When something presents a foreseeable unfavourable outcome, I am not someone to simply sit back, put my head in the sand and let the sand grains fill the void until you have a lost city, like back in the Byzantine times. A thousand years later archaeologists excavate to find what hidden treasures were lost.
Rwanda, wake up! The hidden treasures are our youth. Let’s not see the sands overfill and cause them to become the lost generation.
Lost in the abyss of alcoholism, drug addiction, tobacco and academic misfits, is a generation of 15 – 25 year olds raising themselves on peer group pressures and images of television music videos. Wake up Rwanda!!
Wake up parents! Stop being scared of your own kids. Stop being scared of exhibiting tough love for fear you won’t be your kids’ friend anymore. It is okay to say NO to your kids. It is ok that you give your kids boundaries.
It is ok to respect the law of underage drinking in your home as well as in society. It is okay to refuse to give them money unless they have accomplished chores at home to earn it. After all, parents don’t have money trees; you had to work in the first place to come by it.
Our youth are like space travellers. They don’t know where they are going and don’t know what dilemmas are ahead. A space traveller is cocooned in a space suit with a lifeline which supplies oxygen necessary to survive. The space traveller is let loose into the galaxy to discover all that is undiscovered.
From the lifeline is radar, sonar, the flight-deck; all that is necessary to provide life and security as new discovery is made. Rules are in place for the flight-deck that if certain conditions become unfavourable, the space traveller is immediately hauled back into the safety of the ship.
Parents, you are the flight-deck, sonar and radar. It seems these days, parents’ sonar and radar is switched off to the youth and in place is their own lifeline to position, title, good cars, good houses, international travel, all in the name of development “space travel” rather that maintain the oxygen lifeline to the space explorer “the youth”.
Life lines are being severed everywhere and our youth being left to traverse their “space travel” merely with other space travellers who also don’t know where they’re going or never traversed that way before.
Moving around schools and talking with different seasoned educators, this severed lifeline is a concern for all of us. It is not up to boarding schools to attach a new lifeline to our space travellers through their discovery phases. It is up to the families “the flight-deck” to maintain the umbilical cord which first attached the child to its mother in the womb.
Though physically severed at birth, the bond of nurture and responsibility never leaves that parent who gave birth.
Parents wake up! Boarding schools are not the galaxy of discovery without your lifeline and flight- deck; your family values, expectations and oxygen line of love. “If the shoe fits, wear it”.
Parent, if you realise your radar, sonar and oxygen line is only partially doing its job, it is never too late to repair and get back on track. Our youth, your youth, could merely become Rwanda’s hidden treasure and smothered by the sands of time.
The writer is Deputy Principal, Riviera High School.