Given that youth are vital resource to ensuring a more sustainable future and fulfilling the SDGs, KCIC believes it is important to begin now- while they are still teenagers- to empower them to become the better leaders of tomorrow. A few weeks back, more than 550 teenagers attended the Inspire Leadership event which was geared at cultivating leadership qualities and opportunities amongst the youth.
The event thus consisted of speeches by leaders in the community and goal setting activities, interspersed by fun games from MC Junaya and even a surprise musical performance from Hali Hisia.
KCIC CEO Edward Mungai began by outlining the seven habits of highly effective people. These include: being proactive, beginning with the end in mind (start from the end goal and then work your way backward to try to get there), getting your priorities straight, think “win-win” (it’s not about you winning and someone else losing), learning how to listen, and working in teams to get things done. Although these are individual habits, they are definitely applicable to how we can go about attaining the SDGs.
Sue Wairimu gave an account on how she got into a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) career. “STEM courses are vital to accomplishing every SDG, and it is of particular importance that more women and girls get involved,” she said. In the spirit of encouraging young women to take up STEM courses, Ms. Wairimu founded Ladies in Helmets, an organization which seeks to empower more women to join the construction industry to achieve gender equality.
Strathmore University Professor and Vice Chancellor of Research and Innovation Izael Pereira da Silva, spoke on the important decisions that teenagers must make, including how they treat their parents, choosing books over other distractions and avoiding drugs. Professor da Silva also reiterated on how teenagers must be careful when choosing their friends.
Mr. Mungai also spoke about types of goals and the best way to achieve them before participating in a goal-setting activity. Going from the expression that “goals are dreams with deadlines,” Mr. Mungai explained the characteristics that a goal should have: specific, attainable, measurable, have a deadline, and be relevant to your particular lifestyle. Given that the SDGs have a clear deadline- 2030, and consist of specific targets and indicators, teenagers can apply what they learned into beginning to address the social, economic, and environmental problems facing Africa.
By Alise Brillault