IT’S TIME TO TAKE A BOW! Farewell Message by Nelson Ochieng Opany, the Outgoing National Youth Representative Delivered at the Annual General Meeting of the Kenya Scouts Council on 28th March 2015
Dear Brother and Sister Scouts;
It’s time for me to take a bow! My experience as a National Youth Representative, serving together with my counterpart Grace Michuki, has been one filled with its own fair share of good and sometimes very challenging times. That notwithstanding, this has been undoubtedly my greatest leadership opportunity so far. I exit a happy person, with my head held up high, knowing that I did my best to represent the young people of this movement as best as I could. It was all worthwhile.
Just like Baden Powell did I wish to share with you a final message; not that I am dying, but because it’s difficult to leave people I have worked with for 3 years without saying a word.
To the Kenya Scouts Council;
Your inalienable duty to provide overall guidance and oversight to this Association remains as important as ever before. You must not relent in ensuring that Scouting in this country remains relevant and continues to fulfill its purpose of empowering young people to play a constructive role in society.
To the National Executive Committee;
The key to the legacy of your tenure lies in the ability to successfully implement the devolved system of management as well as in more capital investment for the future sustainability of the Association. Opportunities and resources to achieve these are available. Let the millions of Shillings we get as grant in aid yield fruits that you will be remembered for. Even as you do that, efficiency, transparency, accountability, sustainability and continuous improvement should remain at the core of your business. May you not lose sight of who you serve – the young people.
To all Commissioners at County and District Level;
The image and impact of Scouting at the grassroots depends on you. May you always seek to strengthen the devolved structure as a way of empowering your counties to better deliver quality Scouting programmes for the young people. You have the greatest responsibility in ensuring that the true value of Scouting is made visible in the young person and the community we live in. Do not let down the movement.
To my Fellow Young People;
The struggle for effective youth involvement and participation continues. So far, we have made considerable strides to improve this. However, much more needs to be done. The institutionalization of youth involvement through a National Scouts Youth Involvement Policy is one such key action that still remains undone. You should seek to build on the gains made and explore new frontiers. We must not relent on advocating for more opportunities and spaces for young people to learn and develop. But even as we do that, let us embrace dialogue and act with great discipline, maturity, respect and clarity of purpose.
To the Staff of Kenya Scouts Association;
I commend the efforts you put in each day to ensure the wheels of the Association keep turning. Always know that even though we rarely say it, you are very important part of the systems of KSA. Always seek to uphold the highest possible levels of professionalism in your work and people will respect you for what you do.
Allow me to give special mention to;
The National Youth Committee, all Youth Representatives at County and District level for giving me the challenge of serving you; and especially my great friend Grace; with whom we have walked together on this journey, even before our election in 2012;
The Chief Commissioner, Mr. Ray Musau; National Programme Commissioner, Mr. Richard Iyaya and the Chairman of the Projects, Partnerships and Resource Mobilization sub committee, Mr. George MacGoye; all of whom I worked directly with, for their constant guidance and support.
And most importantly, to the Almighty God for granting me the opportunity to be of service and leading me through all this while. I also wish to thank each and every one of you all for the support you have given me in various ways.
Even as I leave to concentrate on my duties at the World Scout Bureau - Africa Regional Office, I promised the Chief Commissioner in my letter of resignation, that I will remain available to support Youth Programme and Messengers of Peace activities; which as you all know I'm very passionate about, as and when the opportunity and time may allow. KSA has contributed immensely into making me the person that I am today; and I am committed to give back in ways that I can. You can be sure that at some point in future I will make a comeback in a different capacity because I believe that there is much more I can do for this Association.
I wish you all the best as you continue to steer this movement towards growth and prosperity. May you always be reminded of whom this movement belongs to – the young people; and your duty as adults and leaders to provide them with an example worthy of your best self. May all your efforts aim at creating opportunities for them to develop into the kinds of people that Baden Powell envisioned – useful members of society. Remain true to the Scout Law and Promise. May the good Lord bless, protect and guide you always.
Until our paths converge again, I remain yours truly - a Scout and a Messenger of Peace. Thank you!
Nelson Ochieng Opany
National Youth Representative, National Messengers of Peace Coordinator and Member, National Executive Committee (2012 – 2015)
28th March 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya