By Sharon Kate Ng’ang’a.
I had the pleasure of being invited as a Youth Advocate and Speaker at the Safaricom Universal Day of the Child Forum that was held on Monday 21st November at the Junction Cinemax. I was invited by the Akili Dada in conjunction with the Malala Fund and Safaricom Limited to highlight key areas that corporates can be involved in to create better and more opportunities for children and Youth to be better and successful individuals.
As a Youth Advocate, I have been working with young people for the past couple of years, mine was to reiterate the need for a holistic education that not only gives knowledge to young people but also instills practical skills required to gain access to better lives. It has become apparent that the youth hold the largest percentage of the African population including in Kenya. It is our responsibility to help not only in creating access to education but also skills that will help young people create business opportunities for themselves. This involves educating, engaging and empowering children by making them aware of the opportunities granted to them for example free education or current global affairs and then creating easy access to the same opportunities.
Corporates need to jump on the bandwagon in fighting vices that hold back our children from succeeding in life; from FGM to Child Labour to Domestic Violence or War…It is our mandate as both individuals and companies to create child – friendly products in different sectors. In addition to that, we should all create opportunities that integrate the young in our companies so that they are engaged in what is happening around them to build their potential to the fullest.
It was beautiful to see so many companies represented at the evening affair and more so to see them invite young people to be part of a forum that was discussing affairs related to the youth. Needless to say, it is a great start to creating the space needed for young people to air their views and find individuals that can make their dreams come true.
The icing on the cake was an amazing screening of ‘He Named me Malala’ that details what an education can do for a child. A breathtaking story of a young girl who became the youngest Nobel Laureate to date because she believed that ‘We don’t tell our stories because they are unique, but because they are not.’
Let us share more, educate more and empower more children and that will only happen if we engage more in the right spaces and grant them the holistic education they need.