SPEECH BY H.E. MARGARET KENYATTA, THE FIRST LADY OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA, DURING THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE CONFERENCE TO COMMEMORATE THE UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE FAMILY ON 15TH MAY 2015 AT KENYATTA INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTER, NAIROBI

On October 19, 2018 In Statements and Speeches

Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen, It gives me great pleasure to be with you today as we commemorate the United Nations International Day of the Family. The day was set aside by the United Nations 21 years ago to celebrate the family institution and also create awareness on the need to promote strong family ties in our society. As we celebrate this day, let us ask, why family day? What are we trying to achieve? The family as an institution is as old as human civilization and in the hectic pace of competitive modern life, we should recognize the solid foundation the family gives our society. As we celebrate this important Day, we as Kenyans need to promote and retain our positive values that pertain to family structure, functions, roles, beliefs and attitudes. Looking at this Conference’s theme, “Family: Hope of the Nation” we are challenged to have a broader view of the family.  The family as we know is the smallest unit that makes a community, society, nation and the world.  Every individual is a product of a family in which the foundation of his or her behaviour, character and attitude is laid.  Families are the center of society and provide a stable and supporting home for people of all ages. Family is about relationships. Relationship is about love and affection. It is about sharing joy; joy which has no meaning in solitude.  A cohesive family builds character, commitment and self-worth. A child that grows in a loving family is likely to be a good citizen. Strong families build a strong nation. Having built a strong family, we need to look out and build bonds with neighbouring families, thus breaking the barriers of ethnicity, race, colour and religion.  Strong family values rest on compassion, respect, peace, justice, freedom, equality and most importantly, tolerance of different opinions, ideas and affiliations. It is about bettering our community as a nation. Such community allows all its children to play together, mothers and fathers get together, and elders can meet. A network of families becomes a strong community and finally a strong nation. Let me add a special word about elderly members of our society. They have a special role and responsibility in strengthening the family and maintaining family bonds.  The elderly members are an important treasury of our collective wisdom, institutional memories and our history as a nation. And they have the time and experience to provide support to the younger generation. On a final note, let me say once again that keeping family ties is very important for us to have a peaceful, safe and caring society.  I wish to take this opportunity to thank the national steering committee and all stakeholders for their commendable efforts in making this occasion possible.  It is now my pleasure to declare this conference officially open.   THANK YOU

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