|By Anyuak youths
Posted to the web on February 01, 2015
Today as we join our brothers and sisters across the world in recalling this memorable day, your presence at this occasion has indeed made it colorful. Before I begin the speech, let’s have a moment of silence in remembrance of our fallen heroes and heroines.
This is the day when every inch of our lovely land turned to dust ,it is the day when sugar turned to salt , honey to waxes ,water to blood and milk to urine , it is indeed the day when the dynasty of youth was targeted .This day is forever injected into our blood. Ladies and gentlemen Gambella is our land and God Almighty remains as our sole witness to this. Ladies and gentlemen, we as Gambella youth in Nairobi; would therefore like to take this golden opportunity to air out our voices prior to the way we live in exile. As we all know some of us here in this room have lost his/her cousin, father, mother, brother, sister or a friend during the December 13 massacre. I am not amused at all if any youth among us gets traumatized or go crazy of this well planned ethnic cleansing.
Ladies and gentlemen the massacre planned earlier has not ended and there are numerous chronological sequence of forced land grabbing, unlawful settlement of civilians, intimidation, killings, unlawful sentencing of our people and abuse to human rights and freedom. These are the countless problems that our remnants are still facing up to date.
Education today is fully opened for us but yet still we are reluctant at grabbing and make use of it .The percentage of Anyuaks going to school is still low but what is more frustrating is that out of this low percentage the numbers of girls are still very low .
Our girls do not go to school due to reasons of early pregnancies ,helping their mum’s at home, negligence of their parents to their duty of sending a girl child to school and some reasons as lack of sanitary towels .when it comes to boys ;we drop out of school for reasons like abusing drugs ,early marriages and ignorance . Peer group is as well seen as another problem that had faced some of us (Boys).
We chose not to take education because it has ever since been our greatest challenge .The education that we are talking about is the one that we as Anyuak youth can use to make a difference to ourselves and our community as a whole.
Let’s go to school to change the way we live .let’s go to school ;become doctors so that we can help our people with simple diseases that they are dying from .Let’s go to school ,become lawyers to reclaim the land that is grabbed from us .Let’s go to school ,become engineers to build our beautiful land .Let’s go to school , become miners to exhaust our mineral-rich land .Let’s us become people that the coming generation can count on .We can do it if we try but things like ignorance and drugs among others still stops us from being better people.
Drugs and drug abuse
Most youth, if not all are indeed the pioneers of drugs and alcohol abuse. Most of us are glued to Miraa, smoking cigarette and drinking alcohol. The case is more dangerous in the refugee camps where there are hotels turned into clubs during the weekends. These youths are resistance to any advice from elders or their parents. The consequences of these behaviors had got a rough impact on our youth and so it marks and gives an indication that we are lost, destroyed future and blind progress.
During our ancestors’ generation; where boys belong to men and girls to their mothers. Those days there was a cemented, documented customs and taboos that no one would dare attempt to break, the time when there was only one ruler; that is the king assisted by chiefs from different locations.
Ladies and gentlemen, the youth of today are involved into theft, drug addicts or perhaps cursed if I may say so. Most of these youth do not have respect for their elders, not united and are largely divided by hatred although united by blood. (Ancestral blood)
The practice of abusing drugs by youth had been clearly and deeply rooted into today’s youth culture and left most of them dropped out of schools ,leaves girls pregnant ,make wrong choices ,act unnecessarily and above it all has buried our culture and it lead to the lost of lineage as the Anyuak of Gambella .
The risk of huge some of alcoholic consumption as further lead to acquisition of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Gonorrhea and any other sexual transmitted diseases .So far the people living with aids is increasingly rising very high ,according to reports .Youth themselves do not take charge of testing themselves to know their status .It is not by surprise that the number of people with HIV/AIDS is increasing, we as youth of Gambella had to fight this epidemic in order for us to clearly foresee our future .
Ladies and gentlemen we as youth collectively in Nairobi are against drugs abuse and bad behaviors .We must live as role models for young ones that come after us and to do this let’s attend schools, screen ourselves by testing at V.C.T and respect our leaders .The future of Gambella land is ME, the future is YOU and the future is US. We as youth came up with the following recommendations and possible solutions to these problems which should be empowered by the community leaders and other organizations.
Education as mentioned earlier should be given the first priority due to its unique importance to the Anyuak and the global community.
- Mass awareness should be created to all Anyuak whole over the seven continents of the world, its importance and impact should be preached out to everyone.
- Moral and financial support should be avail to the youths where applicable.
When it comes to drugs we would like to urge our grownups to avoid teenagers from any possible access to drugs, that is by not selling to them and not invite them for any reason to drink or smoke with you.
In conclusion therefore we would like to take this opportunity to appreciate every Anyuak that made it possible for our grievances and sufferings to be heard in the international table, we are indeed privileged, really grateful to God and further to people who stood with us during hardship and struggle. We recognized your efforts and contribution to this day and further acknowledge your outmost sacrifice and proud to have such people in our midst.
- We would call on community leaders and youth leaders to conduct activities that would keep youth away from drugs when schools are closed for example sporting activities and many more.
- We need to protect ourselves from AIDS by using condoms, be faithful to our partners at all times. Our youth both genders should be encouraged to attend HIV/AIDS seminars when they given the opportunity. All in all our ladies should keep off from dating other tribes to keep the Anyuak community pure as well our men.
Ladies and gentlemen without further ado, we as youth of Gambella community in Kenya, particularly in Nairobi will stand strong with the community leaders and collaborate in any way possible. At this point, we cordially thank you very much for your time and may Almighty father in heaven bless all of you abundantly. Thank you very much.
Compiled by : Wat Obang, Marwa O Alwal , Mayi Kirru ,Ochalla Henock and Ojullu Ochalla