Editorial Comment – Good change

Members of the Simla Eco Youth Group. Picture: REPEKA NASIKO

WE carry a report today on page five about some young people forming a group to help improve their lives. What is important to note is not the initiative to form the group, but one of its stated aims, that members will become more active community members. Often we have heard about such initiatives, but with a difference, where the focus is very much on the development on the individual. When the life of the individual improves, this has a ripple effect or so it is hoped to those closest to him or her. In this way, the positive change and its effects are shared by the person concerned and those close enough to share in the positivity of change. Maybe, it is based on the premise that change happens slowly, you can change one aspect of something at a time. Chnage one person and that person as part of the process will sooner or later, through the power of their words and/or actions, effect the desired change in someone else. At Simla Housing Estate in Lautoka, what these young people are being taught, is that they can help themselves and their community at the same time. Some may argue that the only difference is in the way it is described, on the ground, there is not much difference or even none at all. They may even go further and say, such change is good whichever way it comes. On that, we cannot disagree. Initiatives, projects or programs which bring about such changes are indeed very good for all concerned. However, it is still important to emphasise the Simla group’s stance that their members can have a brighter future through being active community members. If not for anything else, but just for the fact that it is a change in the way some of us look at things. Maybe, those who were instrumental in the forming of the group thought it best to draw on communalism in their quest to help their members. Whatever it is, it is also equally important to note that change, and good change at that, is happening. Also important to remember is that worthwhile efforts will always have challenges. For these young people of Simla, it might have come from those close to them who scoffed at the idea of helping others in the community as they, the young people, could not even help themselves find employment opportunities and further their education. Yet, they have taken a step to help themselves. They must be applauded and encouraged to keep up with what they have started. We are told a similar group exists at another housing estate in Lautoka. Maybe the idea could be used in other places around our country where there is a sizeable population of unemployed young people. Given this change is good some, by design or otherwise, may be a hindrance to the group’s progress. They must be identified and the appropriate action taken to ensure good is not derailed.

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