Youth should be celebrated not commemorated in a patronizing manner in for day of the year alone. We work hard, we try hard, we think about the future constantly trying to create our own original path on this journey called life. I believe youth day should be a day for youth to relax with the old as we all celebrate the milestones youth are achieving daily which the world never gets to see.
Yesterday’s theme was : Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward.
It is sad to say this theme was far from talked about yesterday at the KICC. But before I go on pointing out all the negatives for yesterday (which are anyways too many), an upside was that it helped hungry youth interact with even more hungry youth to build bridges. As for the very important people who were invited to come talk to the youth about the challenges they go through everyday, it would be best for them to actually take the time out and try understand the problems the youth are actually facing.
What are our statistics? Do we have youth from other countries who come to Kenya with hopes of better lives? Do the Kenyan youths who leave ever come back? How do they contribute to the countries in which they reside in? How are they treated in those countries? Do they help establish businesses back home? Do they share the skills and knowledge they gain from these countries with people back home? How does the Kenyan govt. work with them to transfer all these resources back home?
Young Kenyans make a transit from Kenya to far away lands to go live and work there. Having the privilege of having lived in a foreign country, I have seen first hand how these young women come with at times nothing but the clothes on their backs but we they leave, they leave as well off individuals. Where do our young men and women go when they leave, how do they get to their destinations, how do they survive, ad how much remittances do they send back home.
These are the basic questions which should have been answered yesterday. They were not answered. The theme was not well discussed or even pronounced, most of the youth did not understand the reason for the day much less feel part of the “celebration”.
In 2012 the then Minister of Immigration, Mr. Otieno Kajwang introduced a policy change which saw to it that foreigners seeking permits for jobs that pay less than Ksh 2million per annum were not given. There are 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US, thousands of which are Kenyan youths. What happens when the US govt decides it is time for them to back home? How will they adapt to the culture shock, how will the people who were depending on the remittances being sent continue surviving?
By Kenyan AT Seven STAFF.