Leadership Consultative Workshop (Kenya)

Empowering Student Christian Movements In African
Universities And Colleges
Theme; Humanity, Humility & Integrity
Venue: Nature’s Camp Naivasha
Date: 17th -19th May 2019.

Introduction

This document is a narration of the detailed events and proceedings of the Leadership Consultative Forum and Students Christian Movements empowerment workshop that was conducted by the world Student Christian Federation Africa (WSCF-AF) for youth leaders and students from universities and colleges in Africa within the East Africa Region. The training was conducted at the Natures Camp Naivasha Kenya for three days.

The training was organized in line with the organization’s mission of empowering students in critical thinking and constructive transformation of our world as well as the vision to promote co-operation among young people in working and advocating for socio-economic justice, peace, human rights, responsible and accountable leadership in the world. In this regard WSCF-Africa through partnership with the United Church of Canada brought together students from SCMs of Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya to come together and work out on ways to strengthen the Student Christian Movements as well as youth leadership in the African Continent.

About Participants
Participants in attendance were mobilized by WSCF- AF from different universities and colleges from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The youth leaders engaged in the forum were among those in the region who are enthusiastic and passionate about youth leadership and Students Christian Movements.

Time Schedule
The workshop was conducted for three consecutive days; with each day having three sessions and evening bonding sessions and team building activities.

Facilitation Techniques
There were several facilitation techniques used by the trainers which included question and answer forums, brainstorming, power point presentations, focus group discussions and presentations, case study discussions and practical implementation of some of the topics by trainees on flip charts and paper sheets. This multitude of training methodologies was utilized in order to achieve complete understanding and effective learning. This was rather effective as it enhanced complete participation from all the delegates.


DAY 1

The forum kicked off with a word of prayer from Miss Abigail Diana. This was then followed by the daily morning devotion led by Mr. Alex Chege which was based on the book of Acts 20; 35.

The highlight of the verse being ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’, as leaders we must  aspire to always give more than focusing on receiving more. It is important that as leaders show humility, humanity, integrity and above all must portray love in daily engagements and service to communities. With reference to King David and his life the youth leaders reflected on how to emulate him on good leadership. Key observations from David show that he was a great leader of Israel and men were willing to follow him even before he was king. He expressed humility in that even after he was anointed future king he still went back to being a shepherd. Later when he was called to the palace he worked as a servant playing music to King Saul whenever it was demanded of him. He remained humble even though he knew he was a king in waiting. Luke14; 11 tells us that everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and vice versa. It is important as leaders that we strive to be always humble.

Another of King David’s qualities was patience, anointed as a young boy he became king at 37 waiting patiently for his time. As leaders we should also learn to be patient especially with the people we meet and mostly those we work with. On integrity we observe that David was a man known for his numerous failures and successes. Despite all his transgressions and shortcomings, we see that he shows grace by admitting to his wrong doings and asking for forgiveness. As leaders too we cannot be perfect in everything we do and it is good therefore to always acknowledge when we are wrong and be accountable. We should never use our positions to cover up or commit wrong actions.

Introduction by the WSCF Team
The forum commenced with an introduction of WSCF- Africa by the regional interim director Mr. Maxwell Ray Omondi. In his presentation Mr. Omondi explained the organization’s mission which is to empower students in critical thinking and constructive transformation of the world as well as the vision that is to promote co-operation among young people in working and advocating for socio-economic justice, peace, human rights, responsible and accountable leadership in the world. He noted that the target population of the organization is mainly the youth in particular those in universities and colleges as well as those who are members of Students Christian Movements. This way the future of Christianity is protected and a foundation for a responsible Christian founded generation transition is established through the youth.

Mr. Omondi noted that the role of Students Christian Movements and young leaders is often undermined and neglected and that is why the Organization brought together SCMs from different countries and organizations together to hold constructive and critical discussions on leadership and the contemporary issues arising in our societies. This is therefore best achieved through dialogue and ideological exchanges from the diverse Student Christian Movements such as the one assembled at the workshop. The Interim Program Director further explained the scope of WSCF by highlighting that the organization is a global group which is divided into six regions namely; Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Fumec America Latina, Middle East and North America regions. The Africa regional office coordinates 26 national movements across the continent. The movements are both on affiliated and associated on membership basis. Africa’s region main areas of focus include; Bible study and theology, Leadership Development, Women/girls empowerment, Peace Building & Conflict Transformation, Internship & Mentorship Program and Eco-Justice.

