Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Speech by Nelson Ochieng Opany, the Kenya scouts national Youth Representative at the Youth for Peace Forum at mount Kenya University main campus in Thika on 9th February 2013
I am indeed delighted and honoured to join you in this important event, “Youth for Peace Forum” where we have come to talk about what really matters to our nation especially at this moment in history. On behalf of the Chief Commissioner of Kenya Scouts Association and the entire Scouting movement in Kenya, I wish to convey greetings of peace, brotherhood, love and unity to you all.
We are gathered here today united in one voice with the Message of Peace. In less than a month, we shall be going to the polls to elect our leaders; And with the memories of what happened in the previous elections still fresh in our minds, the importance of spreading peace and encouraging harmonious coexistent among all Kenyans cannot be over emphasized.
As the Scout movement, peace has always been and will continue to form an integral part of our programmes. We are very conscious in empowering young people to play a constructive role in society with the vision of creating a better world; through a culture of peace. By definition, Scouting is a voluntary, non-political educational movement for young people open to all without distinction such as origin, race, gender, creed, and status or ethnic/tribal background. This by itself captures the very essence of the peaceful coexistence that we very much yearn for in Kenya. We always use the Scouting movement as an example of how different people can come together, live together and work together. If all of us would embrace such an accommodative and brotherly regard for one another, then Kenya would be ridden off the shackles of bad leadership and negative ethnicity that have bedeviled our country for so many years.
To this regard we have a global Messengers of Peace Initiative running across the country and others parts of the world. It is on this background that we are gathered here today in partnership with the Rover Crew from Mount Kenya University. The Messengers of Peace Initiative promotes young men and women as Leaders for Life –in their communities and in their world. This is achieved by empowering them around five areas of work namely; training in dialogue, support for specific peace projects, support to young people living in “hot” conflict situations, capacity strengthening and globalizing the Messengers of Peace global network. Through this Scouts are changing communities and promoting peace through various local actions.
We therefore, urge each and every Kenyan to do whatever is within their power in by whatever means possible to preach peace wherever you live. The achievement of national peace requires the efforts of every one of us. Peace is a personal responsibility and each one has a role to play.
Finally, as we go to cast our votes on March 4-for those of us registered as voters; let us love one another, respect one another and vote wisely for those leaders who will offer selfless service to the people and promote peace-and not divide Kenyans along ethnic lines. Even as we do that, let us not forget our unending call to become Messengers of Peace. Lets us shun violence and work together to promote a more unified nation free from tribalism; a nation where each of us can live freely and happily.
God bless us all. God bless Kenya. Thank you!