, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 17 – The scouting movement has been challenged to intensify its role in shaping leadership and promoting peace and reconciliation in areas hit by conflict.
Speaking during a reception to welcome participants to the 2nd Africa Scout Summit, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka identified unemployment, HIV/Aids, economic and social instability as well as crime and drug abuse as some of the challenges that make the role of youth organisations relevant in the society.
He urged African governments to continue supporting activities of the scout movement as one way of preparing the youth for future nation building.
“It is impressing that scouting has continued to offer good training for the youth in areas of leadership, responsibility and character formation,” said Mr Musyoka.
The VP, who doubles up as the Home Affairs Minister, pointed that some of the world leading personalities in political leadership, government and industry went through the nurturing hands and tutelage of the movement.
He said the world governments should recognise the opportunities inherent in the scouting movement and strive to strengthen them as a medium through which young people can use to help themselves.
“The youth constitute a strong social force, a force that craves to be heard, engaged and groomed for the future,’’ said the Vice President.
He said the youth were an asset to any nation and should be prepared to face current and future challenges.
Mr Musyoka said: “I see hope in the scouts’ movement as far as leadership is concern. When some parts of the country were in chaos the scouting movement came out forcefully and took risks by going to the conflict areas to assist the internally displaced persons.”
The Secretary General World Organization of the Scout Movement Luc Pannisod emphasised the need for scouts to promote peace and reconciliation in areas hit by conflicts.
Youth and Sports Minister Helen Sambili appealed to scouting partners to support the organisation especially in its plans to host the 13th World Scout meeting to be held in Kenya in 2010.
The Kenyan Scouting Movement has over 300,000 boys and girls and over 20,000 scout leaders.