As the names of those consumed by the blood thirsty Al-shabaab terrorist in Garissa University College were published in the Kenyan media, my attention was drawn by the headline in the Kenya people daily: “Youth under grip of Shabaab spell.” Going through it i was forced to agree to what they stated as the cause as to why the youth are under the spell. It makes sense to guess that most of the youths might have been recruited to the group because they : lack the platform to heard , because of their low socioeconomic status, their perceived sense of injustice and a desire to change the world.
Just like Andreas Lubitz of Germanwings A320 told his friend ” one day i will do something that will change the whole system and all will know my name and remember it.” he brought down an aeroplane clashing with several passangers in. He instantly shot to the lime light in the world. The same might have been the case of the terrorist who committed the heinous act at Garissa University. However that is not my emphasis now. I want to concentrate on why i think the issues raised by the journalists in the newspaper are valid reason to believe that the youths are at the verge of giving in to the dangerous groups like Al Shabab and other cults. And why i think the Government, religious organization, churches and parents need to consider social innovation as a strategy to prevent the tragedy.
Believe me In the absence hope, disillusion is what occupy our minds, in the absence of appreciation and recognition arrogance and self-pity take center stage, in the absence of social and economic freedom, terrorism, robbery with violence becomes the order of the day. Most of our African countries young generation are the receiver of all these vices. Until we realize that it is important to nurture the current generation, we should never dream of a better future, instead we should prepare for a more chaotic society. Personally i prefer peace to chaos. That is why i am ready to discuss the solution to these malady: #socialinnovation.
Social Innovation is a process of collective creation in which members of a certain society learn to invent and lay out new rules for a social game of collaboration and of conflict resolution -(Crozier and Friedberg 1993.) As Africans this is what we need urgently. We need to set out different rules if we desire to see reasonable change. It is what we need to prevent young people from being radicalized. Ask me how we can go about it? Beaural of European Policy Advisory (BEPA) consider Empowering people and Driving change as the essential elements of social innovation. I too think empowering, educating and offering platform for engaging the youth as crucial in impacting lives. Can we try it out. yes! but i leave that to you as a social entrepreneur to make a decision.
My desire and prayer will be for us to raise up and start mentorship programs. These can be a sure way of passing the right values to the young people. Religious Organization, should take the lead and Education system reevaluated. The government systems should be reinvented. These together to sooth the fundamental changes in attitude, values, strategies and organization structures and the process of delivering services. In wholesome, we need to allow the voice of the young people to gain relevance by letting them to speak and considering their opinions as significant in the collective fight against terrorism and corruption.
Social innovation holds the key to development of the society in this knowledge and service economy. Let us give it a chance. Take it from me Africa -social innovation will never let us down.