Every gathering has its moment and the one i had over the weekend was no exception.
My previous blog talked about youth and employability, this particular one will attempt to expand it further after a conversation i had with an aspiring MP we will call John for obvious reasons.
John told me that he was approached by the youth of his constituency to vie for the parliamentary seat 
in 2017. He said he never saw himself as a politician but after hearing the complaints of his young people he needed to be more engaged in their development.

We both agreed that the population growth rate with the decrease in economic growth, the huge financial gap between the have and have not, corruption, lack of financial accessibility among others played a significant role in the unemployment in Kenya. As we continued sharing our experience in youth matters he shared with me the following story.

"A few weeks ago" he said ‘’very late at night, i got a call from some youth. They said they had apprehended a thief who had stolen a bike and had planned to kill him. I could hear the man begging for his life in the background. I asked that they do not kill him but instead let the police do their job. With that i hung up and call the police of our area. A few minutes later i get a call from those young people saying that they had killed the man".
At once John opens his WhatsApp and shows me the lifeless body of the thief. I could not help but scream. It is one thing to kill but another to take a picture and send it as a sense of achievement and triumph. 

Yes we can blame our system but we should not tolerate such behaviour. We spoke about the current notion that tends to devalue human life. I challenged him as a Leader to be the change he wanted to see and his response was different from what i had anticipated.
"You see Emmanuella; a hungry man does not care about values. Had the thief stolen money, his life would have been spared but because he took something they own the problem begun. Ownership is the major problem of this world."
"Are you justifying this behaviour?" I asked
"No, he responded "but think about it for a minute. Why does the police attack brutally opposition’s supporters when they demonstrate? It is because they believe they own the system and feel threatens at the thought of losing it. Why do countries go to war? It is because they want to protect what they own. Ownership is key here. So what we need to do is not give young people empty promises and empty talk trying to motivate them. It is all about HOPE and what you invest in them. Not money. Money is not sustainable. I always make sure that they know they will never receive any dime from me. Politicians have done that in the past and the impact of that money was never felt. What we do instead is create sustainability. We have helped young people record their songs and provided the equipment they need to turn their dreams into reality. When a man is hungry he does not care about value. We give them hope, we make them own things; help them create a living for themselves and eventually the talk about value will come in. Everything in its own time. Right now it is all about giving them hope."

Hope Script Word

Common sense? Not really... You see, it is very different to pass judgement when you have not experienced what other people have. Of course there are always some exceptions.  When I seat in my office, I know there is a problem with the system. I know that the increase in insecurity is at the result of unemployment. I know we need to do something and all the work I do through the Award ensures that young people are given options and will eventually make the right decision for their lives. But the truth is some have not and others will not.

Some young people experience bigger issues. Some people live in condition I would never wish my enemies to live in or even step a foot there. They have heard all the empty promises and have experienced all the cruelty of life. I challenge us all to join such individuals and organizations and play a bigger role in the issues facing our society today. I realized early enough that we cannot live in isolation when my then 3 years old child came one day from school singing a secular song. Up to that point in time, the only songs allowed in my house were gospel because I wanted her to be raised in the right way and knew that it all started in the house. She told me she has heard the song from a friend at school. I realized that no matter how well we raise her, she will meet people who will not have received the same education as her and those people could influence her.  We say it often but we properly need to think about it more deeply: ‘we live in a small village.’