By Kidane Eyob,
The mass media in the west is so obsessed with the conflict in Syria, Egypt, Somalia, Congo and Nigeria that they can’t hear the “sound of silence” of the Golden Youth in Eritrea, who are selflessly defending Eritrea’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as unconditionally supporting their government and people by playing a pivotal role in Eritrea’s social, political, economic and infrastructural development. Indeed, they are doing the best they can under extremely difficult circumstances.
The moral, social, political, diplomatic and material “support” provided by Eritreans in Diaspora to their families and country cannot be underestimated but that is what it was, during the armed struggle for independence, still is and will always be, “support”. The Golden Youth in Eritrea is the driving force and the moral responsibility of Eritreans in Diaspora is to provide unconditional “support” without any strings attached. Attempts to glorify the roles, responsibilities, capabilities and contributions made by Eritreans in Diaspora by repackaging, re-branding and relocating event venues will neither change the outcome nor the facts on the ground inside Eritrea and expecting Eritreans to believe otherwise is an insult to their intelligence.
The most serious Eritrea’s problem was created by TPLF’s client (CIA) with a budget of over $52 billion when the border conflict broke out in 1998, just around the time when Eritrea celebrates its independence. Over 200,000 Golden Youth fought day and night to safeguard Eritrea’s sovereignty and territorial integrity for over two years and about 20,000 of them paid the ultimate price. Thanks to the Golden Youth, Eritrea’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, peace and security has been guaranteed.
After what seemed to be mission impossible was accomplished, the Golden Youth pursued the other, equally important mission of nation building rather than allow the enemy to derail Eritrea’s short and long term SMART objectives (SMART -Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant Time bound). It is not by sheer luck or coincidence therefore, that Eritrea is set to achieve most of the Millennium Development Goals while other third world countries are struggling.
After Eritrea’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, peace and security has been guaranteed, on the top of the priority list is obviously food security, without food security a nation cannot be truly independent, people’s health will be compromised and no one will be expected to go to school or work in an empty stomach. Since independence, the Golden Youth has been working day and night to achieve food security by building dams and terraces in order to preserve rain water which can be utilised for irrigation agriculture. Over the years, their skills in construction and project management as well as capacity development has grown dramatically, such that nowadays, they are fully competent and are delivering projects like construction of dams in a fraction of the time it took them few years ago. Here are two important lessons learnt, “practice makes perfect” and “action speaks loader than words”.
The third on the priority list would be the provision of free health care to all nationals regardless of their geographical location and social and economic status. The Golden Youth is not only building hospitals and clinics but serving the public as competent health professionals including as doctors trained inside Eritrea in what used to be Asmara University. The buildings of former Asmara University are currently being used by Orotta School of Medicine and Dental Medicine students as well as Law Students.
The fourth on the list is the provision of free education to all nationals regardless of their geographical location, gender, age, social and economic status. In addition to the mainstream education from nursery to universities and technical colleges, members of the defence forces have their own training facilities, then, there is education and training including long-distance courses given to professionals working for various ministries. Also, there is a massive project to eradicate illiteracy through adult education classes taking place nationwide as well vocational technical training in tailoring and design in traditional and modern textile targeting women with no income and families of fallen heroes.
And, here is another impressive and record breaking news regarding education, in a centre that many people have named, little Eritrea, Sawa. This academic year, more than 21,000 students from 83 High Schools nationwide arrived in Sawa to compete their 12th grade education. For the first time in Sawa’s history, the ratio of the male to female students are almost in equal proportions, with the female students comprising 44.5%. As Sawa will be celebrating its 20th anniversary and the Eritrean Youth Festival in 2014, tens of thousands of Eritrean youth are expected to flock to Sawa to celebrate this glorious occasion. Watch the space …..
Other items on the priority list would naturally fall into their appropriate places like pieces of a jigsaw once the sovereignty, peace and security of the nation is guaranteed, people have food to eat, are in good health and are educated/ skilled and provided with equal opportunities of training and employment.
The aforementioned paramount SMART objectives will naturally create a safe, secure and conducive environment for a healthy, well-fed, educated and competent youth to build a nation that has holistic development in equal proportions, nationwide.
• No to the occupation of Eritrean land
• No to keeping the demarcation process hostage
• No to unjust and illegal sanctions based on fabricated evidence
• No to shortcuts and quick fixes
• No to support that comes with strings attached
• No to personal gains and profiteering in the name of Eritrean youth and
• No to foreign interference.
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