The youth has been urged to take advantage of the more than Sh22 billion loans the government has set aside for youth, women and persons living with disabilities.
A Senior Administrator in the Ministry of Devolution and Planning, Hassan Noor Hassan urged the youth in the country to refrain from indulging in drug abuse and instead engage in gainful activities by applying for the loans.
“The current regime has made remarkable strides in promoting the empowerment of the youth who must take up the initiative to exploit the opportunities instead of lamenting” Noor said, and reminded the youth that “nothing comes on a silver platter.”
“It is upon the youth to take up the challenges positively and work hard to get and utilize wisely what the Government is offering,” he said.
He cited the Sh6 billion Uwezo Fund which is already at the County level, National Youth Enterprise Fund, Women Enterprise Fund and the 30% Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) as some of the bold and deliberate initiatives put in place by the government to empower the segment of the society that was marginalized by past administrations.
Noor also revealed that the Devolution and Planning Ministry was implementing the new procurement policy saying contracts worth Sh1.57 billion are already allocated to the targeted group, with plans underway to make the new guidelines mandatory.
He was speaking at the Mathari National Teaching and Referral mental hospital in Nairobi to mark this year’s United Nations International Youth Week.
At least 300 volunteers were involved in a major clean up exercise at the facility.
Noor who was representing the Principal Secretary said the event was in line with this year’s theme of the day dubbed, “Youth and Mental Health” as part of the week-long celebrations. The actual International Youth Day will be marked Tuesday.
He said the clean up was aimed at promoting the involvement of the youth in community work and reduce the stigma associated with patients suffering from mental related ailments.
Noor expressed fears that cases of mental ailments due to various causes including drug addiction was on the increase saying statistics indicated that at least one in every four Kenyans suffered from the disease.
Also present at the event was Director of Youth Affairs Timothy, Youth Ambassador to the UN, Wambui Kahara, Senior staff at the Mathari Hospital and other officials from the United Nations Environment programme(UNEP).
Other organizations represented during the clean up that culminated with a tree planting exercise at the Mental Facility included the National Youth Service, National Youth Council and the Nairobi County Government.