YOUTHS ORGANIZATION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT IN THE SOUTH WEST REGION OF CAMEROON: THE CASE OF BUEA MUNICIPALITY
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Youths are important entities that through their inputs such as physical strength, mental capabilities and exposure serve as a great tool for improving their communities which makes it essential to determine the extent of their involvement in the development of their community. It is based on this that the study assessed the Contribution of youths’ organization in community development in Buea Municipality. Specifically, the study sought to examined the factors affecting the participation of youths in the process of development programmes, the benefits derived from participating in these programmes, the level of youth’s participation in the process involved in the programme and the problems associated with youths’ community development activities in Buea Municipality. To achieved these objectives the study employed a quantitative research design to sample 50 youths within the Buea Municipality using a structured-questionnaire. Findings revealed that findings revealed that lack of technical skills, lack of incentives, lack of awareness, political constraints and ongoing crisis in the region, social constraints and financial constraints as a moderate factor affecting their participation. Reduction in unemployment among youths, reduced dependency on government and the community, improved standard of living, reduce crime among youths, provision of a sense of belonging were major benefits youth derived from youth organization. The study further revealed that youth community development activities faced some major obstacles such as were, lack of adequate funding, lack of basic equipment, fraud, dishonesty, and corruption among members/leaders, politics, rivalries and envy, inability to accept change in traditional and cultural practices and unfavorable government policies and corruption. It is concluded that despite the constraints that youths face in their participation, lack of benefits that are afforded them, if given the opportunity to serve their communities, they are willing and ready to do so to the best of their abilities.