President Uhuru Kenyatta has commended the scouts movement in the country for their role in molding the youth into responsible citizens.
The President said since its inception over 100 years ago, the movement has continued to contribute with distinction to the country’s prosperity by raising individuals who are committed to community service.
“The movement inculcates important values and develops individuals, who are committed to community service with integrity and dedication. I congratulate and thank each one of you for your contribution in serving humankind,” the President said.
The Head of State spoke at State House, Nairobi when he hosted scouts from across the country for the 2019 annual Kenya Scouts Association Patron’s Day. The President is the patron of the scouts movement in the country.
During the function, the President presented awards to exemplary scouts as well as other state and non-state entities for their outstanding contribution to growth of the scouting movement in Kenya.
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua and his Kilifi counterpart Amason Kingi, who were present at the State House event, were awarded for their invaluable support to the movement in their respective counties.
Governor Mutua was recognized for a successful scouts membership recruitment drive he led in his county while Governor Kingi was awarded for actively engaging the movement in reforestation activities.
Also recognized was Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya for the resources his administration allocates annually to the scouting movement in his county.
President Kenyatta reiterated that the youth are the cornerstone of the future progress of the nation saying young Kenyans need to be equipped with the scouting principles of selfless service, trustworthiness, hardwork, good citizenship and endurance.
“Indeed, these values are especially important today when, as a country, we are championing the values of integrity and unity in our national life,” he said.
The President expressed satisfaction with the movement’s growing membership which stands at 1.4 million and urged the leadership to align its activities with the Ministry of Education’s annual calendar so as to ensure more learners benefit from scouting programmes.
He called on stakeholders to work together to strengthen scouting in the counties so as to make the movement accessible to more young people.
“In the spirit of “one government, one service” to our youth, I urge those responsible for national government structures, at the county level, to partner with county and regional scout centres to strengthen the movement in their localities, for the benefit of our young people,” the President said.
The President noted that a majority of the challenges facing the youth are captured in the revised Kenya Youth Development Policy which he said should be integrated in the programmes of the scouting movement.
He commended the scouting movement for training of over 40,000 scouts as online rangers saying the initiative is a big boost to ongoing government efforts to equip the youth with relevant ICT skills especially in cyber security.
“This is a welcome proactive programme that will ensure the cyber safety of our youth while giving them the opportunity to use the internet, to foster friendship, access online job opportunities and networks that the cyber system presents,” he said.
The President expressed gratitude to the movement for adopting a collaborative approach in dealing with societal challenges especially substance and alcohol abuse among the youth.
“I, as the Patron, appreciate in particular the partnership and collaboration approach adopted by the movement.
“This has enabled it to have an impact on topical challenges, including drug and alcohol abuse, climate change and environmental conservation,” he said.
Other speakers included Public Service, Youth and Gender CS Prof Margaret Kobia, Vice Chairman of the World Scout Parliamentary Union who is also Dagoretti South MP John Kiarie and Chief Commissioner of the Kenya Scouts Association Victor Radido.
Education CS Prof George Magoha was also present at the colorful event held at State House Gardens and attended by tens of senior government officials and elected leaders.