Joan of Arc, Napoleon Bonaparte, Dr. Faiz Khaleed, Leon Gabrowsky– what do these names have in common ? They were all once youth, and peaked in their respective careers and lives as youths. They all had the capacity to give, and when fronted with the challenges, they nailed it right through. Nobody could have imagined a 17 year old French peasent girl leading the French army to lift the siege in Orleans from the British army or Leon Graboswky, who at 27 became the youngest captain of a destroyer in WW2. United Nations brackets youth as those between 15-24, though other states in the world have their ranges. As in Malaysia, its 15-30 based on the new Malaysia Youth Policy (2016) replacing the prior 15-40 based on National Youth Development Policy (1997). Youth should be nurtured just like a budding flower grown on fertile ground, where fresh water, clean air and sunlight is available. Like how each petal is unique, it will and shall all bloom given the required conditions are available.
From this perspective, our kids, since young should be nurtured and developed accordingly, and this continues with educating them as they grow up into their youths. Just like the exemplary figures shared previously, given the chance, or the challenges, they will be able to grab and make the best of it. Age alas is another number, and what matters the most is that youth have the capacity, along with the right attitude and values, to achieve wonders not only for themselves but in amazing feats which is relevant to each own time, era and condition. Hence, youth, especially those in developing countries should be encouraged to challenge themselves as part of their own development and part of carving the path to their own successes and dreams in life; that including making the world a better place to live.
Meet Azam, a 24-year old Malaysian, hailing from Kulim, a district in the state of Kedah, west coast of Malaysia peninsular. He believes youth, especially in Malaysia needs to be empowered in whichever means possible, to achieve what they want and seek in life. Our short yet packed conversation, made me begin to understand that this young man is trying to reach out to his generation saying that, Hey, get up, buck up! , Let’s go ! Its either we (well, I am not exactly in the youth category anymore) are just too busy doing nothing a.k.a. not being exactly productive, or need that extra push and awareness that we can achieve wonders when we trust in ourselves.
The eco-system of youth nowadays is subjective, and one should not depend or wait what policy dictates, or what program is installed in the name of youth development. Any opportunity given (including that of youth related programs), grab it. But you have to be ready for it. All in preparing for the near future where our youth will eventually be leaders and individuals bringing their own impact in shaping a better nation.
Azam fits the adventurous, energetic, open -to-new-experience category. But unboxing that, he shared his career aspiration with me. He holds Diploma in Sports Studies, and a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management, both from University Institut Teknologi Malaysia (UiTM), and dreams himself attaining a Master’s degree in Sports Management and serving in the academic profession one day. He sees himself as one of the voice representing his generation who is gifted in connecting with them.
With that balance striked, Azam has competed in various sporting adventurous feats including an expedition in Greenland. He has achieved various feats such as a place in the Malaysian Book of Records after rollerblading solo in 2015 covering the distance of 2153 km, and a participant in the KE7B, an expedition in Greenland in 2014 at the age of 19! And icon not just by his feats, he was graced as the youth and sports icon in 2015 (Anugerah Belia dan Ikon Sukan 2015), and Anugerah Ikon Sukan Lasak. Looks like he is well on his way for another feat which is the Fjällräven Polar 2019 expedition, a 300km journey from Sweden to Norway.
With any goals, comes the hurdles. Azam needs your sincere votes for him to continue to spread his message on youth empowerment by participating in this expedition. All you need to do is click on this link >>http://bit.ly/Azam4Polar<< and vote for Azam by 15th December 2019 . He is competing neck-to-neck with another potential candidate to represent the Asia-Oceania region. Click on the link above to support Azam for this event, and his cause, God willing.
29 Nov 2018