Empowering Youth: A Path to a Stronger FOMAA

Published on 09 June, 2024
Empowering Youth: A Path to a Stronger FOMAA

At the South East Region FOMAA International Convention kick-off, a question repeatedly asked was how leaders are planning to promote youth participation and contributions in FOMAA. As we look to the future of FOMAA, it is crucial to recognize and enhance the unique role our youth play in FOMAA activities. Our young Malayalee members bring a unique blend of cultural heritage and contemporary perspectives, which are invaluable to FOMAA. They include Millennials (born 1980-1996) finding meaningful work, work-life balance, fitness, and healthy habits; Generation Z (born 1997- 2012) navigating educational demands, early career challenges, community engagement, and relationships; and Generation Alpha (born 2013 – present) looking for enriching learning environments and healthy digital habits. We should actively engage these young members and provide them with opportunities to contribute to our community to ensure that FOMAA remains a vibrant and dynamic organization. As a candidate for General Secretary for the 2024-2026 term, I propose several initiatives to increase youth participation and strengthen FOMAA.

Whenever we meet in any gatherings, we need to interact with youngsters by active listening, showing genuine interest, and adapting to their communication styles. We can also engage in conversations by asking open-ended questions about their interests and experiences, and actively listen. Youngsters embrace activities that bridge generational gaps, such as collaborative projects or shared hobbies. Being open-minded and willing to learn from younger generations fosters mutual respect and a welcoming environment for all youngsters and makes good connections. Mutual learning and respect are the keys to our success as an organization.
For better youth communication and engagement with youth and juniors, we can create a dedicated long-term WhatsApp group (FOMAA Youth Zone) platform to serve as a space where young members can share ideas, discuss initiatives, and stay informed about upcoming events and opportunities.

Providing music and arts platforms for young talents, we can encourage and engage youth in FOMAA activities, just like sports. With music, we can celebrate their creativity and cultural contributions. Regular performances will showcase their talents and reinforce their connection to our cultural heritage.
Families with young children look for guidance in education and personal development, training and mentoring sessions, and seminars that will help youth navigate their academic and personal journeys more effectively. In this regard, FOMAA can conduct in-person or online STEM competitions that can help them win popular National and International competitions.

FOMAA can offer job training, career planning sessions, job fair, and support to assist our graduates in securing better job opportunities and entrepreneurial ventures. These initiatives will equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in today's competitive job market.
We can aim to reconnect with young professionals and recent graduates by organizing events and programs tailored to their interests and needs. These activities will help integrate them into the FOMAA community, encouraging them to contribute fresh perspectives and energy. When Dr. Nambiar was president of KAGW, he organized a Youth Homecoming to bridge the connection between college students, newly employed youth, and the association. We asked them what they do for the organization, and many of them were interested in mentoring youngsters and sponsoring youth programs. Dr. Nambiar also instituted the Yuva Puraskarams to recognize well-accomplished youth.  

FOMAA stands at a crossroads where engaging our youth is paramount to ensuring a strong and vibrant future. In addition to the Youth Summit (similar to 2013), arts, literary, and sports competitions at conventions, by implementing these initiatives, we can harness the energy, creativity, and potential of our young members. I have actively participated and served as stage manager in 2022 FOMAA Convention Talent competitions at Cancun. As a candidate for General Secretary for the 2024-2026 term, I am committed to working tirelessly to increase youth participation and contributions, thereby preserving our cultural heritage and building a bright and promising future for FOMAA that we can all be proud of.
Together, let's empower our youth and build a stronger, united FOMAA.


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