Rwanda – Gatenga Youth Center: amid coronavirus lockdown on activities, young people not discouraged
(ANS - Kigali) - Among the hardest hit by the lockdown on activities, in different ways and at different times, practically globally, are young people: young people who inevitably have dreams, plans, expectations ... All things that have been stopped or at least suspended at this stage. At the "Don Bosco" Youth Center in Gatenga, in Kigali, the Director and several young people met to elaborate past problems with awareness and identify prospects of hope in and for the future.
“I'm a student from Gatenga; I'm attending the five-year courses, the hotel sector. The pandemic has affected us in various ways. We were on the verge of completing our secondary education courses, but this was not possible because of coronavirus. We felt discouraged, but we could not remain in this state. So we started to review the materials of the lessons on our own,” said a young female student from the Salesian center.
The same spirit of resilience in the face of difficulties belongs to Fr Innocent Gatete, SDB, Director of the Gatenga center, who broadcast a message and made it rekindle among his young people, too, this last Monday 11 May, as part of the Salesian solidarity activities to help those affected by the blockage of activities that take place near the Salesian work.
Addressing the young, Fr Gatete assured them that the coronavirus pandemic is under control and encouraged them to make good use of time at home. “Do not be afraid. The epidemic will pass and we'll soon return to school, and our activities at the oratory will resume. While at home, review the lessons you have done; follow the programs of the Ministry of Education on radio and television.”
The spread of COVID-19 in the world has deprived young people of the moments of joy and sociability they previously experienced and lived by participating in the oratorian activities.
Niyitegeka Moses, a young sports coach at the Gatenga Youth Center, explains what the problem was from his point of view: “The great challenge that we young people are facing is that the epidemic has slowed down our 'cruising speed'. This prevents us from completing some of the projects we had planned, while others are at a standstill.”
He then continued: “Some government youth programs have been postponed due to the freeze on activities. In fact, many things have not been done as expected and this will likely have a negative impact on development.”
However, this young coach believes that with concrete measures, taken locally, there is still hope for a better future.
“Being young, we will have to be active and inventive so as to be sure that once we start again we won't be starting from scratch, but rather that when the time comes, we can soon catch up,” he observed.
- AGL AFRICA GRANDI LAGHI