(Note: author of the article is Tim Bowles of Youth for Human Rights International, a Church of Scientology front group.)
I have held an abiding interest in assisting people in the most challenging areas of the world since my college days in the 1960s. I met Youth for Human Rights International President, Mary Shuttleworth, in early 2005 and agreed to volunteer on a few youth training projects. Traveling to assist the group with a regional conference in Ghana that year, I saw the need for broad human rights education in that region and this program developed from that realization.
Africa represents the worst and the best in humanity. West Africa particularly is the site of some of the most infamous atrocities since the close of World War II. Yet, for all the invitations the populace has had to descend into unrelenting hatred and retribution, I have found Africans intensely ready and willing to work for and secure survival for themselves, their communities and the continent’s population as a whole.
While their desire and demand for change is obvious, they face enormous challenges. With all their natural resources, will the people of Africa be able to acquire the know-how they need to capitalize on them? Will they harness the greatest resource they have—the youth of their countries—through effective education programs? Will they be able to create and sustain the ethical, competent leadership and organization they need to actually pull out of the dwindling spiral of polarization, violence and destruction?