In 2008 I wrote a short book entitled “The Competition for Hope” about the requirement for sustainable jobs for youth.
I hope later in 2014 to re-write it.
Here is a quote:-
“In a terribly real sense, there is a competition for hope between the poles of extremism on the one hand and sustainable job creation, on the other. Given the relative wealth of northern hemisphere, the choice today belongs to countries of the north, as to whether or not it is extremism, or the defeat of poverty by sustainable job creation, that wins the competition for hope.”
However, looking back, it feels to me that I got this only partly complete.
Actually despair from joblessness is right here in Britain in 2014, in those areas where the economy is faltering and unemployment is high. Joblessness leads to extreme behaviours, gang warfare and higher crime rates. It’s a gift to that form of leadership naturally disposed to violence or anti-social actions.
For the youth of Britain, the seed corn of tomorrows economy of whom 21% are now unemployed, that’s 960,000 young people, we owe it to them to expose the foundations of sustainable job creation – and where these foundations are weak – to do something intelligent and focused to put those foundations right. It’s not about left wing or right wing, it’s about common sense.
And once Global MapAid has built a team (and a system) to do this here in the UK context, we are ambitious to export our skills to similar operational contexts, including the United States and Europe. We plan to do the same for Ethiopia, which is a developing country context and will therefore require a different approach. And we have made five coherent plans “to cover all our bases.”
We are not suggesting endless hand-outs, but as small scale capitalists we are suggesting coherent understanding and integrated action in the realms of job market gap analysis, vocational education and business mentoring.
And maps are a great way to visualise this type of big data.
The Bishop of Bath & Wells kindly provided a short foreword to The Competition for Hope:-
“Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa… places where we in the West have tried to help people reconstruct their communities in desperate circumstances. Rupert Douglas-Bate has worked in many such situations as an aid worker, and he has been inspired by the enthusiasm and kindness he has met amongst those who suffer. Even within those communities there are seeds of hope.
While many of us wring our hands and wonder ‘what can be done?’, Rupert knows from first-hand experience that in a disaster or war situation, much can be done – provided governments and NGOs operate sensible policies with the right people.
Here you will read about ‘treadmills’ – people who get in the way of delivering results, as well as ‘free-wheelers’ – the people who make things happen. You will discover people who, simply by being given a job, a loan, or small-scale humanitarian support, found that their lives could be changed.
I commend Rupert’s book as a knowledgeable and informed look at how we can create that most essential of gifts – hope.”
The Rt Revd Peter B Price Bishop of Bath and Wells (retired 2013)