Youths in Africa are constricted by many challenges today. From lacking basic needs like food and water, education and employment, to difficulties in facing the society they are living in today, young people are under siege. Many are yet to be aware of the significance of the five dimensions of a human being. They do not understand fully how critical it is to pay attention to their physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and social wellbeing.
It does not matter whether youths appear to be leading normal lives, whether in school or out of school, working or jobless, if incarcerated in prison or free. Notwithstanding their situations and environments, youths need to be guided, trusted, protected, and well prepared for life. They must be helped to see and face their challenges using the eyes and ears of Jesus. They must be helped to adopt his leadership model.
In a world where young people are literally overlooked in many African and other developing countries, conversion is important. One could understand conversion as a new way of looking to one another, a way of leading communities, families and States, and a new-found way of carrying out our diverse responsibilities.
In putting the youth at the centre, AJAN centres across the network want to see that conversion happening among the young people. Jesuits and collaborators believe that every positive change only starts from within oneself. The task might appear huge, but we know that running 100 miles starts with a step. It is a way of helping them see all things new in Christ.
Fr. Ismael Matambura, Director of AJAN