Motivation Text by Nelson Ochieng Opany, Candidate for National Scout Youth Chairperson, The Kenya Scouts Association 2012
I present myself to you all to consider electing me to become the 3rd National Scouts Youth Chairperson. We all make choices for a reason. It’s humbling, but in my heart I know it’s not just about me, it’s because of the belief in what the young people of this Association can be. In the face of despair, I believe there can be hope. In the face of bad leadership that shuts you out, I believe we can be one people, reaching for what’s possible, building that more perfect union for a common good. Though the sight is unseen, I am motivated by a single, simple, powerful idea – that I might play a small part in building a better world through Scouting.
There are 1.2 billion youth in the world – the largest number of youth to have ever existed. There are now more people under the age of 25 than ever before; nearly 60% of the world’s population. This undisputable fact, portrays the situation as it is in Kenya and even within the Association.
I seek to serve you as the National Scout Youth Chairperson with the hope that my contribution shall be of great help in improving the situation of the young people of this Association, right from the district, the county up to the national level and beyond. I know I haven’t spent a lot of time learning the ways of the Association. But I’ve been here long enough to know that certain ways must change.
I know there are those who don’t believe in my ability to accomplish the plans I have for the young people of this Association. I understand the skepticism. That is why this bid can’t only be about me. It must be about us – it must be about what we can do together. It will take your time, your energy, and your advice – to push us forward when we’re doing right, and to let us know when we’re not. This has to be about reclaiming the meaning of membership in a movement for young people, restoring our sense of common purpose, and realizing that few obstacles can withstand the power of many of voices yearning for change.
As a person, I believe that “active citizenship and participation of more young people in the social, economic and political development at community, national and international level is and will continue to be the key to transformative changes in democratic governance and sustainable development; and that “ youth are partners, assets and a prerequisite for sustainable development and for the peace and prosperity of the movement and the world, with a unique contribution to make to the present and to future development..” This is the cause that I will champion.
That’s why I’m in this race. Not just to hold an office, but to gather with you to transform our Association and improve our movement. I want to win that next battle – for a revitalized youth programme. I want to win the next battle-for Scouting that impacts on community and environmental protection. I want to win the next battle-for a self sustainable Association. I want to win the next battle- for youth involvement. I want to win the next battle-for better Scouting. I want to win the next battle-on behalf of all young people who believe in the great potentials of the youth in this Association.
I have a greatly rewarding 15 years of experience in scouting through all the four sections during which I have achieved several milestones. The knowledge, experience and skills in leadership and teamwork acquired while serving in various capacities in the movement and through other engagements outside the movement may be richly applied to innovation in Kenyan Scouting.
I seek this position with the aim to strengthen the youth involvement and participation in the Kenya Scouts Association; so as to create a conducive platform for all young people to fully enjoy the game of Scouting, discover and nurture their skills and talents to attain wholesome development to enable them realize their dreams and aspirations in life.
It is my hope that this boosts your optimism for the leadership of the National Scouts Youth Forum knowing my long time aspiration is to serve the young people of this Association and beyond through passion and commitment towards better scouting.
In choosing my priorities for the five-year term, I have decided to focus on the four newly formulated pillars of Kenyan Scouting; Programme, Community and Environment, Self Sustainability and Image. Apart from that, I have also included an additional element of Leadership and Governance in the Association. Each of this will form the theme for one of the five years of my term. With your support, we shall work to;
- Design and develop alternative and creative programmes especially for Rover Scouts targeting capacity building and skill development for entrepreneurship, economic development, self reliance and community service.
- Revitalize Sea Scouting and Air Scouting to provide young people with wider opportunities to enjoy the movement
Community and Environment
- Increase the presence and strengthen the involvement and contribution of scouting at the grassroots in work that directly impact community with the aim of improving lives.
- Embark on Environmental and Climate Change Awareness campaigns and actions that will boost the movement’s contribution to environmental protection as a central element in its programmes for the sake of preserving the “temple and laboratory” for the benefit of scouting and sustainable development.
