FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
I am happy to present the first blog edition of “Write the Future,” the online component of ELI Africa’s journalism class. Below are the articles written by our journalism students.
After spending a month in the classroom with them, I can tell you firsthand that these students are incredibly motivated, talented, and quick to learn. Their grasp of hard-hitting issues is unparalleled and inspiring. Keep an eye out for the second edition of “Write the Future,” which will feature editorials written by the students.
Enjoy the hard work of these remarkable young adults.
Lindsay Pearlman, Editor in Chief
1. CHILD LABOR FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE
By Nabee Pallavi
Who is a child? Is he someone aged below 18 years old as defined by legal terms or another form of God as the worldly philosophers behold? This remains a myth as the so-called emblem of the almighty has been converted into the most efficient tool to accomplish illegal and immoral tasks to please evil-minded adults; although the mighty and prestigious United Nation stated that “the child must be protected against every form of exploitation.”
The sensational news is that these fresh buds’ world has been eclipsed as the dark shadow of ‘Child Labour’ has been creeping in their lives.
In developing countries, Child Labor is the worst-kept secret. Shocking is the data which unveils that the “International Labor Organization estimates that nearly 30% of 50 million to 100 million domestic workers worldwide are children.” Hence, the despicable situation of the 13-year old child maid, keyed in her employees’ house and bored slave-like treatment, is not unique to India as a proportion of Indonesian, Morroccan, and Guinean girls work 12 hours a day or more hours a day, seven days a week, for a small portion of the minimum wage—if ever they are paid. In China, it is another story. Not only do the sixteen year old aged workers accquire minim wages but they even lose or break their fingers on the job yearly in lead-caked toy factories. Is it a prerequisite consequence of the ‘Economy Marathon’ in which developping countries have set; that industries recruit children to decrease the capital spent on Human Resource?
Setting a glance at the Sex Industry amy urges us to pronounce a ‘NO’ to our question. If it was about only economic reasons then there would not have been girls children shooting pornographic films. An asian realistic film depicts a story about a boy coming from a poor family and involves himself in ‘Flesh Trade.’ He actually pleases gay and elite businessman sexually and willingly to cater for his basic needs and desires, so he eventually gets used to his job. So, “are children being brought up in conciousness that its talent must be devoted to the service of its fellow men,” as the UN stated? Moreover, children are sexually active due to sexual violence at work premises or if sex, itself, is their job, so it is not surprising for children to give birth to children.
In Mauritius, it is a completely different case. With the agreement of their parents, Mauritian adolescents work as sales girls/boys, mechanics, helpers, cashiers and clerks etc but during school/college holidays, especially at the end of year in order to raise their families’ financial budgets and to be able to afford their own expenditures, as it is the time of the year when Mauritian families have to shop for their home, relatives and childrens’ clothes and school stationery. So, in a way the adolescents’ jobs lessen the burden of expenditure on their parents’ shoulders but also the teenagers prefer to enjoy themselves by having an occupation rather than being lazy bones at home.
While a ‘ job’ represents leisure and financial resources for a fraction of young adolescents for the mature ones, it is a ‘gateway’ to acquire a better job after their graduation. After the completion of Higher School Certificate, school leavers set on the search for a decent job they can add in the curriculum vitae to convince their future employers that they are already seasoned in a working environment and they are able to uphold responsibilities efficiently; because on our island, a job is not given only on the basis of qualifications but ‘experience’ also. Hence, the Mauritian Government in collaboration with Human Resource Development Council undertook the initiative to create job placements for Lower Six Students during the winter and summer holidays for about 1 month, for them to be conversant with job life and to nurture a sense of independence in their personality. (2007/2008)
Two new windows have opened to us to show that children are penetrating the ‘Sex World’ at one end and at the far end, intelligent teenagers are stepping into the job market to be successful in life. This fresh generation has been divided! Should the adults be blamed or the children? Adults give birth to children and exploit the latter itself sexually, so can we say that ‘Humanity’ is on the verge of becoming extinct? Or should we say that it depends on the Country Set-up where in developing countries there is a buoyed number of child workers and on the other side children are having job-placement facilities by the government? The answer is in YOU!!
2. YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT IN MAURITIUS
By Nimah Joomratty
“The best social program is a good job.” This was said by Bill Clinton. Mauritius is being deeply affected by youth unemployment in recent years. Considering the quote from Sir Clinton, can we assure ourselves that the country will be socially stabilized in the coming years? If youngsters are not employed, what are they going to be? Robbers, drug addicts? What will happen to the society? These questions arise in our minds when we think of the problem of youth unemployment in Mauritius.
Our major concern is the number of graduates unemployed today. Earlier, people used to say that education can help people climbing up the social ladder. Education can save us from poverty and make us achieve a higher status. With the amount of graduates unemployed today, do we still think in the same way? Well, for young graduates who are unemployed, it is not easy to think in this particular way. It has been reported from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) that unemployment is rising among graduates. This is indeed a harsh reality. If they are realizing that unemployment is increasing among graduates actions should be taken. The government should try to solve this problem. Employment should be created. A report from “My trails in Agriculture and Youth Leadership” says that students put up their efforts to study hard and obtain a degree but when they go on the job market to search for a job, employers refuse to employ them due to the fact that they don’t have job experience. Considering this fact, we question ourselves, “Are the universities lacking in the formations that young graduates have to face this situation again and again?”
A solution should be sorted out for these problems, or else, Mauritius can become the victim of robberies, crimes and so on. When youngsters work hard and obtain nothing out of it, it is obvious that they will be frustrated and these frustrations can lead them to become thieves, criminals, drug addicts and robbers. Unemployment can destroy our society. As Bill Clinton says, “ I do not believe we can repair the basic fabric of society until people who are willing to work have work. Work organizes life. It gives structure and discipline to life”
One way how unemployment problems in Mauritius can be solved is that the government should find out all the reasons as to why this problem is occurring here and try to solve most of them. For Mauritius to remain a paradise, unemployment problems must be solved.
3. THE PINCH OF ANGER
By Yashinee Newoor
We all know—that pinch of incredible anger! We have felt it also, maybe every day.
Anger is all but natural in everyone’s way one time or the other. Every person gets angry—a fight with your boyfriend or girlfriend, the failure for not completing a project on time, the despair for not having enough money to buy a nice shirt, for missing the bus and getting late to work…in almost every difficult situation one feels angry. Anger is an innate emotion, usually a normal and healthy one of every human being. However, as long as that fleeting rage is in control, all seems typical and usual, but once it goes beyond control, it can turn out destructive. An angry mind does not let reason overpower the heart and, in time, you become a puppet of the latter, it’s all done—all ruined.
Think of the temporary uncontrollable anger that stops us from differentiating between right and wrong. The 17 year old who recently murdered his step-mother in the fit of anger is the best example of the destructive nature of anger which is rooted in a mild irritation and ended in an intense wrath as mentioned by the psychologist Charles Spielberger. Different are the ways of expressing anger—some express it out in an assertive way, some suppress it deep inside to demonstrate a poised behaviour and some just calm down by controlling both internal and external responses to frustration. In case, if any of these means of expressing anger fails, the outcomes are simply catastrophic and unthinkable.
Avoiding things or faces that you hate will not chuck out angry emotions and all that is needed is to change the reaction towards anger. Learning to control temptation, jealousy as well as anger is the hardest examination one could ever take. Anger management becomes vital to make less tolerant people become spongier so that they can absorb fierce emotion of anger in their everyday busy life. It is impossible to give a fake smile when anger takes over then do not even try it. All you will need is just to relax on your sofa, close your eyes, enjoy a good music and drive away all your triggering anger. It is worth a try.
4. THE DEFINITION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
By Ramanta Devi Ramchurn and Gawtam Meethoo Kumar
Violence in the family includes battering by intimate partners and others, sexual abuse of female children and young women. Abuse of domestic workers can also be considered in this category. Domestic violence is also defined as any violence that occurs in a household, whether between close family relationships or even many distant relatives who happen to be living under the same roof.
Today, domestic violence is becoming a well-known problem, but few people realize that women in romantic relationships aren’t the only victims. Domestic violence is defined as any violence that occurs in a household, whether between close family relationships or even among distant relatives who happen to be living under the roof. The most widely publicized forms of domestic violence include that between the husband or father as abuser and girlfriend, wives and children as victims, although it can actually occur between any family members.
