behaviour follows attitude and attitude can be influenced with the right message delivered in the right way. He concluded by saying that the time has passed when youths rich with talents will sit wastefully and wait for manners to come from heaven. And with the intervention, collaboration and corporation of all these partners, the time has come when these valuable youths and women will use their talents to make themselves meaningful people, provide employment for themselves and other people to contributes to national development.
President Makeni Artists Union, Mohamed Menjor Sesay told his colleagues that stakeholders are at the exhibition for them ,as they have abandoned their
busy schedules, so he appealed to them to adopt positive attitudes as they are the future of today. He stressed in his statements that those youths who are in the prisons are the future of tomorrow and he promised that they will pass on whatever education they have received from the trainings to their colleagues. ”And to all the youths that are here today, let us put in to practice all what we have learnt to those who are not here for a better nation.