The director expounded on the relationship between the WSCF and the United Church of Canada who have been partners for long which can be traced back to the 1980s. UCC has been a key partner in many projects including the Leadership forum 2019. UCC has also been supporting WSCF-AF in youth training programs such as; Internship and Mentor-ship, HIV & AIDS, Peace Building & Conflict Transformation, Leadership Development and Contribution of funds towards finishing ongoing programs. UCC-WSCF-AF relations have been very fruitful, some of the programs currently being supported by UCC involve empowering Student Christian Movements in Africa, through Leadership And Consultative Workshops and SCMs solidarity visits in; Rwanda, Kenya, Cameroon and Zimbabwe. In his official welcoming and opening remarks the interim director expressed his optimism and high regards to being part of the leadership forum with the youth leaders. “We are delighted to be with SCM Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda to participate and implement with you a vital workshop that I believe will orient and spur each one of you to practice good leadership in every institutional level” Mr. Omondi said.

He thanked the SCM leaders for hosting the workshop and working tirelessly to ensure everything was well timed and noted that he was very pleased and grateful to God for presenting this opportunity to be part of the society that will shape and usher the young generation to a bright and fruitful future. The director observed that WSCF-Africa Region understands the struggles SCMs are facing in spite of the integral globalization and are willing to work with them on such struggles.
“It is in the core interest of the organization to boost and unite the Student Christian Movements and further their relations within the region and beyond” Mr. Omondi said.

His final remarks were on the enthusiasm and anticipation he had on the workshop and wished everyone a good time and encouraged participants to take advantage of the training and utilize the information learnt for betterment of our societies. “I would like to request you to grab this opportunity and learn as much as you can, from fellow participants, facilitators and make use of this time to reflect on various elements of life. Let your concentration and confidence bring you to new knowledge and skills. Let your Prayers and Patience take you to a place of glory. Let’s learn and be the game changers of our generation”.


Introduction of the Themes and Agendas
The program assistant and intern coordinator Miss Jennifer Muthoki presented the agendas and breakdown of what would be discussed at the forum. In her presentation she noted with concern that humanity is gradually eroding in our societies. Even more alarming is the fact that young people are the most affected citing the femicide and reckless killings in Kenya as an example. As a result WSCF came up with three main themes to incorporate in the leadership forum which were sourced from Acts 20; 35.

  • Humanity- humanity is the entire human race or the characteristics that belong uniquely to human beings, such as kindness, mercy and sympathy.
  • Humility – freedom from pride or arrogance; being "unselved", liberation from consciousness of self, a form of temperance that is neither having pride (or haughtiness) nor indulging in self-deprecation.
  • Integrity- practice of being honest and showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values.

 

Topics

1. LEADERSHIP SPECTRUM
Objective: Train youth in all aspects of effective leadership, give them confidence and knowledge to conduct youth-run program

  • Biblical concepts of leadership in contemporary society
  • Leadership and managemen
  • Equity and equality

 

1. STOCKING YOUR CORE
Objective: Equip the youth with necessary skills, knowledge and information to enable them to be productive.

  • Poverty and unemployment.
  • Ethics and communication skills
  • Movement building

 

Expectations from Participants

  • To learn more about the opportunities available for the youth.
  • How the youth can fully maximize the availed opportunities for the betterment of their future as well as their communities.
  • Discovering one’s inner potential
  • Entrepreneurship and business skills
  • Self-confidence and esteem
  • Communication and leadership skills
  • Effective leadership
  • Relationship between leadership and humility
  • How to stock one’s core
  • How to better leadership skills and capacity
  • The nature of Christian leadership
  • Basic principles of Christian leadership
  • How to inspire critical and creative thinking
  • How to inspire change and progress
  • How to solve various challenges in youth leadership
  • Socializing and making friends as well as networking
  • The relationship between politics and Christianity


Biblical Concepts of Christian Leadership
This session was conducted by Pastor Samuel Kaloki who began the session by posing the question, “who is a leader in the biblical context” and “should a leader have divine calling to serve”. He observed that in the book of Genesis God created man in his own image, after which he places him in the Garden of Eden as the caretaker with duties of cultivating and guarding it.