According to Richard Armen:
The general research shows that childhood abuse is often associated with lesser and that the early onset of misbehavior or may increase the variety, seriousness, and duration of problems. General delinquency research shows that childhood abuse is often associated with delinquency and that the early onset of maltreatment may increase the variety, seriousness, and duration of problems. It is also widely suggested that violence begets violence that today’s abused children become tomorrow’s violent offenders.
“The honest truth about domestic violence is that it is a series of battle skirmishes, middle to great conflicts and wars, and deadly and near suicidal happenings. There is no give and take, and there is no happy medium. Jealously is at its heights, and hurtful rhetoric comes from all sides and tactics. This pair is not on earth to be peaceful and to be happy,” said Alfred B. Porter, Jr. They have a hidden agenda to be cruel to anyone that allows them to be cruel and hurtful to them. There are people who seek out abusers and people who treat them badly. They are constantly seeking out victims and those who want to be victims. Those victims for whatever history need to be victims. You will always have your poor, abusers and your victims in any given society—that is how the system works. It is sad, but true.
Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, yet the problem is often overlooked, excused, or denied. This is especially true when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical. Noticing and acknowledging the signs of an abusive relationship is the first step to ending it. No one should live in fear of the person they love.
5. HOPELESS SOCIAL WORKERS
Why are people reluctant to do social work even though it is great work?
By Gaveshanaaa Ramburn
“This is wrong.” Nowadays there are less social workers in the country. This is because of the chief department of the social workers profession. The social workers cannot survive only on doing social work. Besides this they have another job which they do. There is no volunteer who would like to take his own leave to do social work for the public. Only three permissions are granted in one year to do such work. I interviewed my father as he is a social worker and he said that he likes to do social work and that he wants to serve the children of his locality. But the main problem nowadays is, people are discouraged to do social work because they don’t get the facility to do it.
For example: my father works in the Special Mobile Force as a Gun fitter and he is a social worker. He is the president of D’Epinay Government School. A few months ago he received an official letter from the president of PTA for an Annual General Meeting. But, with great surprise, he showed the letter to his chief department and was refused to get paid leave and he was told that he had already got his three paid leaves and now he had to take his own leave to attend the AGM. But how is it possible for a person to do social work if they don’t get the support of their superiors in their work? If they have to spent all their leaves, time and make expenses by themselves, it is possible for any social worker in the entire world, but only if the person is ready to make a great sacrifice!
My suggestion to the government and the chief who is in charge of the department is to be more flexible on this issue “of having permission” in their work. It is important so that social workers can be encouraged by their superior to do such work. Because not only today but also in the future it would be useful for a better society!
6. HOW FACEBOOK MAY LEAD TO THE ANNIHILATION OF A YOUNGSTER’S IMAGE
By Naiko Yash and Raghoobur Arti
Facebook has today revolutionized the world and it touches every imaginable area of our life, starting from education to business. These statistics has been obtained from the website Social Bakers: Researchers have proven that the total number of Mauritian people on Facebook is approximately 323800: precisely 55% males and 45% females. The majority of us on this site come across information such as the latest news and can even adopt online shopping. But sometimes it can also be nefarious for those who are addicted to it causing health problems like depression. Obviously, it is also understandable that some youngsters who still lack self-control misuse this site for their personal motives. Owing to technological modernization, it has been proven that many things could be done on Facebook which could be detrimental to people like creating a fake account in their name for wrong doings and so on so, let us take an example to clarify this fact.
Especially among adolescents, whenever two friends are implicated in an argument, they create chaos at school and, as revenge, they naturally end up on Facebook by posting unpleasant comments on each other’s walls. On the other hand, the main target is to tarnish the reputation of the school itself. After posting that, others will be aware and will also want to indulge themselves in that problem. Hence, they seized that opportunity to post slanderous comments. However, gossip is overemphasized in the society creating nihilism and, gossip can ruin a person’s reputation as well as that of the school. It is a distasteful violation of human rights. Moreover gossip is like a worm in an apple, to some extent, even through it may be mundane and even entertaining for some youngsters. Sometimes it can be morally damaging in terms of respect, relationships and also career.
Relentless Armageddon against human dignity is deplorably widespread in our contemporary world. Gossip is not really condemned by law; it remains frivolous. But the question is if there is any draconian law to save human dignity or to combat the problem that is being faced on Facebook?