Marking United Nations International Youth Day: The War on the Lives and Minds of Our Precious Young People: Old Tricks, New Platforms: The Real Threat to ‘Safe Spaces for Youth.’ (3)

Today, I bring closure to this three day old conversation. I believe today, we will be challenged on the ways to rescue our precious children and youths from the attack on their lives and minds, which renders them susceptible to many social vices and render them impotent in making meaningful contribution for personal and public advancement.

It is important to note that it is pathetic that though, the primary and secondary caregivers are alive today, we seem very docile and unconcerned about the state of our precious children and youths. Our seemingly incurable nonchalance and frustration is best captured in the words of the Irish poet, W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming, where lamented the confusion and frustration that greeted post-first-world-war Europe: ‘Turning and turning in the widening gyre/The falcon cannot hear the falconer;/Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;/Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,/The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere/The ceremony of innocence is drowned;/The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity.’

For days like United Nations International Youth Day to make sense first to our precious children and youths and to the generality of the African people, I today proudly offer the creed of #TheSAFE4MEMovement as vividly covered in our Securing A Friendly and PROTECTIVE Environment™ for Children Instructional Manual released on the last World Children’s Day, November 20, 2018. The creed is centred on helping our precious young people and their caregivers and custodians to develop moral stamina through the inculcation of what we call the POSITVE VALUE SYSTEM. We see this POSITIVE VALUE SYSTEM as an effective propeller of meaningful and rewarding social engagements and tested antidote to surrendering themselves to abuse or engaging in destructive vices, which are today rampant among young people. What is this POSITVE VALUE SYSTEM? It is simply appealing to our basic sense of what is right or wrong, first according to common sense and second according to obvious moral code of human existence and interactions, with a commitment to always carefully consider all of the consequences of our actions and omission to self, immediate family, community and the world at large before embarking or omitting to embark on same.

The perpetration of the foregoing creed demands superior strategy, noting that the moral force of such superior strategy is the positive example of the caregivers and custodians of today’s precious children and young people.

Men and women of good conscience, who represent the best interest of the precious children and young people of Africa must note as a subject of sober reflection that a good cause with poor strategy will always fall flat before a bad cause with superior strategy. It is

I have often heard people say, ‘good things take time.’ The impression such assertion often creates is that it is only good things that take time. It is important to note that bad things also take time to take root. If good people do not understand the foregoing principle, it is important to note that bad people do and therefore takes time to build their castle of evil, in which they host our precious children and young people in their billions.

Permit me to submit most humbly that any agenda, aimed at securing Safe Spaces for Youth, which does not take the foregoing principles into adequate consideration may end in nothing but frustration.

I am glad we have been able to bring closure to this discussion and I hope it has helped us as caregivers and custodians to again be reminded about the real issues plaguing our precious children and youth today and how to help them turn the tide for the personal benefits and that of humanity.

Thank you for reading to and do have an INSPIRED day.

I am Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUKWU’ AKINLAMI (The Preacher) and I Speak for the Precious African Child

T: 2348033620843, 08056979605 W: http://www.taiwoakinlami.com B:http://www.taiwoakinlamiblog.com T: @taiwoakinlami

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Marking United Nations International Youth Day: The War on the Lives and Minds of Our Precious Young People: Old Tricks, New Platforms: The Real Threat to ‘Safe Spaces for Youth.’ (2)

I will like to continue our discussion where we stopped yesterday by sharing with that it seems to me that there are always four kinds of people in the lives of our precious children and youths. The first are those  who are part of the solutions to the precious children and youths. These ones are always few in number and they labour in making useful contributions to the sanity of our precious children and youths through peaceful and value-based development. The second are those who are part of their problems, who by their omission or commission fail in their duty of care to prepare these precious children and youths for the challenges of childhood and successful transitions to responsible adulthood. The third are those who are part of the problem of these precious children and youths by making deliberate efforts to pervert the conscience and render them morally bankrupt for their personal, social, political and financial gains. The fourth is those who have embraced silence, passivity, double-standard in the face of a drowning moral crisis, fast consuming the very soul of our precious children and youths.

