It Takes a Village

Published On: 10 August 2023427 words2.8 min read

We’ve all heard the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.”


Unfortunately nowadays rarely do we find such villages of support for our children and youth to assist parents and families with the difficult task of guiding our youth into adulthood.


I passionately remind myself, other parents, families and community orgs and groups of the important point made in this quote and African proverb.


I want you to reflect upon it.


“The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel it’s warmth.”


If we do not cater to the needs of our young people at a community level and initiate them into folds at the heart of our community then we have failed them.


And they will make sure we know about it through their restlessness, agitation and potentially destructive choices and behaviours.


Our youth need to feel a sense of belonging  and a sense of importance within our communities, both religious and mainstream.


They need to know loud and clear not only from their parents, but by other caring adults and mentors that they matter and that they are truly and deeply loved.


They need spaces that are free from judgement and expectation, where their souls and identities can be nurtured and where their voices can be heard.


Our mosques and Islamic centres should be flourishing with youth who are driven, ambitious, involved and stepping up to take the reins for the next generation.


If this is not the case then we have to take a good hard look at ourselves and where we are going wrong.


It’s not too late to wake up and change direction. To slow down and reassess the needs of the generation which we elders have left behind.


They need a rightful seat at the table and they need to be embraced by the village and valued and loved as they are, faults and all.


Years ago in my youth I wondered why I felt like I didn’t matter, like I didnt have a place or a purpose, why nobody from the adult world saw me so lonely and struggling.


My community work up over the past 15 years has be driven by the deep desire to find those who have been disregarded and left behind, whose spiritual needs were not fulfilled by the community and help them find their feet and find their rightful place.


With us. With the Ummah.


May Allah help us all. Ameen.

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