Sierra Leone

Our Generation, Our Responsibility: George Shadrack Kamanda Pens Eye-Catching Note To Young People In Sierra Leone

By: George Shadrack Kamanda

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The Present

Our generation, our responsibility

There is hope for us to hold on to

There are signs of progress

but we yearn for more

There is the willingness to change

but our willingness

  must be matched with objective citizenship.

On Affiliations

My fellow countrymen and women

politically affiliated

or apolitically molded

everyday objectivity on national issues

must remain our resolve and cornerstone.

On Governance

The country we all want deserves us all

and rightly so

Our processes may change, but our principles don’t

Constructive support and criticism

of governments’ actions and inactions are part of the process

Violence and incivility of any kind are not.

On Social Change

Our generation, our responsibility

We need an eco-mind

a mind to change the way we think

to create the country we want

We must renounce utter dependency and ignorance

and embrace genuine public service

with eyes on shaping generational leaders

that can rise above the rancor of partisanship

We have ongoing challenges

but we can rise to these challenges

We need citizens that stand on values

not a citizenry that monetize their rights and responsibilities

to the highest bidder.

On the Common Good

Our generation, our responsibility

Wherever we are,

whatever we are doing, in good faith,

together, we can make Sierra Leone

a nation where merits and values matter

more than mere affiliations

and where excellence is celebrated,

 and mediocrity is frown upon.

The country we all want deserves us all:

The brave

The pessimists

The hopefuls

The optimists

The exhausted

The young

The critics

The active and passive observers

and sometimes, the naysayers.

On Responsibilities

Our responsibility is to speak truth to power

irrespective of political affiliations or kind.

Our responsibility is to speak truth to the needs of society.

On Externalities

We cannot let other peoples’ insecurities become our own

nor others bigotry to become our burden.

On Accountability

We must distinguish truth from theatre

facts from fiction

We have to know what truth feels like

and what truth sounds like

A note to my generation,

is one of hope amidst uncertainties

one of caution, despite irregularities

And one of progress, and the willingness to

press on for that progress

Our generation, our responsibility

But we have work to do

because Sierra Leone at 60 and always

deserves our best.

In Unity, Peace and Justice.

The End –

About the Author

George Shadrack Kamanda is the founder and executive director of the Necessity Firm, a nonprofit firm in Sierra Leone focused on shaping whole citizens while also serving as an institute for responsible citizenship by promoting civic education at the intersection of advocacy. George is a published author of three books, a good governance advocate and a civic educator. George’s experiences include a presentation at the United Nations in New York, a diplomatic trainee internship at the European Parliament while also being a member of the prestigious Global Ethical Leaders Society (GELS) at Case Western Reserve University. This summer, he will intern at Human Rights Watch in NY as Klatsky Human Rights Fellow. He holds a bachelor’s in Political Science from Saint Joseph’s University, a Certificate in Global Human Rights from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, and a JD candidate at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He is currently on leave from law school for the 2020/21 academic year to pursue a Master of Studies degree in Diplomatic Studies from the University of Oxford.

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