You must rise up and take charge of your destiny, Uhuru tells youth

President Uhuru Kenyatta and NYS Director Nelson Githinji greet recruits with disabilities at National Youth Services College in Gilgil where more than 10,000 graduated. (Photo: Boniface Thuku/Standard)

President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked the youth to reject divisive messages and destructive ideologies and take advantage of opportunities being made available by the Government.

"We have pledged to ensure that young people acquire the opportunity and capacity to assume civic duty and engage in transformative economic activities," the Head of State said.

Uhuru said the Government had decided to increase the National Youth Service (NYS) intake from 4,000 to 20,000 youths every year. "They will benefit from a five-point training programme aimed at aligning the personal development of the cadets with national socio-political and economic goals," he said.

The President asked the youth to rise up and take charge of their destiny by embracing unity, patriotism, integrity and passion in all their undertakings.

Young people are a major pillar of national transformation and the Government is committed to actualising their potential in order to change the country positively, he said.

The President was speaking in Gilgil while presiding over the passing out parade of 10,736 recruits which is the largest group to graduate from the institution.

In his address he said the Government would intensify and enrich training programmes offered at the institution.

Through the training youths are equipped with the capacity needed to engage in transformative duties, the President said.

According to him, the empowerment projects in Kibera, Kiandutu, Nyalenda, Mukuru Kwa Njenga, Korogocho and Mathare have enabled 18,000 youths to obtain gainful employment.

To realise the vision of transformative youth empowerment the NYS was restructured last year using the five pillar framework.

This includes paramilitary training and service regimentation, national service and youth re-socialisation, social transformation and vocational training, enterprise and youth economy and bankable institutional architecture.

Under the programme, NYS is to recruit and train 21,870 youths every year with graduation for recruits happening in November and May yearly.

"By wielding these pillars of quality citizenship into one training programme the service meets my government's vision of empowering youth to contribute significantly to enhancing and elevating livelihoods and taking economic development a huge step head," Uhuru said.

The pass out parade was also attended by among others Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, NYS Director Nelson Githinji and Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua.

Under the national service and youth re-socialisation programme, youths have been involved in road construction, civil and public environment works in the slums and integrated dam construction units. "We want the opportunities to reach every Kenyan," Uhuru said.