The last three succeed in bequeathing to the society directionless and menacing children and youths, which make life unbearable for their immediate and extended neighbours.

It is sad to note that the second categories of people in the lives of our precious children and young people by their active, cowardly and often ignorant omission and third and fourth categories of people by their skillful and deliberate commission have over the years had more successes in their endeavours than the first category of people in the lives of our precious children and youths.

The people in the second and fourth category often do not understand the power resident in our precious children and youths and how to fan same into glorious flame of useful existence and enduring contributions, the people in the third category know the power and potentials of children and youths when they are properly developed. They know that in the words of Adebayo Williams that ‘a properly educated mind will not accept an act of tyranny. Because to accept an act of tyranny is an act of intellectual self-dispossession.’ Therefore since this category of people do not often represent the interest of the majority of the people, particularly when they wield political power, they make it a point of duty to deliberately keep the teeming majority of our precious children and youth uninformed and impoverished. It is not in the best interest of any kingdom to empower her enemies, who when they become empowered they will displace her, except  the kingdom is naive or not strategic.

I make bold to say that the people, who occupy the third category in Africa may be naive or less strategic in all things, they are not when it comes to suppressing the precious children and youths of Africa. It is important to note that it is not by accident that there is a silent war on education in Africa, particularly in Nigeria. It is not by accident that Nigeria has 10.5 children out of school and private education has become an alternative to public education. It is not by accident that the governments of most African countries today do not budget for social protection and where they have such budget, it is often misappropriated or diverted to personal use.

It is also the strategy of the people in the third category  in the lives of our precious children and young people to bring distractions in the way of the precious children and young people in the name of entertainment. Entertainment and related adventures have today become the opium of our precious children and young people, strategically served as musical concerts and shows on days like the United Nations International Youth Day. The goal of such engagements on important days to our precious children and young people like Children’s day and United Nations International Youth Day is to divert the attention of our precious but unwary children and youth from the real issues affecting their personal and social development, for which the days are created to call attention to and address.

Though, the first category of people mean very well for our precious young people, they hardly labour in the crucible of visionary, missionary and strategic thinking and superior engagements of the precious children and youths and the society in which they are being raised. Therefore, the other three categories of people have always had an upper hand. Something the first category of people always forget is that since it is always easier to destroy than to build, they always have more smart work to do than the other two people.

Today, we have more directionless and menacing young people than purposeful and sound ones. We have more wasted potentials than harnessed ones among our precious young people. More are more disoriented than cultured. More are subdued than submissive. More live in the fortified cocoon of denial, delusion and despondency than live freely in pursuit of God-ordained dreams, for which custodians have moral and legal duty to provide direction.

Our precious children and youths today are best referred to as an orphaned generation. In my definition, an orphan is also a child, whose parents are not available, dead or alive. The greatest and most invaluable need of our children and youths today is direction in life. The direction they seek will address how to help them cultivate a meaningful and productive relationship with God, which will culminate in helping them to imbibe and demonstrate POSITIVE VALUE SYSTEM. Direction will address how to help these precious children and youths to achieve resourcefulness, combining soft skills with hard skills to make a difference and build relevance in their private and public lives in a world that is becoming more and more competitive by the day as the world becomes digital and Artificial Intelligence revolution is sweeping across the globe.  Direction will address helping the precious young people understand how life and her principles work and how they can begin to relate with same and shepherd their lives in the direction of universal principles of how God created this world to function and reap the benefits both for their personal lives, families and the society at large.

Direction in the foregoing areas can only be provided by conscious primary and secondary caregivers. The question is, if these caregivers are truly alive, how come their existence is not making a definite and enduring difference in the lives of our precious children and young people today? What would have been the difference if there was an aggression on our continent and people from age thirty and above were killed and these precious children are left to grope their ways into meaningful and productive existence? Though, we as the custodians are alive, yet our precious children and youths are groping in the dark, endangered that they may not find their way to the promised land of being meaningful contributors to the 21st century and reaping from the boundless and bountiful opportunities thereof.

