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Unheard Voice Of The Teens (I)

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There are certain things parents do, though out of ignorance, that affect or damage their children’s future. Sincerely, some parents aren’t aware and this is made worse by the mere fact that children hardly speak up/out. Yet, some other parents who are aware do it with impunity, because they feel they are doing it for the child’s own good.
This is actually bad as it’s the parents decision not the child’s. Their choices and decisions matter a lot..
Most parents happen to be the cause of their children’s misfortune and lack of growth. How? By choosing a particular career for them. The very big and common mistake most parents make is choosing and forcing a particular career on a child. Those two fields (Law and Medicine) is crowded because most of the students are not there on their own will. Some are just there to please their parents.
That desire for quick and large money has blinded most of our parents, and has made them to ruin the lives of their innocent kids. Now, because those two fields (Law and Medicine) brings in money and recognition, our parents forget about our happiness and dreams and push us to do them. Yes, it brings money to your table but it also feels bad doing something with the mindset of pleasing our parents and not ourselves. A life career shouldn’t just be something to bring money to your table. Although I know that money is very important, but it should also be something you do with happiness. The moment you do your career with joy and happiness, you’ll do it perfectly and make money out of it.
We, the teenagers, want to be given a chance or little chances to choose our career without being denied of financial support from our parents. One must not be a doctor or lawyer to succeed. There are other occupations that are being degraded. But then again, our parents aren’t totally at fault because, our politicians have painted these two courses (Law and Medicine) to be the only highly profitable profession in the country.
Yes, at times most teens make mistakes and chooses some low class and less profitable course of study but it is the duty of the parents to watch their child and say, “No my child! I don’t think you’ll be good at this one. Try or go for another one” this is how it should be done, if the parents don’t see the desire in that child’s body for the course. Most kids have a hard time in choosing or deciding what they want to be. Most kids are scared to be what they want because, their parents wouldn’t be in it support of because they don’t have financial support. In most cases, single parenting damages a child’s future. How? Because, the single mother or single father would likely want the best for their kids and shut down their child’s dream.
We, the teens have dreams and our dreams can only come through if you have parental guidance and control. Our dreams can only come through if our parents put their heads, ego and desire for quick money down and listen to us and also pay attention to our dreams.
Though, most parents will say, what they do and the career they choose I’d got the child’s brighter future. The question here is, Is the child happy with this decision? Or can the child do it or cope well? Few months ago, I read a poem on Facebook that actually got my interest. It really made a lot of sense. It’s very long but I’ll summarize it. It says; A mum gives birth and the minute she gave birth, she called the child a lawyer while, the father called the child a doctor. They didn’t give the child a chance to make a choice. Now, they kept on training the child with this doctor occupation planted into his head. There wasn’t a way for him to say NO to it because, they weren’t interested in any other occupation apart from that one. He wasn’t good at it because that was what they wanted him to do, they paid their way through. He got all the necessary papers, documents and degrees and was finally addressed as a doctor. Not once did he pass his papers without cheating and other corrupt measures. Not once did he try treating a patient. Why? Because his parents didn’t really care. They only wanted the title “Iya doctor”
This continued for a year or so. He was earning large amount of money for doing nothing. Not until one day when they needed the so called best doctor to save a patients life by operating on the patient. That very day was the day he killed a patient and was sentenced to life imprisonment. His life was being ruined by his precious parents. His dreams were crushed. His parents killed him by not letting him decide. He was going to die because he wanted to please them. He was going to die because his parents only cared about their reputation and recognition.
So, my advise for our loving parents out there, is to please hear our voices and let us decide for ourself. We want you to guide us through with out dreams and believe in us. For once, put us first and into consideration and see how we’ll succeed. All teens are talented and have their areas of specialization. All we need is parental guidance and support.
Akwu lives in Port Harcourt.

 

By:  Cherie Akwu

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IYD: Making The Youths Relevant