Later the woman Eve is brought to help the man in the duties of the Garden of Eden. He observed that in so doing God had made Adam and Eve the leaders of the garden. Years later Jesus comes (another Adam) with a role to fulfill what the almighty God intended. By age 30 he begins his ministry by calling 12 people from different walks of life to train them to become his disciples. A notable transformation is seen in this analogy, at the time of their calling, the 12 were just common people (fishermen, tax collectors etc.) after they begin following and training by Jesus they become disciples. Jesus trains the disciples and finally he releases them to go and preach the gospel (make more disciples in the world). A very important concept is therefore introduced here; generational transfer of discipleship as seen in the relationship between Jesus and his disciples

This sparked a rather interesting question from Pastor Samuel, ‘are the leaders in our generation passing over leadership to the younger generation?’ Current leaders have no interest in passing over leadership to younger generations despite the fact that they keep promising the youth that ‘they are the leaders of tomorrow’. Unlike the disciples who were to bring out the inner aspect of Christianity to all the nations, leaders of the 21st century are more interested in keeping their power and leadership positions than passing them over to future generations. Ironically the leaders are not only willing but are also laying a bad foundation for future generations. Youth leaders should follow the footsteps of the disciples by leading with love, humility and integrity. With regards to the notion of youths being leaders of tomorrow, young people are encouraged to be leaders of today and stir inspiring change at whichever levels we are involved in no matter the impact.


Identification of Leaders from Biblical Times
Biblically God gives leaders the mission and vision to be able to carry out their leadership roles effectively. A case study of Abraham shows that God gave him a vision of the uncountable stars in the sky to symbolize the many descendants that he had been promised by God. Moses’ mission was to deliver the Israelites from captivity to the promised land of Canaan. His vision of the burning bush through which The Lord used to give Moses the vision he had of saving the Israelites.
Similarly leaders in the contemporary world should have visions and missions to lead them in their leadership roles. Notably the Biblical leaders experienced challenges as well; we observe that Moses was not an eloquent speaker and had speech impediment. Other leaders faced opposition from their people as well.


Two hypothetical questions were formulated by the trainer to be discussed in four groups and presentations made by each group. The questions being;

  1. Identify a character and give them a vision and mission through which the said character can base their leadership upon.
  2. Outline the objectives and challenges faced by the character in the daily activities of their day to day life and leadership engagements.


Group presentations identified the following as some of the visions and missions of their characters; empowering the minority in their communities, fair allocation of resources to the community, leading their subjects with integrity, clarity and sincere dialogue, raising community standards, resources mobilization, bridging gaps of crime and social injustices.

Challenges faced by the characters were; Insulting, propaganda and rumor mongering, discrimination at places of work, psychological torture and dress code based abuse for women, Blackmail and life ending threats, lack of resources to conduct campaigns and awareness programs and social media trolls. The facilitator explained that leaders face numerous challenges in their day to day engagements. Leaders should however find opportunities to turn the challenges into positives. Leaders should also utilize all the resources at their disposal despite the impact they should aspire to be innovative and above all seek Gods guidance in their leadership positions.


Leadership and Management
The last session of day one was conducted by Miss Caren Wakoli an accomplished scholar and founder of Emerging Leaders Foundation. She began her session by stating that the philosophy behind leadership is servant leadership and learning from mistakes made. The forum further identified virtues that inspire change and leadership which include;

  • Vision; that the youth must be visionary and be able to envision the future of their prospective projects
  • Determination; have what it takes to carry out the activities that come with their line of duty
  • Integrity; honesty and accountability should also be key in the leadership ladder for the to effectively function
  • Altruism: leadership and in particular that leaning towards community empowering programs requires selflessness
  • Courage; should be motivational to their teams as well as being able to inspire
  • Collaboration: leadership requires collaborations and partnerships with as many stakeholders as possible. Productive coalitions are very important in achieving success.