I think this sobering question should usher us out this discussion today. I think we should really take our time and ask if we are available to provide direction to our primary and secondary constituencies. Are our children feeling that they are orphans despite our presence?

Thank you for reading to and do have an INSPIRED day.

I am Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUKWU’ AKINLAMI (The Preacher) and I Speak for the Precious African Child

T: 2348033620843, 08056979605 W: http://www.taiwoakinlami.com B:http://www.taiwoakinlamiblog.com T: @taiwoakinlami

 

 

Marking United Nations International Youth Day: The War on the Lives and Minds of Our Precious Young People: Old Tricks, New Platforms: The Real Threat to ‘Safe Spaces for Youth.’ (1)

‘The hopes of the world rest on young people. Peace, economic dynamism, social justice, tolerance- all this and more, today and tomorrow, depends on tapping the power of youth,’ – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Today, August 12, 2018 is the United Nations International Youth Day and the theme for 2018 is Safe Spaces for Youth.’ United Nations summed up the justification for 2018 theme as follows: ‘there are currently 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the world. This is the largest youth population ever. But 1 in 10 of the world’s children live in conflict zones and 24 million of them are out of school. Political instability, labour market challenges and limited space for political and civic participation have led to increasing isolation of youth in societies.’

According to the United Nations, the day’ serves as an annual celebration of the role of young women and men as essential partners in change and an opportunity to raise awareness of challenges and problems facing the world’s youth.’

My interest today is the role of youths as ‘essential partners in change’ as same agrees with our #TheSAFE4MEMovement, which we launched on the World Children’s Day, November 20, 2017. The focus of the movement is call attention to all forms of abuse that our children and youths are exposed to and their roles in their personal safety and self-protection, through the inculcation of the right value system. The movement is an outreach both young people and their caregivers (primary and secondary).

It is in the light of #TheSAFE4MEMovement, which we consider to be the heart cry of today’s young people in Africa that I make comments on the theme of the 2018 theme of the United Nations International Youth Day.

While I am conscious that by the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), a child is anyone below 18 years of age and by the general definition of the United Nations, a youth is anyone between the age bracket of 15-24, please note that for the purpose of this piece, by children and youths, I refer to the age brackets 0-21.

Permit me to declare upfront that the number threat to Safe Spaces for Youth is not the conflicts, lack of education, shelter, health services, and engagement in all forms of seemingly uncountable vices they are exposed to day. I think the real threat Safe Spaces for Youth is the war that is waged on the minds of our youth. Safe Spaces must first exist as a value system in the minds of our caregivers and custodians of the minds of our youth, who must deliberately inculcate same in the minds of our youth. The goal must be to help our precious children and youth to appreciate and take full ownership of the immense benefits of Safe Spaces for Youth. It is upon the foregoing foundation that they could be enlightened on their roles in creating same and how to take full responsibility for same.

I think the war on the mind of our precious children and youths has existed time immemorial. Adolf Hiller declared, as we planned the pogrom, which is today known as the Second World War, which claimed 62 million people (2.5 % of the population of the world then), ‘I want to raise a generation of young people, imperious, relentless and cruel.’

It is important to note that no cause, positive or negative has a future without the deliberate and active initiation of children into same. Hitler recognised this truth and set in motion a mission to achieve same.

It is important to note that the vision like Hitler’s has always been constant. It is the mode of expression that has changed.  The attack on the impressionable and ‘absorbent’ minds of our precious children and young people today have only been enhanced by the undue democratization of information through the new media, in which social media is one of the most prominent features.

Permit me to round off this discussion today, as I do not intend to take you on this ride for too long lest you succumb to the temptation of losing interest.

I will continue this discussion tomorrow, believing that I will meet you refreshed and good to go in working with like minds to secure Safe Spaces for Youth.

Do have an INSPIRED week.