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Today is International Youth Day, celebrated annually round the world to bring youth issues to the attention of the international community and celebrate the potentials of youth as partners in today’s global society. This year’s theme is, “Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for all Ages”.
In his speech to mark the day, United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, stated: “Today, we celebrate the International Youth Day and the power of partnerships across generations. The theme reminds us of the basic truth, we need people of all ages, young and old alike to join forces to build a better world for all.
When young people are shut out on the decisions being made about their lives or older people are denied the chance to be heard, we all lose.
Solidary and collaboration are more essential than ever as “our world faces series like to join forces to build a better world for all.
The Secretary-General reinterated that when young people are shut out on decisions being made about their lives or older people are denied the chance to be heard, we all would lose.
He however, noted that solidarity and collaboration are more essential than ever as our world faces series of challenges that threaten our collective future”, adding that, from COVID – 19 to climate change, to conflicts, poverty, inequality and discrimination, we need all hands on deck to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and live a better more peaceful future.
He also stressed the need to support young people with massive investment in education and skills building, and also support them to participate in civic and political life.
“We need to listen to young people, integrate them into the decision making mechanism at the local, national and international levels.
We need to ensure that other generations have access to social protection and opportunities to give back to their communities and share their decades of live experiences they have acquired. Let’s join hands across generations to break down barriers and work as one to achieve an equitable,just and inclusive world for all people,” he said.
Here in Rivers State, the state government had earlier commenced one week programme to celebrate youths from Friday 5th August, 2022.
Today,there will be a press statement at the conference hall of the Ministry of Youth Development and later the Rivers State  Youth Leadership Summit/Award Ceremony with Interactive session at Horlinkin’s event place, Eastern By-Pass,Port Harcourt.
Also, in Rivers State, non- governmental organisations are celebrating  this year’s youth day.
In an interview with The Tide, the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Development Supportive Initiative, Dr. Mina Ogbanga in commeration of the celebration said that the coalition of Non – Governmental Organisations  (NGOs) in Rivers State is looking at the  theme of the day by covering the generational gap and celebrate youths by calling for action for the activation  and domestication of the National Youth Policy by the Rivers State Government.
Dr. Ogbanga said the group is calling on all states in Nigeria especially Rivers States to come to the aid of youths to domesticate the National Youth Policy which cut across all the Sustainable Development Goals.
According to her: “The National Youth Policy is a framework that is supposed to drive development for the young people in the country.  The impact is that if government can keep to the commitment as contained in the policy, the nation will have positive youths.
“We are closed to electioneering campaign period and we wouldn’t want our youths to be used negatively.  Most youths are out of school and might be vunerable .
This year’s celebration is very apt. We want a transformed society where youths would not be vunerable, roaming the streets, taking drugs, internet frauds, kidnapping and all sorts of negative vices. We need the political will to take action in the needs of the youths. So we are calling on everybody to help actualise it”.
She however noted that her group is working with partners to see how the National Youth Policy can be implemented in Rivers State in line with this year’s celebration, in order to engage youths constructively  through employment by creating incubation centres for youths across the local government areas in Rivers State.
She stated that the process is currently ongoing and is carried out by he Youths Development Cluster (Centre for Development, Supportive Intiative and Relief International ) in Rivers State. The cluster head at the National is Youth Alive Foundation and Sponsored  by USAID and PALLADIUM,under the scale project.
International Youth Day is celebrated annually on 12th August to bring youth issues to the attention of the international community and celebrate the potential of youth as partners in today’s global society.
The Day gives an opportunity to celebrate and mainstream young people’s voices, actions and intiatives as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement. It was established by UN General Assembly which on 17 December 1999, endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers responsible for youth calling for 12th August to be declared International Youth Day.

By: Ibinabo Ogolo

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Need To Take Care Of Children Worldwide

