Hope is the word that rings in my mind whenever I think about the youth of our country. With all freshness and vibrancy, a great destiny lies ahead of us. There is therefore great need to tap and channel the energy youth possess to productive activities that will help shun terrorism and radicalization influence among the youth.
The youth talent pool is diverse and ranges from sports, art, music, and business among others, their ingenuity on social media and content-sharing websites. If given steady platforms to express their talent the youth will SAY NO to the influence of terrorism among peers.
Youth who feel left out and lack connection to the society would easily be lured into criminal activities, while some be radicalized by terror groups like Al Shabaab. In many occasions youth have been used as tools to cause harm as seen for instance through the various criminal gangs in Mombasa, therefore as the most vulnerable generation, youth can easily be lured to terrorism with a promise of a better future hence the need to be empowered with chances and be facilitated financially to ensure they thrive independently and further create more jobs in the community. Moreover, engaging the youth in constructive social events such as the church-based activities, cultural or community events will enhance their participation, and this will provide give them a sense of belonging.
Taking time to engage with the youth, getting to understand their needs, as well as their suggestions on issues affecting them through relevant organizations holding forums on youth empowerment as well as providing mentorship programs will ensure that youth take part in relevant activities including taking the lead in counter-terrorism.