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Youth in Uganda Cautioned against Idleness, Disorder; Urged “to arise and work”

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Young people in the East African nation of Uganda have been cautioned against the tendency to stay idle or to be disorganized.

Addressing young people in his opening speech at the National Youth Conference Tuesday, December 8, Bishop Paul Ssemwogerere of Uganda’s Kasana-Luwero Diocese urged the youth “to arise and work.”

“We shouldn’t be idle and disorderly. You need to wake up your fellow youth to arise and work,” Bishop Ssemwogerere said at the event that was live streamed on social media.

The Ugandan-born Bishop added, “The youth can do things on their own because Jesus has allowed them an opportunity.”

He bemoaned the fact that many young people in Uganda are idle and disorderly but “when the Bishop comes around in his cassock and mitre they stop him, ‘we need food, we need your contribution’.”

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“There is a lot of land. They have the energy and strength but they are not using it. We must do something about this problem,” Bishop Ssemwogerere said addressing himself to young people in the East African nation.

The Bishop who heads the Lay Apostolate Commission of the Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC) went on to encourage the youth to get “involved in activities that generate income, support our Church and develop their parishes.”

The youth engaging in income-generating projects will make the local church self-reliant, the Bishop said.

He also urged the youth to foster peace in the ongoing electoral process ahead of the January 2021 poll saying, “We have elections coming and I have seen you young people are excited, which is good. But let us do it restraining ourselves.”

Making reference to the relative peace the country has experienced in recent years, Bishop Ssemwogerere said, “This country is ours; we suffered many years ago; let us not go there again.”

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Organized by UEC’s Lay Apostolate Commission, the five-day conference that kicked off December 8 is taking place under the theme, “Young man, I say to you arise”.

In his message, Bishop Ssemwogerere also called on the youth to cultivate the culture of listening.

“The world is not listening. It wants to talk, to give commands,” he said and added, “Many times we prefer to talk and give our message but we do not want to listen.”

He cautioned the youth against the many “misleading, entertaining but destructive voices.”

“The important thing that Jesus asks us is to listen. Listen to Jesus’ word,” he reiterated, adding, “If we listen, we will have a difference in society because we will understand a voice that is guiding us.”

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The Local Ordinary of Uganda’s Kasana-Luwero Diocese also called on the youth to “arise and gain from the experience of the elderly people”.

“You have a lot of energy as young people but you need the experience of an elderly person. As you listen and watch the elders, you also use the experience of the elders to survive,” the 64-year-old Ugandan Bishop said, cautioning that ignoring the experiences of the elderly can be regrettable.

He further encouraged the spirit of advocacy saying, “Our society needs advocacy.”

He explained and urged, “Some people are weak, others are deprived of assistance. This is the time for young people to talk. Advocate for fellow young people and elderly people and whoever is suffering.”