- Rethink of a shift in the management of the Association into a futuristic and self supporting organization with income generating strategies that can help finance its activities to the grassroots even in the absence of donors
- Establish Rover Scout-led entrepreneurship ventures across the country with a view of creating employment opportunities for the scouts and developing centres of excellence where other young people can learn from.
- Undertake a country-wide fact finding survey on the myths, opinions, challenges and complaints about Scouting to help us rebuild on our image
- Promote the knowledge and better understanding and appreciation of Scouting by the public so as to attract new members as well as retain existing ones.
Leadership and Governance
- Clearly define the structure and terms of reference for the youth forum and strengthen its role, at all levels, in the governance of Scouting in Kenya.
- Increase the turnover of Rovers Scouts leaving the Rovering section into leadership through leadership training and creation of opportunities for them to practice leadership both within and outside the Association.
In the process of executing my responsibilities as the National Scouts Youth Chairperson, I shall endeavor to cherish and uphold the following principles:
- Service to Others: Commitment to serving others with a personal will, facilitated by the Kenya Scouts Association.
- Diversity: Taking full advantage of our differences in knowledge, experience, views and abilities for the common good of all young people.
- Brotherhood: Embracing a spirit of teamwork, cooperation and consideration for one another as one family of scouts.
- Inclusiveness: Being open to positive contributions and fair criticisms; while respecting the rights and opinions of every person.
- Transparency: Being open in our operations and appreciating every one’s right to access correct and timely information.
- Practicality: Maintaining a reasonable and practical approach to things rather than a theoretical one, as a way of attaining meaningful development of all young people.
I am confident about my ability to lead the youth of this Association. But I also know that I can’t do it without you. So I wish to remind you that this quest is not just about me-its about us. My candidacy is only an avenue to help us achieve what we all want for ourselves, Scouting and the world. There will be times when I get tired, there will be times when I make a mistake. I shall welcome your contributions and positive criticism, so long as they are for the good of all young people. But this election that we’re running has to be about your hopes, and your dreams, and what you will do. So I urge you get your foot into the door, then proceed into the room and secure your seat around the table, so that in partnership we can achieve effective participation of all of us. Let’s not sleep, we have work to do. Together we shall make it happen.
“We cannot walk alone” and as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.” As the Liverpool FC fans would tell you, “You’ll never walk alone-I seek your assurance that I shall never walk by myself. We must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise – that Scouting dream – and in the words of our Law and Promise hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.
Today and the future of Scouting belong to the youth who must take the reigns of their future in their hands… We should properly harness the strength of our youth especially the Rover Scouts, and channel them appropriately and effectively towards reclaiming the movement’s lost glory….The right way to begin, from my perspective is, to get the youth to engage in constant conversation about the future of the movement and what we can do; and the Youth Forum is the best platform for that.
Together, we must strive to undertake all efforts with a view of re-branding and strengthening the movement to increase its relevance to the lives of young people and the community. We must develop the habit of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible-for it is only when we do that, that we shall achieve success.
From the bottom-up and not from top-down; that’s how change has always happened. And that’s exactly how you and I will change this Association. If you want a new kind of leader-ship, it’s time to turn the page. It’s time to turn the page for hope. It’s time to turn the page for voice of young people. It is time to turn the page and write the next chapter in the great Scouting story. Let’s begin this rebirth together. Let’s turn that page.
Starehe Boys Centre and Scouting have taught me the value of service to others. In his last words Baden Powel said “True happiness comes not from being rich or by self indulgence, but in giving happiness to others”. In the same way Dr. Griffin in his last words said, “Whatever is your duty, do it in the best way you possibly can. And when you have finished go on to spare some time in service to the less fortunate; not for any reward but because it is the right thing to do.” These are words that I cherish and they guide me through everything I do.
If bestowed with an opportunity to contribute to scouting in Kenya and the world at large through the position of National Scout Youth Chairperson, I would honor this with my oath to dedicate only my best. I pledge to actively and selflessly pursue my mandate with great diligence and high sense of integrity. I am Prepared!
Thank you for your support. I look forward to working together with you all.
God Bless Scouting. God Bless us all. Bravo!