In the African tradition, children are a symbol of prestige and survival of a family lineage. The hope for the future generations of a family lie in the children. This also applies in the 21st century African setting which is largely comprised of young people. According to the Human Development Index, in about 40 African countries more than half of the population is under age 20.7.
The question here then is on what we are doing to equip this young population (underutilized resource) that we have to enable them leap further in development and stability. We are passing on a heavy baton to the next generation; expecting them to walk on water without teaching them what faith is.
There is an urgent need for social transformation to ensure that our institutions and leaders are accountable to the needs of the people. Furthermore, the song of justice and peace needs to transcend tribal mentality and resource distribution politicking informed by greed, envy and hate. Essentially we need better leaders and role models for our children.
The National Children’s Council (NCC) provides a unique and timely opportunity for us (Kenya) to re-write our story. This national child-friendly leadership platform has the potential of strengthening youth leadership in Kenya and building capacity for social and conflict transformation. I am convinced that an accountable and sustainable future for Kenya rests on us raising a Kenyan child; a child not defined by the tribe, religion or social status but by his / her talents, passion, values and God-given gifts; a socially aware child working to apply him/herself as a change and peace agent in our communities; and more so a child empowered to utilize resources for the service of all Kenyans and for the greater good of the nation and not an individual(s) – A Kenyan Child.
The redemptive Africa rising story will be fueled by platforms such as the National Children’s Council that prepares for tomorrow by investing in young people today.
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