Youth are young people in their early stages of development but with qualities of vigor and freshness. At this stage, they are loaded with potential that, when left untapped; either lies idle or are put to unproductive and retrogressive use.

We have hundreds of youth who have distinguished themselves for high performances in various fields such as academic, athletic, artistic, leadership, philosophy or even just socially wired to serve in community mobilization and cultural preservation.

We increasingly need to deliberately tap into these raw talents and mould them judiciously for maturity and productivity while maintaining the originality of their forte.

Various demographic indicators show that youth aged 15 to 34 years are about 35% of the Kenyan nation’s population. Taking this to Rarieda, through direct projection, of the 135,000 residents, nearly 50,000 are youth.

With the above population of youth in our society, and with the need of youth being predominantly nutrition, education and health, we see that massive resources are required for development of this age group.

There therefore exists an urgent need to convert these masses into productive individuals at an early age. That way, they immediately become a contributor to community labour, and income while establishing themselves as ingrained social assets, balancing out the community’s perception of them as a burden. 

With these views and facts in mind, and the poverty levels we are currently confronted with, we are increasingly required to project means for progressive reduction in dependency ratios.

Bloom, Canning, and Sevilla (2003), are reported to indicate that the size and composition of a household has implications on its welfare. Majority of our populace must therefore be engaged in income generating activities in order to ensure average lifestyle for all. To this end, our youth must be able to transit faultlessly to join the desired majority income contributors in our community.

When talents of the youth are nurtured, a society will churn out a balanced ratio of professionals, resulting in diversity, and in turn a balanced socio-economic growth. There will also be room for balanced continuity, as these group mentors the next breed of young community members.

Youth being the future citizens, need to be encouraged to take the initiative to build a cohesive society reflective of their ambitions for tomorrow. By this cause, they stamp their authority as the segment of the society with natural duty to renew, refresh and maintain the bloodline of the community’s aspirations for prosperity.

Taking cognizance of the fact that we live in a modern dispensation, it is only proper to imagine that, it is our youth who will carry us across the raging stream of modernism, courtesy of their skills and innovative spirit.

We must therefore, initiate activities that provide experiences for physical, social, ethical, emotional, and cognitive competencies in our young people. We must seek growth of young people in connection, confidence, competence, character, and compassion while tackling challenges.

If Rarieda is to take the lead in boosting the greatest opportunities for nurturing young talent, and take pride in the rewarding socio-economic benefits of an active youth in society, then it must take control of our young men right now! We must unveil these hidden treasures!! Youth talent building and mentorship must be at the heart of the community’s ideals.

What we now need urgently is a return to our communal roots, and organized societies. Visionary community leaders with ambition for prosperity for posterity need to be singled out and supported irrespective of political persuasions.

Unity and shared prosperity should be seen to have merits that far outweigh the reasons for our isolation and pursuit of selfish ambitions.

More work should be done to explore the strategy that could work in building a prosperous society; but in any case, youth will always be its backbone.

Eng. Reuben J Onunga, PE

Team Leader and CEO, Rarieda Professionals Trust (RPT)

Harnessing the power of professionals for fiscal development for posterity.