The outbreak of the Corona Virus has undeniably changed the way of life of people all over the world. From The outbreak of the Corona Virus has undeniably changed the way of life of people all over the world. From organizations to companies and schools, all sectors have had to take measures that some of them are very unfamiliar with. People living in informal settlements or slums have appeared to be the major casualties of the events unfolding in different sectors. It is estimated that over a billion of the world’s total population lives in informal settlements. According to a report released by World Bank in 2019, more than 60% of this population is made up of youth. Most have been laid off from their jobs, which have been dimmed non-essential during these difficult times. Unemployment has always been one of the biggest challenges for this group of people, and losing the few employment opportunities available only makes it worse. Most families have been left between a rock and a hard place.
As much as the whole world and our country Kenya to be specific are bracing themselves to face the challenges ahead, there is still a lot to be done. This has seen many community-based organizations rise to the occasion to help aid the government efforts in containing the rapidly spreading virus. In Kibera, Mathare, Korogocho, etc. there has been a lot of tremendous work being done by various community organizations. What makes it more impressive is that most of these organizations are investing much in the youths for their programs. The youth have had to step up in their various roles. They have been part of initiatives committing to spreading awareness on the virus, running handwashing stations, facilitating food distribution exercises for the underprivileged members of the community, etc.
Through the resilience shown by us, the youth, I believe that there is a lot of hope for the future. This makes me ask myself – what will the future be like? This is one of the biggest questions that we should be asking ourselves as we maneuver our way through these unprecedented times. The pandemic has proven to us how weak our systems are. The situation clearly indicates that there is a lot that needs to be done. Donating food to the vulnerable people in our society is one of the best things that we can do during such difficult moments. It plays a major role in the cause of containing the virus. However, in the post-Covid-19 period, to steady our ship, we will need to reevaluate our systems from the grassroots to the top. What can we do to ensure fewer people are rendered vulnerable in times of such pandemics/calamities? What can we do to ensure the problems we face today are not the same as the problems we will be facing in 2050? We need to start reviewing our roles as the youth towards creating sustainable solutions for our communities.
It is great that it has taken many of us (if not all of us) out of our comfort zones. They say necessity is the mother of all inventions, and this time it is proving to us that most of the solutions to our problems can be driven by us. We have to make our leaders accountable and take part actively in community growth and development. Going to college alone and waiting for a good job in the corporate sector will not be enough to carry us through. Furthermore, every day we complain that there are no jobs for the youth. For sure, there will never be enough jobs for all of us. Even countries with big economic muscles have never been able to provide enough jobs for all their people. Most of them will have to restructure their systems in the post-Covid-19 period, and so should we. The unemployment problem that we have always faced as a nation is severely going to take a heavier toll on us. We have to be very smart through the rebuilding phase. The only hope for the future, I believe, will be driven by the solutions that we create for the problems that we face in our communities.
Eventually, we shall survive the pandemic, but there will be very many pitfalls to overcome. Let’s take charge and use the challenges positively as opportunities for the future. We are the future, and the solutions for future generations begin with us from the community-level. We can’t afford to wait to start BIG. These are the conversations that we need to initiate among ourselves. LET’S DO THIS!