NYC IV; Kenyan Youth to set National Agenda at the extra-ordinary session of the National Youth Convention to be held at the Bomas of Kenya on 19-20 September 2008.
The Fourth National Youth Convention will sit on the 19-20th of September. NYC IV will bring together 1,000 Young Kenyan Leaders from all 210 constituencies of the Republic of Kenya and from different backgrounds.
The Convention offers a national platform to celebrate the achievements of young Kenyans in changing public life. It is intended to build consensus on the priorities and expectations of young people across the country, their role and duties in the post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction process; to build a nationwide network of volunteer peace-makers and reconstruction workers; and to create a unifying platform for mobilizing young people across the country in Communities of Practice.
Why NYC IV?
Kenya’s demography presents a very unique picture of the population in the country as the larger population of Kenya is basically the Youth.
The violence after the December 2007 General Election results, and subsequent attempts to resolve Kenya’s governance crisis, present an opportunity for a structured and meaningful participation of Young Kenyans in the post conflict reconstruction. The last general elections demonstrated the deep-seated divisions and challenges facing Kenya. The destruction after last year’s election focused attention on the monumental tasks remaining in the process of reconstruction. The task of reconciling, reconstructing and reforming Kenya is huge and has implications on the lives and future of young people.
The Youth largely participated in and were affected by the Post Election crisis. They therefore have a stake in all discussions and actions to reconcile and reconstruct Kenya. These tasks cannot be left to the Government and politicians alone. We the Young Kenyans must rise and respond to the onerous task ahead of bringing the country back onto the track of sustainable and inclusive development. These insights led the NYC Team in partnership with other stakeholders and players in the youth development arena, to think of the space in which young people would define the future of Kenya. We need a radical new thinking through a paradigm shift to be able to manage the inspirations of young people rising to the leadership challenges of a country in transition.
The ambition of the NYC starting with NYC IV is to transform an ever deepening understanding of the complex nationhood questions into practical ideas for policy, strategy and institutional development that better integrate local interests with the interests of the whole nation. These 2 days of the NYC IV will be an arena for formulating new daring visions, for giving voice to new dreams – unimpeded by what you have to do tomorrow. Or by what you did yesterday.
We call the results from this new thinking, communities of practice prototypes. These could be advocacy plans, business ideas, ideal convention resolutions transformed to community actions. We need to identify the policies or actions that create counter tipping points that can tip the system of youth activity towards balance with national systems – as fast as we can.
The important thing is that everyone takes time to dare to think radically differently, with unbounded imagination – starting from the problem and not from existing arrangements. Community of Practice prototype is not what you think: it’s how you think.
Expected outcomes of NYC IV:
- Role and responsibilities of young people in rising to the leadership challenge of this country.
- Clear action plans on the youth participation in the National Agenda including; Enactment of the National Youth Policy, The National Accord, Completion of the Constitution Review Process and Strategic participation in the Public Commissions.
- Emphasis on the change of Young people’s attitudes and personal responsibilities in relation to their identity as a country.
- A partnership and dialogue Platform – Youth-government-public-private sector and development partners in the process of reconciling, reconstructing and reforming the Kenya.
- A Youth Advocacy plan with Key Government, Public and Private Stakeholders on the resolutions.
What you and I will be doing by participating in the fourth National Youth Convention?
Kenya’s leadership needs new and fresh ideas. A lot of them. Much of the way the country works needs re working and cannot shift these tasks of change to the older generation alone. They belong to everyone and the Youth have a major stake in the process as they will live in this country for longer. We want to foster a new generation of leadership ideas that take on problems directly, unencumbered by convention. Ideas that get the needed things done.
New ideas do not often grow on trees. They can come about from chance connection or solitary reflection, co-creative dialogues or brainstorming sessions. This year’s convention has been designed to help new ideas come from you.
The NYC IV features Hosted Conversations or Break away sessions. These are for those of you who want to dig into a well defined challenge with other eagerly engaged people. Each of these sessions is designed to come up with clear consensus and positions. Each session has been researched on and background material provided at http://youth.marsgroupkenya.org and www.youthagenda.org
Also featured during the Convention is re-thinking the role of young people in the leadership of this country. For those of you seeking new insights or inspiration for ideas already at work in your mind, we have a broad range of plenary sessions as entry points to action oriented results.
Two days is not a long time to change Kenya. But two days with more than 1000 dedicated and creative minds should result in good sound ideas for action. This is our personal and collective opportunity this year: to come to the final plenary with ideas, workable or unworkable, in a country as it is today. Share your ‘what fits’, your ‘why nots’, your ‘yes ands’. Shock us, wow us, turn us upside down. By the end of the convention these daring visions may well be ready for some nuts and bolts that anchor them in the country.
The Constitution of Kenya talks about the Kenyan Citizen. There is no reference of tribe in the Constitution. The NYC IV starts at this point. MY TRIBE IS KENYAN. We trust that all Young Kenyans will participate in the National Youth Convention. You can participate by watching the Convention through the mainstream media, who have also pledged to support the young people of this country who make up the population, and by participating in the debate wherever you are in the Country.
Let’s put down our weapons! Let’s talk about us – as Kenyans.
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The NYC IV is being sponsored by:
- A donor basket Fund under the National Response Initiative NRI under URAIA
- MARS Group Kenya
- Fredrick Ebert Foundation (FES)
With support from
The Following Organizations are part of the Team supporting NYC IV
- Youth Agenda
- YES Kenya
- Slum Code Group
- MARS Group Kenya
- YPEER Network
- Young Women Leadership Institute
- Voluntary Youth Philanthropists (VYP)
- Young Women Christian Association
- Vijanaa for Peace