THE epoch in which we are living is a critical moment in the history of our people. For this reason, it is very important to orient our young people around it and encourage them to participate, as best as they can, in the common quest of all peoples for a freer, more just and more peaceful society.And as Wynter Kabimba correctly observed, our youth should understand that the plight of their continent's social and economic underdevelopment is a political question which calls for their proactive action and participation.

And they also must realise, without delay, that their social and political consciousness is a catalyst. Truly, social injustice is not natural but a designed phenomenon and an instrument of domination by the designer.

Poverty is the impoverishment caused by unjust political, economic and social structures. In all their activities, their goal should be the liberation of humankind from every sort of servitude that oppresses it: the lack of life's necessities, illiteracy, the weight of sociological structures which deprive it of personal responsibility over life itself.

All the efforts of our young people should therefore be directed towards the construction of a society in which all persons will find their place, and in which they will enjoy political, economic, cultural and religious equality and liberty.

We should encourage our young people to work for bold reforms that will radically transform existing structures, regarding this as the only way to promote social peace.

We must pay special attention to the education of our young people. Education is a vital component of any society. As Thomas Jefferson wrote: "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was and never shall be."

Education is a major factor for social change. It is important that our schools, colleges and universities accept their role as active agents of national integration and social justice.

We will not have development for all until we have integral education for all. Our education centres should be awakening an awareness that the whole nation benefits from their services; and that the whole nation should therefore join in providing the resources they need to carry out their task.

The present situation in Zambia calls for some radical changes. First and foremost, we must instil an attitude of service to society in our young people. We must help them to participate in the transformation of present-day society and in the work of bettering the human condition. We cannot evade our commitment to social change. We must involve ourselves in this effort. To refuse such a commitment would be to make oneself an accomplice of injustice.

If we do not commit ourselves to changing a system that prevents most persons from achieving personal fulfilment, then we are not helping our people to live up to their vocation. In short, we are betraying our mission to serve the progress of human history. The poverty situation our people today are subjected to, we feel, is the product of unjust socio-economic structures.

We realise that we are the products of a society that has taught us to look coldly on the impoverished plight of our brothers and sisters. We must draw nearer to the poor. Only close experience will teach us the great magnitude of the problems that afflict the great majority of our people.

We must therefore reform the structures of our organisations so that such contact really takes place. The limits of self-sacrifice must be set by real love, not by the standards of a society that tends to maintain the present situation.
We believe that we are in a new historical era.

This era requires clarity in order to see, lucidity in order to diagnose, and solidarity in order to act.The new image of our continent, of our countries, require a creative effort: public authorities, promoting with energy the supreme requirements of the common good; technicians, planning concrete means; giving life with the dynamism of a transforming and personalising love.

For this reason, no sector should reserve to itself exclusively the carrying out of political, cultural, economic or spiritual matters. Those who possess the power of decision making must exercise it in communion with the desires and options of the community.

It is also our duty to give recognition to and stimulate every profound and positive attempt to vanquish the existing great difficulties.

In this transformation, our young people constitute the most numerous group in the population and show themselves to be a new social body with their own ideas and values desiring to create a more just society. The youthful presence is a positive contribution that must be incorporated into society.

We therefore call upon all persons of goodwill that they cooperate in truth, justice and love in this transforming labour of our people, the dawn of a new era. The misery that besets large masses of our people, as a collective fact, expresses itself as injustice which cries to the heavens.

We cannot remain indifferent in the face of the tremendous social injustices existent in our country, which keep the majority of our people in dismal poverty, which in many cases become the inhuman wretchedness. Poverty, as a lack of the goods of this world necessary to live worthily as human beings, is in itself evil and is the fruit of human injustice.

We ought to sharpen the awareness of our duty of solidarity with the poor to which charity leads us. This solidarity means that we make ours their problems and their struggles, that we know how to speak with them.

This has to be concretised in criticism of injustice, in the struggle against the intolerable situation that a poor person often has to tolerate, in the willingness to dialogue with the groups responsible for that situation in order to make them understand their obligations. Only thus can we avoid the myth of a formal democracy which hides a situation of injustice.

Actually, if beyond juridical laws, a more profound sense of respect and service of one another is lacking, and even of an equality before the law, it could serve as an alibi for fragrant discrimination, for constant exploitation, for effective deceit.

In addition, there is no political participation without economic participation. That is why we must affirm that work provides a legitimate and primordial title of property over goods. This implies a new, fundamentally humanistic conception of the economic process.

We should therefore aim toward the creation of a qualitatively different society. By this we understand a society wherein the willingness of justice, of solidarity and equality reigns, one that will respond to generous aspirations and the search for a more just society and where values, particularly freedom and responsibility, which will guarantee the integral development of humankind will be realised.

In order that this kind of society be developed, it is necessary that the education of all the people include the social and communal meaning of human life, in the total context which includes culture, economics, politics and the whole society.

But those who have exploited the weak for centuries, and who wish to keep doing this, use all sorts of schemes against us, veiled under the guise of a fallacious order and legality.

Let us not forget that by his example, Christ taught us to live what he preached. Christ preached human solidarity and proclaimed that love should configure all our social structures. Even more importantly, he lived out his message of liberation to its ultimate consequences.

He was condemned to death. The power brokers in his nation saw his message of liberation, and the real-life love to which he bore witness, as a serious threat to their economic, social, political and religious interests.

The structures of our society must be transformed from the roots up. The task is more necessary today than ever before because those who benefit from the unjust order in which we live are defending their interests in an aggressive way. They use all the means at their disposal - propaganda, lies, calumny, subtle ways of dominating popular consciousness, defence of a discriminatory and corrupt legal setup - to prevent serious transformation from taking place.

Only by gaining economic and political power will the poor and the marginalised be able to construct a society that is qualitatively different from the existing one - a society in which everyone will have the same possibilities for human fulfilment. Authentic charity cannot gloss over the struggle unleashed by those who exploit the people and who seek to defend or increase their own privileges.

There is need to educate and mobilise our young people because all over the world, it is young people who are actually involving themselves in the struggle to eliminate injustice. They are the ones who most quickly identify with the struggle and the necessity to eliminate the unacceptable condition that exist.

And as Malcolm X once observed, one of the first things young people should learn to do is to see for themselves, listen for themselves and think for themselves and they then can come to an intelligent decision for themselves.