I am Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUKWU’ AKINLAMI (The Preacher) and I Speak for the Precious African Child

T: 2348033620843, 08056979605 W: http://www.taiwoakinlami.com B:http://www.taiwoakinlamiblog.com T: @taiwoakinlami

SEX IS BIG: 16 DAYS OF SEX TALK(Day 15): PORNOGRAPHY ADDICTION: WINNING THE BATTLE (1)

Culled from our Instructional Manuals: S.A.F.E™ for YOU

TIP 121

“Bundy was correct in saying that most serial murderers are addicted to hardcore pornography. FBI records validate that point. Not every person exposed to obscenity will become a killer, of course, but too many will!” 

James C. DOBSON

I am glad to be with you today my dear and precious young ones, discussing this important topic and the guidelines on how to protect yourself from same.

It is difficult for our young people not be addicted to pornography today. Our world is over sexualized.  Pornography has taken a disturbing form.

I think there are two categories of pornography that you are exposed to as a young person. The first is the hardcore pornography.  The dictionary defines this as ‘printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate sexual excitement.’ The other is softcore pornography. According to Wikipedia, softcore pornography or softcore porn is commercial still photography or film that has a pornographic or erotic component. It is less sexually graphic and intrusive than hardcore pornography.’

Today, almost every young person is exposed to one form of pornography or the other. In my work, I have met many young people, who have come to me to share their struggle with hardcore pornography. No thanks the pop culture, you are exposed to as a young person, you will agree with me that many more of you are addicted to softcore pornography.

What is pop culture? It is defined as ‘modern popular culture transmitted via the mass media and aimed particularly at younger people,’ which include fashion, music, movies and related materials. Most of your pop culture role models promote softcore pornography in their music and movies. The other day, one of them was said to have posted a video his masturbation on the social media. In 2016 leading newspapers reported that the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission banned a leading musician’s song, ‘Don’t Stop’ from being played on the airwaves for ‘obscenity, being indecent, vulgar languages, lewd and profane expressions like ‘wa gba ponron’, ‘I just want to hit you now’, ‘je kin wo be…” Earlier in 2015, about eighteen popular and hit songs were banned for same reasons.

Almost all your Pop Culture role models in the entertainment industry promote and celebrate immorality and its products, which is today known as ‘Baby Mama.’ According to the dictionary, ‘Baby Mama’ is ‘the mother of one or more of a man’s children, especially one who is not his wife or current partner.’ What they are saying by their lifestyle is simple: follow my example.

They seem to have identified sex as a way of reaching you and arousing your interest in their music and movie. I think to ensure that they are profitable they have decided to serve you music and movies that focus on your vulnerability as a young person.

From my discussion with many young people, the experiment for exposure to hardcore pornography begins with exposure to softcore pornography. Unfortunately softcore pornography is all around you and on your face and it takes a lot of effort for you to look away and avoid being sucked in.

The danger today is that the uncontrolled presence of softcore pornography is the strength of the hardcore pornography. It has also been found that the first exposure of young people to pornography is accidental. The free presence of softcore pornography further makes the possibility of accidental exposure very high among young people. According to an article published on www.teendrugrehabs.com, titled, ‘The Growing Problem of Teen and Porn Addiction, it is found that ‘exposure to porn is high among teens; in one study, 93% of boys and 62% of girls said they were exposed to online porn as teenagers. Boys were more likely to seek out sexually graphic images and view more extreme images, like child pornography.’

I think I should sign out here. I will be with you tomorrow. Do have an INSPIRED day.

The THINK Factor

Do you see the link between hardcore and softcore pornography? Do you think this discussion affect you in any way? If yes, how? Take time to really reflect and share your thoughts in your S.A.F.E™ 4 YOU Personal Journal and share with your parents and other trusted caregivers and friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEX IS BIG: 16 DAYS OF SEX TALK(Day 14): GUIDELINES TO RESPONSE: SEXUAL ABUSE (2)

Culled from our Instructional Manuals: S.A.F.E™ for YOU

TIP 105

The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.”

John C. MAXWELL

Welcome to our discussion today my dear and precious young friends as we continue to share on the guidelines to response on Sexual Abuse.

Today, I will continue with the third point:

 Protection of Personal Space/Privacy: protect your space. For example always shut the door when you are in the toilet. When you are alone at home, make sure you lock the doors so that intruders will not come in.

