“Youth Bill of Rights”: A Call to Lead Transformation
ZimRights National Director Calls Young People to Lead Today
On Friday, (09 October 2020), our National Director Dzikamai Bere, at the invitation of Silveira House and the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) spoke to a group of vibrant young people about the ‘Youth Bill of Rights’ as articulated in Section 20 of the Constitution, the Law-Making Process and Active Citizenship. Bere said the Constitution guarantees rights for young people and yet our world cannot deliver the promised rights.
“Reflect on your context and ask yourself, which of these rights is missing and think about what you need to do yourself, to bring about the change that is necessary for every young person to enjoy those rights.” Bere said.
“And if you feel so passionately about that gap” he continued, “Closing that gap is probably your assignment in this life, an assignment that you must commit to, till the last drop of your life.”
However, Bere said passion is not enough to lead the transition from want to plenty. Quoting Martin Luther King Jnr, he said those who want peace, must learn to strategize, just as those who flood our world with violence.
“The Youth Bill of Rights, the huge gap between the constitution and the reality of young people in Zimbabwe, is a call to national duty for every young person. It’s a call to lead the pilgrimage that will see those rights a reality. There is so much to do and every one of us can do something.”
As Mandela taught us, leadership is not positional but behavioural. It is influence. For a long period of time, young people are lied to and abused by politicians who tell them that they are the leaders of tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes. Young people must lead today. But they must do so with love, integrity, purity and innovation. They must step forward with courage and answer the Bill of Rights’ call for a different reality.
They must hear the words of Saint Paul clearly, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)
In this scripture is the full arsenal for our journey in leading the realisation of the bill of rights.
- ‘Speech’ – Speak Out: Don’t wait for someone to speak for you. Say it and say it loud.
- ‘Conduct’: Words are not enough. Do it. Act. Take action. Do something!
- ‘Love’: Do it with great compassion. We don’t hate them. We just love our future too much to let them betray it.
- “In Faith’: We lead with faith and humility, for we are too aware of our frailty and mortality and yet we don’t let that get into our way. Our faith in Christ delivers the victory for us, because we believe.
- “Purity’: With integrity. Because our mission demands that we become what we seek. The transformation does not start at the destination. The transformation starts in the journey. Jesus taught us to be as wise as a serpent but as harmless as a dove. (Matthew 10:16). We innovate and strategize while doing no harm.
“Out of all the riches across Africa, the most precious are young people who carry the promise of a new visionary transformative leadership that will build strong institutions, and (as Mandela said) ‘bring down the towers of oppression and raise the banners of freedom.”
*ZimRights recently launched the #BeTheChampion4Rights campaign that encourages ordinary people to embrace their obligations for the realisation of human rights. Visit ZimRights LIVE digital platforms for real time updates on the platform or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org*