by Yishak Yared,
Eritrean Youth: Sawa that has been established from scratch in 1994 with the aim of nurturing mentally and physically fit youths has being transformed from a makeshift camp into an urban center with every necessary facility put in place. To date Sawa could be grouped among the well developed Eritrean towns with essential facilities and large population.
There are dormitories which could accommodate more than 30 thousand students, staff and other supporting staff. Schools that could accommodate the same number, hospital, airport, sports grounds for different sports activities, garage and other facilities.
Sawa for it embraces students from every corner of the country is not only a center of training but also instills discipline and sense of unity in the students while providing the opportunity for sharing experiences and maintaining national values. All nine ethnic groups are represented in Sawa and each one has the opportunity to learn the culture and tradition of the others and share its culture and tradition to the others. It is give and take situation. With this kind of transaction the youths have the opportunity to enrich their state of mind and thereby strengthen their unity and nationalism. Students learning in Sawa do not need to travel long distance to know the traditions, customs and cultures of the other ethnic groups. All are there available in the dormitories and in class rooms for every body to learn. Hence, knowing each others tradition and culture will encourage the youth to respect each other’s tradition and culture there by developing tolerance and strengthen unity and enjoy the diversity.
Nation building is a process that takes time and asks a substantial energy and resources. And to move on in the right track of development the participation of citizens and in particular of the youth is imperative. To realize the full participation of citizens there needs conscious, skilled and above all responsible citizens with a vision. And that is exactly what is being conducted in Sawa. Students are provided with academic and political education as well as participate in the agro-industry activities in their spare time so that they become physically and mentally fit for their future career as citizens.
Sawa, hence, is not only a center of academic education center but also a center in which citizens have the opportunity of getting all rounded knowledge and experience. Upon their completion of training from Sawa the youth are expected to fully engage themselves in the development endeavors to build prosperous and developed Eritrea in which its people live a cozy life and with peace and harmony. A nation that puts credit on its citizens will in the final analysis grow steadily on its own without expecting handouts from outside forces. A country with increased percentage of skilled human resources has the potential of becoming self sufficient in terms of food security and development.
Last weekend Sawa celebrated the 6th Youth Festival in which thousands of Eritrean nationals from inside the country and from abroad participated. The Festival included bazaars, modern and traditional sports activities, seminars, and other more entertainment programs. The Festival has created a conducive ground for the Eritrean youth from inside the country and from abroad to know each other, exchange experiences and above all see the development activities being conducted in the country through the exhibitions and other displays. Every one who participated at the festival has been impressed by what has been displayed and the hospitality accorded to them.
The festival which is conducted every two years is a good opportunity for many especially the youth to refresh their knowledge and understanding of the diverse culture of the Eritrean people, observe and understand what development activities are being conducted and through the seminars the political and economic situation of the country.
Sawa which commenced its activities as a make shift camp is now a semi-urban multifaceted training center. With the transformation and pace it witnessed in the course of the 18 years, Sawa definitely will become one of the beautiful cities in the country where citizens will be eager to visit and enjoy its clean air and warm climate.