Rolling with Strangers: do not move with strangers or befriend a stranger.

Avoid Conversation-Suggestive statements from mates and elders: do not allow any person, mates or elders to make suggestive statement to you like calling you his wife or her husband

Avoid isolated terrain: do not go to isolated places alone or go with the opposite sex to an isolated place particularly in the night. Hold your discussions in the open.

What about consensual sexual relationship between children/teenagers: sex is not meant for children and teenagers. They are meant for married man and woman.

Suspect all who gives you the slightest reason to suspect them, including family and friends: if someone makes strange moves, touches you in strange places or makes strange statements to you, please do not just overlook it. Please report.

Speak Our and Speak Up: Report suspected persons and be definite and serious about your reporting.

Follow-up: Where your report is not treated with the seriousness it deserves, follow-up and take it higher

Pay attention to your Personal Dress Code: what’s the purpose of dressing? Pay attention to what you wear. Rape will never be excused or justified on the basis of what a teenager wears but he/she may protect himself/herself by virtue of what she wears.

In respect of Consensual Sexual Relationship, strike the balance between REASONING and INSTINCT: you are a reasoning being while animals are instinct being. Before you settle for consensual sex count the cost and consequences and put them side by side the brief pleasure.

I think I should sign out here. I will continue with you tomorrow when I will share with you how to protect yourself from other forms of abuse. Do have an INSPIRED day.

The THINK Factor

I charge you today to identify which major guidelines you need to personally pay attention to in your responsibility to protect yourself from sexual abuse. Take time to really reflect and share your thoughts in your S.A.F.E™ 4 YOU Personal Journal and share with your parents and other trusted caregivers and friends.

 

SEX IS BIG: 16 DAYS OF SEX TALK(Day 13): GUIDELINES TO RESPONSE: SEXUAL ABUSE (1)

Culled from our Instructional Manuals: S.A.F.E™ for YOU

TIP 104

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of”. Jim ROHN

Welcome to our discussion today my dear and precious young ones. Sure you are doing great. We thank God for preserving our lives till date. I am here excited to support you in your commitment to protect yourself from all forms of abuse.  I am most mostly excited that we are beginning to discuss your responses to all forms of abuses.

Today, I will introduce you to what I believe your response should be to suspicion of abuse or actual abuses. Let me dwell a bit on the word, ‘response.’

Please note that the word ‘response’ is related to the word, ‘responsibility.’ It simply means you have a RESPONSIBILITY to prevent all the factors, which attack your Personal Safety. It is not a responsibility you can delegate or should delegate, depending on your age. Please note that response is stronger than reaction. Reaction may be an after-thought while response is proactive and it is often based on intelligence.

To be proactive is to believe for the best but prepare to handle the worst of situations. Many young people are not well schooled in this area.

I will begin to share with you the guidelines to your responses to all the forms of abuse, we have discussed before.  I shall break down your responses according to each of the form of abuse. It is time to fasten your seat belt and get ready to take responsibility for your protection as follows:

Sexual Abuse: concerning sexual abuse, either non-consensual or consensual is not appropriate for children as stated earlier. Please note that according to the law a child does not have the capacity to consent to sexual relationship either with an adult or peer. Any form of sexual relationship with peer or adult by anyone below the age 18 years old among to nothing but abuse. Therefore anyone below the age of 18 years cannot give consent for sexual relationship both to an adult or peer. It is not also a defence for an adult, who is caught having sexual relationship with anybody below 18 years of age that at the point of entering into sexual relationship with such person, he/she was under the belief that the person was above 18 years.

Having spent time to refresh your memory on what must be your primary position on Sexual Abuse, I will proceed to share with you how you can protect yourself from same.

I charge you to pay SERIOUS ATTENTION to the following:

  1. Watch your body Language: you must not be saying one thing and your body language is saying another. Avoid touches that are capable of arousing you or put you in the mood for sex.
  2. Conditioning of your mind through Media: be careful the kind of music you listen to and the movies you watch. First, do not listen to music or watch movies, which are meant for adults. Such music and movies confuses your mind and prepares you for what you are not prepared for.

