Dear Friends and Fellow Scouts;
I greet you in the name of Scouting hoping that you are all keeping well. As you gather for this year’s Regional Scout Youth Forum I wish to share with you a few thoughts for your consideration.
First: I regret that I am not able to be with you at this particular occassion in the different parts of this beautiful country where you are meeting. However, I trust you shall have fruitful deliberations under the guidance of your Regional Representatives with whom we sit in the National Youth Committee and the many adult leaders present there with you. I am confident of their leadership and ask you to support them.
Secondly: We launched the first issue of the quarterly KSA Youth Pack last week; which will be a channel of direct communication from Grace and myself as the National Youth Representatives. Your Regional and County Youth Representatives will take time during this forum to share with you its content. I urge you all to embrace it and support us in this venture so that we can collectively ensure that we strengthen the promotion of access to correct and timely information by all youth in KSA. I also ask you to take advantage of the opportunities the Youth Pack provides both for us individualy and collectively as Rover Crews.
Third: The youth leaders from all NSOs around the world will be gathering in Slovenia this August for the 12th World Scout Youth Forum under the theme “One Tree, Many Branches” reflecting the unity in diversity within our movement. I see this theme as very relevant to our current situation as a country-Kenya. With the high levels of insecurity, rising cost of living and the charged political climate among other challenges, we are at the verge of conflict if we do not unite as different tribes and religion to build and promote a peaceful Kenya. I urge all of us to always remember that we are called to be Messengers of Peace. In this sense, let us be the voice of reason and stand in the gap to advocate for peaceful coexistence of all Kenyans.
Four: As KSA we have embarked on an initiative of recruiting and registering 1 Million Scouts by the end of the year. This is quite a task but I believe it is manageable. To achieve this we need the support and committment of all of us. Kenya is arguably the home of Scouting and achieving this target would give great impetus to the growth of the movement in the country and consequently inspire the same across the African region. Kindly let us support our District and County leadership towards the success of this venture.
Five: The culmination of these forums you are attending would be observations, suggestions and recommendations that would help strengthen youth involvement and participation in the affairs of KSA at various levels that your Regional Representatives would bring up to the National Youth Committee. As a team we remain committed to championing the cause and interest of all of us as young people. I urge you to reflect deeply and help to articulate the issues that matter most to you, through specific and realistic resolutions and recommebdations that you will pass.
Finally: I take this chance to wish you fruitful deliberations and a nice camping experience. May you take advantage of this time when you are gathered together to be of service to the communities where you are meeting and to also showcase the diversity, strength and unity that the Scouting movement stands for. Remember, that as Scouts we stand for peace always.
Your Friend in Scouting,
NELSON OCHIENG OPANY
National Youth Representative
Kenya Scouts Association
27th June 2014