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Exposing the YPFDJ (Part II)

By: Eritrean Unity Movement

This part exposes the self assessment done by YPFDJ on the 7th Conference on how they intend to control the Eritrean communities and youth in Europe. It gives their weaknesses, strengths and opportunities as they define it. It was prepared by the PFDJ in collaboration with some cadres of the YPFDJ. We need to look in depth on how they asses themselves and what they want to achieve. On the coming sections we will publish the names of the members of the organization. If there is anyone who has disassociated himself/herself recently contact us through our email so that the name will not appear on the list

Part 1: Where are we now?

Assessment

1. External assessment:

We find ourselves in societies where we are a minority, thus we are exposed to clashing cultural and social values: Individualism contra collectivism is just one example: Consequently, organizing and motivating Eritrean youth brought up and influenced by such societies is challenging. As in the assessment of our own potential, we propose the following ideas that have to be enriched and expanded through research.

Opportunities                                                                  Challenges
  1. Having dual citizenship                                                   1. Clash of cultures
    1. Ideology (i.e. west’s school curriculum & media)
    2. Clash of generations
    3. Values (ex. Individualism, egoistic)
    4. Identity (since, as time progresses an increasingly larger share of Eritrean youth in the diaspora will be youth born outside of Eritrea)                         
    5. Local resources: easy and highly                                  2.  Economic crisis and unemployment
Developed access to education,
Technology, professional development,
Means of transport etc.
  1. Exposure to different cultures and languages           3. Intensive anti-Eritrea campaign
  2. Growing recognition of needed change                      4. Subtle racism and discrimination
western liberal democracy ideology: the rights of the rest
  1. Civil laws
  2. Fast and valuable information network
  3. Access to non-Eritrean communities,
 
Governments, associations and media

 1. Eritrean community

Our movement since its inception, has taken Europe to be a dependable base for our activities, thus this assessment is going to look into those issues that directly or indirectly, positively or negatively, affect Eritrean communities in Europe since they have direct impact on our activities. The strengths and weaknesses of our movement is measured based on our ability to mobilize and lead our communities; thus we hereby present a draft assessment of what we think should be enriched through timely research and study.

Strengths opportunities
Commitment and tradition of organizing its youth Generous with financial contribution
Relatively organized and easy to mobilize community Great youth potential
Decades of experience in organizing and activism Positive attitude towards YPFDJ
Considerate, supportive and patriotic culture Encourage and support EPLF/PFDJ veterans
Maintained its culture and identity, and is caring of its youth and children Consultation of embassies and local PFDJ chapters
  New arrivals have not been willing to play into the hands of detractors
weaknesses Challenges
A community has not yet built effective institutions and organizations Lack of good academic preparation among the first generation
Immediate post-independence slacking and de-emphasizing a vital organizational structure Financial limitations
The mixing of priorities Viewing YPFDJ as competitor rather than partner/collaborator
Lack of leadership and coherent vision A tendency to see our movement as a narrow sect
Inability to take advantage of the local resources An attitude that discourages service by saying ‘the youth of yesteryear have not gained anything’
Lack to fill important posts in politics and economy of host countries Lack of cultural diversity of Eritrea and wider participation
Lack of ability in conflict resolution Mobility of leading and dedicated members
Not paying enough attention to new arriving youth Overlap and multiplicity of organizations
  Unemployment and social evils (divorce , addiction, bad habits)

2. Our Movement

Our movement is the outcome of an idea whose time has come. It is a reality, a force that is to be reckoned with. We have reached a stage where we have laid a foundation of networks, experience etc. nevertheless, we have several weaknesses and threats that we must address without delay. These weaknesses are connected to the lack of a consolidated political education programme, recruitment strategy, and the level of commitment of our members.

Strengths Opportunities
Overcoming dominant ideologies and values of societies we live in and increase our awareness We have exemplary members that can serve as role models in every field
Follow the foot-steps of the first generation in mobilizing for the cause of Eritrea Create a positive image in the western world
Internalizing that global change can only come through work Adolescence baby-boomers (born 1991 -1994) in the coming 3 years (the most acclimatized and largest Eritrean age batch so far
Ability to nurture committed and capable members  
Produce work able to lay the foundation for institutional work and organizing
We have been able to create vital networks
Deep knowledge and understanding of the culture and mode of thinking of the societies we live in

 3. Strategic issues

Considering the effects of the weaknesses and threats that we have identified, YPFDJ is facing some challenges that must be taken into consideration and need more focus. Members of YPFDJ have different backgrounds and levels of commitment, knowledge, education, skills and competencies. It is vital that every potential member is materialized in the organization.

Members of YPFDJ are a determined key factor for the sake of the movement; it cannot be emphasized enough. The challenge of the YPFDJ is how to engage to maximize the skills of Eritrean youth all over the world.

To be continued

Eritrean Unity Movement

fithi@online.no

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