NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 15 – First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on Thursday evening unveiled a unique mentorship programme that empowers the youth to confidently reject all retrogressive practices, behaviours and ideas that are obstacles to realising their full potential.
She listed substance abuse, sexual promiscuity, vulgarity, aggression and violence as some of the risky and unmanageable behaviours that distract the youth and children from concentrating in morally upright and ethical lifestyles.
If all the Kenyan youth and children embrace the ideals of the new mentorship programme dubbed “It is cool to say no”, they will reject anything that prematurely steals their innocence including engaging in such sub-cultures as public nudity and warlike activities.
They will also confidently say no to all retrogressive cultures like Female Genital Mutilation, beading and early marriages and any practices that deprive them of their rights to education, growth and development.
The new mentorship programme is the brainchild of the National Assembly Lady Spouses Association of Kenya Nalsa (K) which brings together lady spouses of the members of Parliament under the leadership of Jackie Kiaraho who is the organization’s national chairperson.
The First Lady launched the new mentorship programme during a colourful Gala Dinner-cum fundraiser organised by Nalsa (K) in a Nairobi hotel.
The First lady, also the patron of Nalsa (K) said the new mentorship programme comes at a time when many Kenyan youth and children had been rendered socially insecure in their quest for media-defined ideals.
“More and more of our children’s futures are being compromised. Substance abuse, sexual promiscuity, vulgarity and violence all eat away at our children’s lives”, said the First Lady.
These children, she said, lack positive role models and end up without proper moral compass and ethical backbone to navigate their lives in a complicated society.
And she asked politicians to stop their perennial wrangling and bitters exchanges in public and serve as role models to the youth and children.
The First Lady said it was disheartening to hear children regale in stories about the behaviours of Members of Parliament.
The situation is made worse by parents who are only keen on academic excellence of their children, rather than nurturing values of character amongst the children
“Sometimes, we parents lay too much emphasis on academic studies, and pay little attention to building virtues that will mould our children”, added the First Lady underlining the need for parents to lay greater emphasis on the virtues of integrity, spirituality, patriotism and hard work among their children.
The First Lady said with proper investment on young people, the youth holds the greatest opportunity not only for the country, but the whole African continent.