Miss Caren explained to the young leaders that even when possessing the qualities and virtues, leadership is rendered somewhat baseless if one cannot master self-awareness. “He who knows others is wise he who knows self is enlightened” Said Miss Caren. She further noted that all change starts from within.

In order to be self-aware and conscious we must possess confidentiality and grace such that we have a clear perception of ourselves. Self-awareness can only come from self-exploration and defining oneself. She taught that the best way to measure our self-awareness is by looking at our abilities to tell our life stories in a coherent manner. This she used the dangers of a single story analogy by Adichie Chimamanda who in her 2009 TED talk highlighted on the dangers of a single story.
In her talk Adichie explains that she began reading at a very young age and what she read were British and American children's books. When she began to write, at about the age of seven, she wrote stories in pencil with crayon illustrations that her poor mother was obligated to read, she wrote exactly the kinds of stories she was reading with all her characters being white and blue- eyed. They played in the snow, ate apples and they talked a lot about the weather, how lovely it was that the sun had come out. All this despite the fact that she had lived in Nigeria and had never been outside Nigeria where they didn't have snow, ate mangoes and never talked about the weather, because there was no need to.

What this demonstrates, she argues is how impressionable and vulnerable we are in the face of a story, particularly as children. Because all she had read were books in which characters were foreign, she had become convinced that books, by their very nature, had to have foreigners in them, and had to be about things with which she could not personally identify. She however notes that things changed when she discovered African books. There weren't many of them available and they weren't quite as easy to find as the foreign books.

She observes that because of writers like Chinua Achebe and Camara Laye she went through a mental shift in her perception of literature. Realizing that people like her, girls with skin the color of chocolate, whose kinky hair could not form ponytails, could also exist in literature. It is then that she started to write about things she recognized.

“Now, I loved those American and British books I read. They stirred my imagination. They opened up new worlds for me. But the unintended consequence was that I did not know that people like me could exist in literature. So what the discovery of African writers did for me was this: It saved me from having a single story of what books are.” Miss Adichie observes. In her TED talk she gives more examples of encounters she had with the single story analogy some of which she was guilty of.

The facilitator observed that from the single story analogy leaders should define themselves by being able to tell their stories as well as finding out other people’s stories. This she taught can be best achieved by coming up with life maps and stories where we identify our stories by factoring in the best parts and lows we have encountered in our journey. She noted that failure is an opportunity to learn and perform better. She surprised the delegates by telling them that at her organization this year (2019) have an objective to fail; a statement that amused the room. She explained that in failing they get to do things better and with new enthusiasm and experience. She guided the group in defining their life story through life maps and graphs an exercise that was greatly acknowledged.


Traits of a Leader/Manager

  • Goal oriented
  • Passionate
  • Risk takers
  • Integrity
  • Consistent and commitment
  • Responsible and competent
  • Good communicator
  • Persistence.


She finalized her session by encouraging the young leaders to always sharpen their leadership capacity by sharpening their body, soul, mind and spirit. She also noted that there is power in information and we should seek to read more and engage in more educational adventures. “Starting something low is not bad but finishing strong is powerful.” Miss Caren noted as she bid farewell to the participants and wished them well with the training.

Day 2

Morning devotion and prayers for day 2 was led by Mr. James who based his bible study on the book of John 14; 15-17 and 15;26. The main theme of his devotion was spirituality. He emphasized on the need to always rely and lean on the spirit of God in everything we do. As leaders it is important that we yearn for the spirit of God to be our guidance in all we do for God promises that if we obey his commandments and love him, He will give us another helper who will stay with us forever. This was followed by a recap of the previous day’s events and teachings.


Ethics and Communication Skills
The session began with a skit depicting an interview set up where a potential employer is making calls to interviewees to make appointments for interviews. The first interviewee enters the office without knocking and proceeds to take a seat which has not been offered to him yet. The interviewee proceeds with arrogance and taking over the interview and not giving time to the interviewer to ask questions and conduct his interview. The interviewer seemingly irritated just looks on as his interview is taken over and eventually informs the interviewee that they will get back to him.