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At the end of last year, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) released a new report, ‘Preventing A Lost Decade: Urgent Action’ to reverse the devastating impact of COVID- 19 on children and young people. While it is easy for reports released in December to get lost in the end of the year rush, this report needs everyone’s attention. UNICEF called COVID-19 the greatest challenge to children in its 75-year history; and the situation is exacerbated by conflict, disaster, and climate change.
The facts tell a sobering story about the impact of the pandemic on children.
In less than two years, 100 million more children have fallen into poverty, a 10 percent, increase since 2019.
In 2020, over 23 million children missed out on essential vaccines.
50 million children suffer from wasting, the most life-threatening form of malnutrition, and this could increase by 9 million by 2022
At its peak in March 2020, 1.6 billion children were facing school closure.
Behind every one of these numbers are real stories: young children were left behind as preschool closed and food lines grew. School age children, particularly those with the most to gain, had limited access to remote learning. Teens suffered from social isolation and lack of mental health supports, and growing demands for early marriage. Parents tried their best to keep it all going; yet too often without the financial and social resources they needed. And the unpredictability of everyday life brought stress that seemed almost impossible to bear.
Fortunately, many communities around the world rallied: volunteers delivered food, distributed protective equipment and set up new hygiene facilities, and teachers worked to connect children with resources at home. We were all inspired by stories of people working for change, from health care workers to childcare providers, from youth to seniors.
Yet the challenges facing children were alarming even before COVID-19 became a household word. Approximately, one billion children, nearly half of the world’s children live in countries that are at an “extremely high risk” from the impacts of climate change and more and more children are forcibly displaced, all too often from conflict that could have been and should have been avoided.
Clearly, those in positions of power need to make investing in children, families, and communities a priority this year and in the years ahead. This is particularly true for U.S Foreign Assistance. Building on earlier work, in June of 2019, the U.S. launched Advancing Protection and Care for Children in Adversity: A United States Government Strategy for International Assistance (2019-23). This important document outlines a strategy for investing in the world’s most vulnerable children. In 2020 Congress passed the Global Child Thrive Act, providing additional direction for U.S. Government to invest in early childhood development. These are both important steps; now we all have to assure that they receive the attention and resources that this movement deserves.
The UNICEF report outlines an urgent agenda for action for children, including recommendations to invest in social protection, health, and education as well as building resilience to better prevent, respond to and protect children. Government, business and civil society and the public need to work together. But as in any crises, each individual action makes a difference. We can not wait for someone else to step forward with a solution. Each of us must ask: What can I do to help a neighbour, work in my community, build awareness, provide another voice, help empower others? What else can we do to integrate these issues into every field of study: from health to education, from diplomacy to economic development, from environmental studies to urban planning and design?
In their powerful new book, The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times, Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams with Gail Hudson, addressed an important question-How do we stay hopeful when everything seems hopeless? What is so uplifting about this story is that it draws a clear link between hope and action. It seems to be telling us that, while important, it is not the resilience of nature or the human intellect alone that matter, but also our spirit and belief in the possibilities and the power to take action. I can’t think of a better year to start.
Lombardi is an international expert on early childhood development and Senior Fellow at the Collaborative on Global Children’s Issues, Georgetown University.

By: Joan Lombardi

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COVID-19 In Babies And Children: Symptoms, Prevention

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With the re-occurring traits of COVID – 19 in Nigeria, it is important that parents and gurdians take extra care of their children.  Reports from Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has it that,as from 16th to18th July, 2022, 478 new cases were confirmed and two deaths recorded.
A paediatrician and infectious disease expert, Dr Aaron Milstone at the Johns Hopkins Children Centre, has advised that it is important for parents and children to take every possible safety precautions and understand all risks and symptoms related to COVID – 19.
Dr Milstone talked about COVID – 19 symptoms in children, how to keep babies and children safe,the risk infected children may lose to others and an overview of Multi system Inflammatory Syndrome in Children  (MIS – C), an unknown but serious condition that may be related to the exposure of the virus.
He added that coronavirus variants, including the very contagious omicron variant has continued to spread, particularly in areas with low rates of community COVID – 19 vaccination among populations such as children under 5, who cannot yet be vaccinated.
According to him, “For children too young to be vaccinated, and adults who have not received Coronavirus vaccines,it is important to follow proven COVID -19 precautions such as mask wearing when in public,indoor places to reduce the chance of becoming infected with the coronavirus. “Indoor activities are riskier than outdoor activities, but risk can be reduced by masking, distancing, hand washing and improved ventilation. Parents and caregivers should understand that children infected with the coronavirus can develop complications requiring hospitalisation and can transmit the virus to others,” Milstone said.
He noted that, in rare cases,children infected with the coronavirus  can develop a serious lung infection and become sick with COVID – 19 and deaths have occurred. That is why it is important to take precautions and prevent infection in children as well as adults.
“According to U. S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC), it appears that women infected with coronavirus can in rare cases pass the disease to their babies. Adding that, infants can also become infected shortly after being born,and most newsborns who test positive for the coronavirus have mild symptoms or none at all and recover, but serious cases have occured.
Pregnant women should take extra precautions,including talking to their doctors about getting a COVID – 19 vaccine to avoid the coronavirus.
Milstone also noted that,there is no evidence that the virus causing COVID – 19 is present in breastmilk but because there is a possibility of spreading COVID – 19 during breastfeeding through respiratory droplets,it is very important for pregnant women to follow safety guidelines.
“Generally, COVID – 19 symptoms in children and babies are milder than those in adults and some infected children may not have any signs of being sick at all; the symptoms include cough,shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing, muscle or body aches,sore throat, loss of smell or taste, diarrhea, headache, new fatigue, nausea or vomiting and congestion or running nose . Fever and cough are common COVID – 19 symptoms in both adults and children, shortness of breath is more likely to be seen in adults . However, serious illness in children with COVID -19 is possible and parents should stay alert if their child is diagnosed with or shows signs of the disease”, Milstone said.

By: Ibinabo Ogolo

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