Around this time of the year there is usually something energising and a little intimidating about Form Four students level of excitement when they are about to start and when they finally complete KCSE exams. They are happy, carefree with an underlying anti-establishment, defiance of authority that exudes confidence and freedom.
Added to this youthful exuberance is a lifetime of affirmation. Throughout their lives they grow up on a diet of excessive television where they have been constantly told to believe in themselves, follow their dreams to become whoever they want to be which is not wrong but parents have potentially perpetuated this warped world view by lavishing children with every experience and every opportunity possible- in fact we are petrified that if children miss out on anything they will be stunted for life and never realise their full potential.
There is a danger in this kind of upbringing but it is not to mean that the youth of today are not self reliant or pessimistic to the future but it is to say today, the youth are almost delusionally hopeful about the future.
Over the years our self-indulgent and individualistic culture has fed them a media contrived picture of life and relationships where is all perfect, fun, always exciting, always satisfying and they have eaten it up.
It’s then in light of these that the government has taken up the opportunity to share a different kind of hope for the youth by equipping the youth with positive life skills and giving them an opportunity to change the community narrative through voluntary services.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta launched a new mentoring programme called Pupils Rewards Scheme (PURES) in which he hosts best performers from the 47 counties to inspire them”
This kind of hope is grounded on truth and hard work with a view of impacting society optimistically. The President’s Award programme has been part of the government’s efforts to offer the youth an opportunity to actively participate in various communal engagements and recognising their role in society within broader humanity.
Hitting the 50 years mark next year since its inception the programme has continually enabled the youth to participate in a life of service and sacrifice rather than self indulgence. Also recently President Uhuru Kenyatta launched a new mentoring programme called Pupils Rewards Scheme (PURES) in which the Head of State hosts best performers across the 47 counties to inspire the youth on leadership and responsibility.
With such programmes experience the government has and will continue to spark big opportunities for the youth that get the chance to participate and the idea is that through them there will be a visible but most importantly positive difference in society.
Challenging the youth to take part in such programmes will trigger the necessary change required in realigning the youths outlook on their future with core ethical principles such as integrity, consistency, teamwork, impartiality, nationalism among other admirable values.
Instead of the usual trend in young people constantly looking for handouts, it is necessary that they know that they too have a role to play in making Kenya the best country to live in.
This article was published on People Weekend on October 10-11, 2015