The second interviewee approaches and knocks at the door, humbly walks into the office and asks for a seat. This candidate is seemingly calm and collected. He responds to questions carefully and collectively allowing the interviewer to conduct the interview. The interview ends with the candidate being informed that he can start office work in two days’ time.

From the skit Pastor Samuel Kaloki identified some of the challenges facing the youth in job seeking and communicating with seniors and professionals. He observed that it is important that while communicating we should be patient, confident and maintain eye contact as well as good body language. It is imperative that in everything we should remain humble and always do follow up for all communication processes.

Mr. Hope Maseki the facilitator used an analogy of a woman in an airport who buys a box of cookies to eat while she awaits her flight. In the lounge she seats next to a gentleman who seems to be relaxing. The woman begins to eat her cookies but noticed that every time she picked a cookie the man picked one as well. This continued until only one piece was left, interestingly the man breaks it in half and offers her a piece the woman feeling irritated leaves furiously for her flight only to find her cookies in her bag. The whole time she had been eating another person’s cookies. Mr Maseki noted from the analogy that” just because you are right does not necessarily mean the other party is wrong.” He noted that as we communicate we should always be keen to observe the traits below;

  • As we communicate we should be cognisant of the other parties by not bringing others down and listening to others as they speak.
  • Seek to understand others
  • Know your limits by asserting our boundaries
  • Seize from interrupting others while communicating
  • Be understanding
  • Practice restraint and self-control

 


Conflict and Conflict Resolution
The session began with a rather interesting video where two women are in a parking lot and one of them while getting into her car hits the other woman’s vehicle. Failing to apologise the woman whose car was hit takes revenge in a similar manner. This leads to a back and forth of the two damaging their cars by directing them at each other. This goes on until the vehicles break down and completely destroyed. Ironically enough at the end of the video we note that one of the cars has a sticker written” war is not the answer” at the back.

The participants discussed the video and what may have been averted and what would techniques would have been employed the conflict. Mr. Maseki noted that it is absolutely okay and normal to get upset but we should avoid by all means reacting in anger. Furthermore, we should think before reacting considering the options available, outcomes and the consequences of our actions.
While resolving conflicts it is crucial that we ensure a fair process is observed and be ethical at it. Being impartial is also very important in conflict resolution and we should not pick sides or have a biased prejudgement of the parties involved. Listening to the problem being addressed is important and above all attack the specific problem being faced, we should not bring up other problems.

In resolving conflicts it is crucial that we take responsibility by accepting our share of the problem or issue at hand. Owning the problem makes it easier to solve it. The results or gains of a conflict resolution must be mutual and not appear to favour one party. Use of direct communication is also very important in resolving a conflict; we should mean what we say and say what we mean.


Poverty and Unemployment
This session was conducted by Mr. Arnold Ambudo who began his session by presenting a catalogue of images aimed at contextualizing the topic. In the images the participants identified the following as part of the pictures; a group of youthful guys at a sports facility possibly for a soccer tournament, a portrait of Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, a portrait of Zimbabwe President Emerson Mnangagwa, a decently dressed young guy in the streets begging for cash with poster next to him with the words “no job no money” written on it, a youthful guy fetching water at a river, a group of high school students posing for photos in a playground field, a young woman posing for photos in her chicken farm, a young woman doing her laundry in what seemed to be a slam establishment, poorly maintained rental houses, a group of youth hanging out and lastly an image with smaller words encrypted on it; Community, Gap, Good Feel, Need Jobs, Housing, Expensive, Costs, Paying, Decent living and Education.

Mr. Arnold noted with deep concern that the images on screen depicts the current situation of youths especially across Africa by close to 80%. Poverty levels and unemployment have been the highlight in almost all African nations for close to a decade now. He explained that according to the International Labor Organization (ILO) youth is defined as people aged 15 to 24 years. He however noted that “countries vary somewhat in their operational definitions’’ and that these differences “have implications for comparability’’. For statistical purposes, the UN uses the same definition of youth as the ILO. The African Union in its African Youth Charter notes that youth or young people refer to every person “between the ages of 15 and 35 years” The ILO observes that most countries use 15 to 34 years. These definitions show that there is a very huge number of people under the youth group who are affected particularly in the African context.

