There is every need to engage our youths, especially, those with high-risk conditions/behaviors like poverty, homelessness, abusive/addictive behaviors and mental health issues.
This is essential because, presently, many of our youths in Zambia appear disconnected and disengaged and typically distrust existing support systems like the Youth Empowerment Fund and others.
Yet, effective youth engagement is a key factor for positive youth outcomes at personal, social, and community levels.
So the call by a Lusaka-based entrepreneur on the youths to invest their time in profitable business ventures, rather than spend their time drinking beer in compounds, is timely and deserves all the backing.
Mr. Peter Phiri, a motor vehicle spare parts dealer has rightly pointed out the need of Zambian youths to change their mindsets and their way of doing things in order to progress in life.
It is no secret that presently most of our youths simply prefer easy life and inanely find solace in activities such as alcohol abuse, drugs, prostitution, human trafficking and many other debasing schedules.
Lack of employment is not a heavenly justification for them to be engaged in the depravities mentioned above which lead them to nowhere.
There is therefore every need for meaningful cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary partner engagement that can promote a more effective and coordinated system to benefit our youths.
If indeed our youths are future leaders they need to be
guided by this intention.
To sucked, we think it is high time that Zambia comes up with a fervent homegrown project to engage our youths and mold them into nifty citizens.
There is no doubt that effective and equitably engaging high-risk and marginalized youths in our societies can be a significant challenge, yet is crucial for their positive development and integration into society.
Like Mr Phiri has advised it is truly better for the Zambian youths to find better things to do instead of spending most of their time in the compounds drinking beer or doing nothing.
There may also be need for families and community leaders to work closely with the high-risk and marginalized as a way of helping them mend their future.
We truly think that use of a participatory action framework will ensure active engagement of marginalized youths to give them a voice towards improving their outcomes.