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Media urged to advocate for meaningful youth engagement

The Media has been urged to help in advocating for meaningful youth engagement in the Country’s decision making, especially now that the country is headed to the General Elections.

Speaking during a journalist training in Kajiado organized by The Network of Adolescent and Youth of Africa (NAYA) network in partnership with Amref Health Africa, NAYA Kajiado Program Officer, Dominic Kimitta, noted that the youth have been sidelined for long in significant matters that affects them and it is time to engage them effectively.

Kimitta noted that the media is a viable tool that can advocate for the youth to be engaged in policy making and meaningful conversations, rather than just being handymen or Watu wa mkono as generally termed.

He challenged the media to provide the right information to the youth, noting that with the right information, the youth will have the decision making power.

“Youths should have the right information at the right time in all matters regarding them, so as to be able to add their voice too,” said Kimitta.

Kimitta noted that the youths must have an influential voice in executive and advisory boards or everyday choices and be included in community and government’s policies, budgeting and other key decisions that involve the allocation of resources.

The Program Officer further urged corporates and communities to provide safe spaces, for young people to address issues affecting them, without feeling intimidated or looked down upon.

Kimitta emphasized that even as the youths are engaged in different platforms and agendas, their engagement should be long term and beneficial to them.

“The media as opinion shapers, have to ensure that the youth are heard, involved and their sexual reproductive health and rights are ensured in Kenya,” he said.

He reiterated that meaningful youth engagement is diverse representation that goes beyond tokenism and manipulation.

The one-day training conducted by officials from NAYA in Kajiado, brought together several media practitioners from all media stations in Kajiado.

During the training, the journalists were also taken through reporting on Sexual and Reproductive health and rights advocacy.

By Diana Meneto

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