The World Bank defines poverty in absolute terms. The bank defines extreme poverty as living on less than US$ 1.90 per day. Additionally international poverty lines were added for lower middle income (US$ 3.30/day) and upper middle-income (US$ 5.50/day) countries. United Nations on the other hand argues fundamentally that, “poverty is a denial of choices and opportunities, a violation of human dignity. It means lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society. It means not having enough to feed and clothe a family, not having a school or clinic to go to; not having the land on which to grow one’s food or a job to earn one’s living, not having access to credit. It means insecurity, powerlessness and exclusion of individuals, households and communities. It means susceptibility to violence, and it often implies living on marginal or fragile environments, without access to clean water or sanitation’’.

This information when translated to the African context raises a lot of concern and questions. In East Africa for example the conditions defined by the two bodies indicate that in fact a large group of people are living in poverty conditions from lack of food, shelter, clothing or even access to medical services. He further noted that other risk factors for poverty include gender, age, culture, and other social and economic contexts. Mr. Arnold noted interestingly that poor people’s definitions reveal important psychological aspects of poverty. Poor people are acutely aware of their lack of voice, power, and independence, which subject them to exploitation. Their poverty also leaves them vulnerable to rudeness, humiliation, and inhumane treatment by both private and public agents of the state from whom they seek help.

The absence of basic infrastructure particularly roads, transport, water, and health facilities is critical in identifying poverty. “Poor people focus on assets rather than income and link their lack of physical, human, social, and environmental assets to their vulnerability and exposure to risk”. Mr. Arnold said.

With reference to the earlier images all the above conditions are obviously deeply manifested in the region as the images depict actual events and conditions being experienced in the East African Region which is a very worrisome fact and state of affairs.


Unemployment
Unemployment (or joblessness) occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively sought work. Therefore, the unemployed in a country are those with age, ability and desire to work (labor force) but do not have a job. The unemployment rate conveys the percentage of persons in the labor force who do not have a job but are available and looking for one, where the labor force is the sum of employed persons and unemployed persons


Youth Unemployment
According to the International Labor Office (ILO), the global youth unemployment rate stands at 13 percent three times higher than the figure for adults, which is 4.3 percent. In their report titled World Social and Employment Outlook Trends 2018, they noted that “young people under the age of 25 are less likely to find work than adults.” According to the United Nations in 2015, the global population of youth individuals aged between 15 and 24 years numbered to about 1.2 billion globally. This accounts for one out of every six people worldwide. Meanwhile, the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) Projects notes that the youth population is expected to reach 1.4 billion by 2050. The youth unemployment rate in Africa is expected to exceed 30% this year, and young people will continue to be 3.5 times more likely than adults to be unemployed (ILO, 2019) However 4.3% of Africa’s working-age population is unemployed.
With its youth population of nearly 10 million, more than 20 per cent of its overall population, Kenya is currently experiencing a so-called ‘youth bulge’ (defined as a situation when at least 20 per cent of a country’s population is between the age of 15 to 24). Sadly this reflects in other East African nations as well. These statistics and conditions lead to a very important question, what is to be done to curb this menace?


Suggested Solutions
Actors engaged in youth employment issues in Kenya should focus their future efforts on the following areas:

  • Curricular revision of secondary, tertiary and technical level education, to allow young Kenyans to become a readily employable, skilled workforce.
  • Promoting supervised internships and apprenticeships across all sectors and education levels.
  • Supporting young people in creating their own (formal or informal) employment opportunities, by teaching entrepreneurial skills, values and personal attributes such as communication, finance, leadership, strategic thinking, navigating conflict, and the ability to recognize one’s own potential and capacity.
  • Holistic programming for Kenya’s ‘youth employment challenge’ with unbiased approaches, supporting the creativity and resilience of existing sectors and individuals, rather than focusing on the formal or informal.


