May 15, 2016 – WYA Africa staff and interns participated in the National Family Day Conference in Nairobi, Kenya in celebration of the International Day of Families. The gathering themed “Nurturing and strengthening the youth as crucial members of the family in the Kenya context” had many good speakers coming from the International Institute for Legislative Affairs, Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, Strathmore University, Grace Community International and the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya.
All of the speakers showed considerable concern about the contemporary challenges facing the youth in the families where domestic violence, parental absenteeism, early pregnancies and impunity for children rights abuses were considered as a norm. They also shared that due to the deterioration in family values and lack of effective youth-centered policies, the youth remain most vulnerable to abortion, negative peer pressure and life controlling addictions.
One inspiring story shared was the a story of a man who had just bought a new sports car “jaguar” and has he drove along the highway; a small buy threw a stone at the car and broke the windscreen. The man jumped out of his car very furious ready to punish the boy, but then, he saw a teary aged man off the wheelchair lying down next to the boy. When he asked the boy what was going on, the boy told him that his father fell off the wheelchair and he couldn’t carry him back. He had tried to stop motorists in vain so he thought throwing a stone would get him attention. Is this the current youth? Is the youth being ignored? Are they throwing stones at us to seek attention? These were some of the question raised by the speaker.
Dr. Stanley Mukolwe of Grace Community International recognized that the young people are an integral part of the family and as such should be given adequate attention. To do this, we must all strive to protect and uphold family values at all cost since the family is the fundamental basic unit of the society. Majority of challenges faced by the young people, as he highlighted, can be adequately solved within a stable family that cares and is responsible for its members, and as such the family as the basic societal unit plays a critical role in shaping the young people.
The speakers aimed to inform the attendees of the new family policy concept and the role of parenting in nurturing and influencing the community both in the local and global contexts, but, secondly, to emphasize on the importance of family and why it should be protected.
WYA considers the family as a school of deeper humanity; within which each member learns best what it means to be a human person. There, each member of the human family, from conception to natural death experiences the gift of unconditional enduring love. Thus each human person is carefully taught by the family to be responsible, to commit to share and to love. Click here to read more about WYA’s Declaration on the Family and Economic Development.