The THINK Factor

I charge you think about what we have shared today and resolve to begin to practice same if you have not started already. Take time to really reflect and share your thoughts in your S.A.F.E™ 4 YOU Personal Journal

SEX IS BIG: 16 DAYS OF SEX TALK(Day 12): ‘CHILD MARRIAGE’ AND ‘CHILD PROSTITUTION? MIND YOUR LANGUAGE (3)

 Culled from our Instructional Manuals: S.A.F.E™ for YOU

TIP 77

It’s child abuse, and that’s the term that should be used,” Fleur STRONG

Welcome to this page today, my dear and precious young ones.

I think I will be wrapping up this discussion on ‘Child Marriage’ and ‘Child Prostitution’ today.

Please note that this so-called industry doesn’t exist as we describe it today. Prostitution largely suggests a voluntarily involvement in commercial sex for material gains. It suggests voluntary capacity to negotiate sex for commercial benefits. Prostitution is defined by the English dictionary to mean, ‘the practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment.’

The phrase ‘Child Prostitution’ as it is used today may suggest that children voluntarily gets involved in prostitution and therefore could be referred to as ‘Children Prostitutes.’

Please note that the precious children, who are today referred to as ‘Child Prostitutes’ are Child Sex Slaves, who are being mercilessly robbed of their God-ordained innocence and dignity of human person. This kind of brazen robbery of our precious children of their virtues earns the robbers huge financial gains.

This illegal trade of Child Sex Slavery fetch the perpetrators billions of dollars. The robber has everything to GAIN for it and our precious children have everything to lose for it.

These precious souls are held in the captivity of sex slavery with fear, intimidation and all kinds of threats. Apart from the fact that their lives are threatened by their slave masters, their being used as sex slaves is a threat to theirs precious lives. Many have actually been killed in the process of being used as sex slaves.

In view of the foregoing, permit us to submit to you our dear young people, we live in a perverted world, where your fellow children suffer frightening and almost irreparable legion of abuses and yet our insensitive world hold the children responsible.

You as children and young people suffer double jeopardy. You are ABUSED and ACCUSED. The abusers do not take RESPONSIBILITY not to talk of turning a new leaf. Deliberately or by default, they come up with narratives, shrouded in misleading labels like ‘Child Marriage,’ ‘Child Prostitution’ and many more.

Unfortunately, some of the genuine defenders of the your rights, both individuals and institutions, in some cases either use or coin these labels, which agree with the narratives of the abusers, without carefully examining same and its impact.

My position on ‘Child Marriage’ and ‘Child Prostitution’ is to expose this subtle game of abusing our precious children and finding convenient narratives to distract the best of us and the rest of the public from the real issues. This subtle trick presents our precious children as the ABUSED and the ACCUSED, thereby sealing their fate and sentencing them to a life of unchecked and perpetual abuse.

The THINK Factor

All I charge you do is as follows that concerning these discussions on Sex and Sexuality and ‘Child Marriage’ and ‘Child Prostitution’ which we have taken some days to discuss, I charge you to think deeper and do as follows:

  • Read carefully
  • Reflect thoroughly
  • Read further
  • Discuss deeply
  • Form opinion
  • Share opinion

With WHOM do you DISCUSS?

  • Your group, if you are using the Handbook as a group
  • Your peers in schools, neighbourhood, religious places of worship and others
  • Your caregivers, parents, teachers and others, who provide cares for you one way or the other
  • Your social media platforms, where you are of age to use them

WHY should you DISCUSS?

  • To share your findings as expressed in our positions, get theirs too and form your informed opinion.

To WHOM do you SHARE your informed opinion?

  • Your peers in schools, neighbourhood, religious places of worship and others
  • Your caregivers, parents, teachers and others, who provide cares for you one way or the other
  • Your social media platforms, where you are of age to use them

WHY should you SHARE?

  • To get others to see what you have seen
  • To build a peaceful army of peers and caregivers, who will ensure that young people like you are protected
  • To be part of the noble cause of building a new generation of young people, who are fully involved in their own safety and protection