Mr. Arnold noted that while actors and governments move towards eradicating poverty and unemployment it is imperative that the youth take massive individual efforts to face the challenges that come with lack of jobs. One of these measures includes information, he noted that currently the young generation is not interested in seeking information, he denoted that majority of youth prefer to spend their time on social media and keeping track of current trends which are not necessarily helpful. True to his words, when asked about the current budgets of their respective countries, the delegates could not give specific figures.

He noted that it is very important that we as youth seek information and become knowledgeable on matters that involve us. He explained that by knowing the budgets of their countries the youth can be able to do a follow up and find out whether the funds allocated have been well utilized. In the same way it is through information seeking that they will find out about the opportunities and mechanisms put in place by their governments to help them. Failure to follow up may result in misuse of funds and misappropriation. By learning more information particularly on the economy then youth can identify ways through which they can develop themselves as well by taking advantage of economic scenarios.

Packaging of oneself was highlighted as another opportunity that the youth are missing to add on their professional development and growth. He observed that most youth have become somewhat lazy and are not aggressive enough. Using an example of campus students who get at least three long academic holidays a majority of them will spend their holidays sleeping in and watching movies. Very few will use that opportunity to find internships to further their technical skills. He observed that those who actually find such opportunities have a better position of getting employed upon completing school and furthermore they get to network with professionals in their fields who get to inspire and guide them.

Talent development and enthusiasm in what we do was also given as a way to deal with poverty and unemployment challenges. In everything we do, we should aspire to be at our very best and give it our all even if the results might not be financially rewarding it is imperative that we give our best for we never know who is watching or listening. With regards to talent, the youth should find their talent and utilize it fully and find ways in which they can gain from them. Even with our hobbies we should find ways of positively gaining from them. Mr. Arnold noted that currently companies such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft among others are not necessarily looking at professional qualifications. They are gradually revising their policies to give opportunities to young enthusiastic youth with ideas and the drive to inspire change and development. Such ideas and enthusiasm can only come from talent development and mostly seeking information and using to our benefit.

The youth were advised in order to grow and become successful in life they must by all means avoid the concept popularly referred to as “overnight riches”. Patience and discipline is very key in growth. Lack of patience and need for luxurious living has seen many failing and some getting caught up in embezzlement scandals in an effort to fund an expensive lifestyle that they really don’t need. Rather than blowing funds on such luxuries it would be shrewd to invest in projects that can generate an income and inspire change.
In an era that the Sustainable Development Goals are being implemented and highly advocated for, youth should take advantage and use such opportunities to create employment not only for themselves but also for others. The Green Economy for instance is a good endeavor that is getting a lot of support from both governmental and non-governmental bodies across the world. Youth should take advantage of such opportunities and come up with employment opportunities out of the same.

Day 3

Morning devotion and prayers for day 3 was presided over by Mr. Isaac Waggala who based his readings from the books of Genesis 4;8-12, Isaiah 53;4-5 and 1st Peter 2;21. The main theme of the devotion was humanity. The readings remind us to be people of value and to follow in the footsteps of Christ who suffered on our behalf. As leaders we should show love to fellow man and manifest it in everything that we do for this pleases God. Humanity should be at the forefront of leadership.


Equality & Equity
The first session of day three training involved an educative session where the youth were engaged in discussions and given talks on Equality and Equity. This session was presided over by Mr. Mbutu Kariuki a trained psychologist and scholar. The session opened with a deeply concerning presentation on how Kenya is an unjust society and how the world is cruel to women. Through pictorial help and power point presentation he involved the group in a rather alarming discussion of facts presented by various researchers and scholars. He began by revealing that less than 0.1% of the Kenyan population (8,300 people) owns more wealth than the remaining 99.9%. “It’s a club, and you are not a member.” Mr. Mbutu said.

He further introduced more disturbing facts from research that indicate; Kenya loses $1.1b to corporate tax evasion (“tax exemptions and incentives”) about twice the health budget in a country where mothers face a 1 in 40 chance of dying in childbirth About 2.6million people fall into poverty/ remain poor due to ill health each year, yet government spends only about 6% of its budget on health. Nearly 1 million primary school aged children are still out-of-school (9th in the world)

“In this unequal world, be very afraid if you are a woman” exclaimed Mr. Mbutu. He explained that statistics indicate that there are approximately 774 million illiterate adults in the world and two-thirds of them are women. There are approximately 123 million illiterate youths and 61 percent of them are girls. In 2017, an estimated 308,000 women in developing nations died from pregnancy related causes and 2.7million babies died in their first month of life.

