Karachi (Agenzia Fides) - "Your mission is to spread hope everywhere, we are baptized as children of hope. Do not be depressed, you are our future and we do not want you to say that you are depressed.
In order to build a nation, we need our young people to be firmly anchored in moral values. As young Christians, you are called to live the Christian values of faith, hope and love: to build a society with goodness, I urge you to live these values": declared Mgr Christophe Zakhia El-Kassis, Apostolic Nuncio in Pakistan, addressing the young people from all the dioceses of Pakistan gathered in recent days in Karachi for the closing ceremony of the Year of Youth in Pakistan.
The Apostolic Nuncio also encouraged young people to ask themselves what they can do to build a prosperous and peaceful nation, highlighting the crucial issue of education: "Education shapes our minds, helps us lead healthy lives, gives us the experience to rely on ourselves, to meet the challenges of this life. Do not allow anything or anyone to deprive you of a bright future". In this sense, the Nuncio invited young people not to allow the challenges and difficulties they encounter in Pakistan prevent them from pursuing a serious education, up to high school and university studies.
Finally, imparting Pope Francis' special blessing, he concluded by urging the youth of Pakistan to be "a sign of hope: our faith is based on the hope that one day we will be with Jesus and in his Kingdom". With a population of 212 million, Pakistan has one of the largest youth populations in the world, with 64% of Pakistanis under the age of 30 (data from the World Education Service). The country has a high rate of out-of-school children: some 22.7 million children aged 5 to 16, or 44% of the total, are not receiving education (2017 data), while the rate of dropout increases considerably as one moves up the educational ladder. The country is experiencing a growing unemployment rate among young people and, according to the Global Youth Development Index (which uses parameters such as education, employment, opportunities, political participation to measure the progress of young people). Pakistan ranks 154th out of 183 countries. (AG-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 30/11/2021)