Notwithstanding the amount of knowledge and ideas that we may pump into the minds of African youth, or the volumes of scripture we may read to them, if they do not undergo conversion in their mindsets there will be no positive impact in their lives. The knowledge we give to them must meet a readiness to learn for the conception of a new way of thinking to happen. Romans 12:2 reads: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”. This scripture passage shows us that the mind of a person, in our case youth, can be changed for the better so that they can see and act as God intended for them.
The manner of life a human being leads is determined by their early experiences in life. Behaviour is a result of values acquired through life. This is why we are urged to not conform to the ways of this world, but to accept to undergo renewal. Again, once certain actions are undertaken repeatedly, they become habit which is hard to dislodge because they are anchored in the subliminal mind.
The deep convictions which drive a person’s life are values and principles deposited in the subconscious mind. Unfortunately, it is here where targeted or weaponized information is delivered to a youth through peers, social and mainstream media, and other sources is stored. This information is not always life-giving.
If the young people can meditate upon the word of God, it will find its way into the subliminal section of the mind, and it will begin to transform their lives. Therefore, we should not tire, but persist with effective communication which can carry the values and principles of life which will then transform the minds and consequently the lives of our youth. AJAN believes that change in the society starts with the change of mind driven by holistic education and care for the youths.
The November 2021 Edition of AJANews presents various activities from the field centres and the AJAN secretariat. The secretariat has been carrying out capacity building in Kenyan prisons in partnership with the Catholic Diocese of Nairobi which will eventually be replicated to other areas, and we have a story about the training of prison officers at Kamiti Maximum prison. This edition also contains a story about youth entrepreneurship training in Chikuni, Zambia, where young people were trained to care for the planet, fight poverty, unemployment, and hunger through aquaculture farming. Centre Maisha in the DRC launched the Ignatian year AJAN-sponsored youth-led activities focusing on care for the planet, and alcoholism impact among the youth. Awareness creation done for Peer educators of youth health clubs by Service Yezu Mwiza in Burundi focusing on sexual and reproductive health (SRH), prevention against sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), HIV and drugs abuse, and so on.
While investing in the youth, the ultimate dream of AJAN is to generate, from the grassroots, a healthy young generation which is fully equipped, responsible, committed, aware of their role in society, and engaged in the development of the African continent.