On economic independence, statistics indicate that in 2013, the male employment to population ratio women 72.2%: 47.1%. Women earn 60-75% of men’s wages globally. Women devote 1 to 3 hours more a day to housework than men, 2 to 10 times the amount of time a day to care (for children, elderly and the sick) and 2 to 4 hours less a day to income-based activities.

Violence against Women, Sexual Assault and Rape
Worldwide, around 120 million girls (about 1 in 10) have experienced forced intercourse or another forced sexual act in their lifetime, then twice as likely to have an abortion; almost twice as likely to have depression; in some regions, 1.5 times more likely to acquire HIV. According to the Kenya Demographic Health Survey 2014, Gender Based Violence in Kenya statistics show that 45% of women aged between 15-49 have experienced either physical or sexual violence at some point in their life.


Female Genital Mutilation
At least 200 million women and girls alive today have undergone FGM. Majority cut before the age of five exposing minors to severe pain; excessive bleeding (accidental cutting of the clitoral artery or other blood vessels); chronic genital infections; reproductive tract infections and urinary tract infections, increased risk of caesarean section, postpartum hemorrhage and extended maternal hospital stay.


Child Marriage and Human Trafficking
Globally almost 750 million women and girls alive today married before their eighteenth birthday which resulted into early pregnancies and premature end of education. Statistics show that globally, adult women and girls account for 71% of all human trafficking victims. Girls alone represent nearly three out of every four children trafficked which subsequently results to sexual exploitation.

These devastating statistics call for action and immediate intervention from leaders and all stakeholders. The conditions through which members of society particularly women have been put through are brutal and call for immediate action. The forum discussed ways through which these vices can be dealt with including;

  1. Right political choice which is hindered by selfish interests represented by these ‘home guards’. It is important that we get angry and start demanding integrity and accountability from our leadership. In elections we should consider those that have tangible objectives and are leaders of integrity otherwise we shall remain in the same cycle. Young leaders need to demand for authenticity in governments despite what it takes.
  2. Implementation of economic policies and legislation to reform the fiscal system that our professionals have neglected and sold out. We should not only call for policy reforms but also actively involve those targeted by the policies in the drafting and implementation. This way actual action will be witnessed even at grassroots levels.
  3. There is dire need to raise enough financing for free, quality public education and healthcare. We should subjugate our greed for public resources and ensure that they are not diverted from their intended purpose.
  4. Close the economic inequality gap for women and come up with policies and programs that can empower them.

By implementing these policies and formulating more we shall have created an equal and just society where all can thrive equally beyond their sexual gender or age differences. By taking care of these barriers we shall have achieved a very desirable society as depicted in the image below.


Action Plan
At the end of the three day forum the different Student Christian Movements came up with an action plan through which they intend to implement all that was taught and enhance their leadership capabilities. Among the actions pledged were;

  • Advocate for youth involvement in policy development especially on areas and matters that involve them or that are sensitive.
  • Building capacity for young people in poverty eradication.
  • Engage and enlighten people on the dangers of nepotism and corruption.
  • Encouraging the youth to take up leadership positions and demand for accountable leadership from present leaders.
  • Partner with other organizations that are involved in advocacy for SDGs and Green Economy.
  • Partnering with organizations that are actively engaged in the fight against Gender Based Violence.
  • Read more and explore more opportunities to gain new knowledge.
  • Bring the WSCF to the various universities and colleges.
  • Encouraging others to attend summits and forums that can be of positive impact to them.
  • The delegates pledged to strengthen the SCM a pledge that was backed by the interim director who encouraged them to form a committee and explore ways through which they can raise funds and be independent.

WSCF – Africa Regional Office
AACC – Ibiam House, 4th Floor, Waiyaki Way – Westlands
Website : www.wscf-africa.org