President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta today at State House, Nairobi, launched a unique mentorship project that will benefit bright pupils from across the country.
The project known as Pupils Reward Scheme (PURES) was initiated by the President to motivate pupils to work hard in their studies and instil in them a sense of discipline, direction and patriotism.
Through the project – the first of its kind in the country – beneficiaries will be facilitated to visit State House to interact with the President and the First Lady.
Speaking during the launch, President Kenyatta said the main objective of the project is to inculcate the spirit of service which has become rare in the Kenyan leadership and community at large.
He said the project enabled young people to experience what it takes to be in government leadership and to offer services.
“It is very unfortunate that in recent years as a country we have lost that spirit of service. We have embraced negative values that in so many ways have resulted in our children losing hope, “said the Head of State.
The President observed that the negative values in the society have largely to do with leaders who have not exhibited the spirit of selflessness, service and sharing amongst the youth.
“We have tended to personalize leadership as opposed to growing it, we have tended to think that leadership is inherited or belongs to a certain class of people to exclusion of others,” he said.
The President said the programme will cultivate a desire amongst the youth to work hard to achieve the best and also aspire to get into public leadership.
The first batch of beneficiaries comprised of 25 boys and 23 girls from all counties who excelled in their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams last year. The students were accompanied by their teachers.
The First Lady said the project signifies the President’s desire to mentor the younger generation.
“Presently the Pupils Rewards Scheme is designed to allow children from all over the country to visit State House to meet with H. E. the President,” said the First Lady.
Apart from interacting and learning from each other in an open environment as one people from one country, the First Lady said during the one week programme, the young performers will also visit various Government institutions including the National Youth Service headquarters at Ruaraka and Parliament buildings.
She said this opportunity will open up the minds of the young people and encourage them to pursue careers in government or national leadership in the coming years.
“I take this early opportunity to congratulate each and every one of you for the truly exceptional performance you displayed in your KCPE exams,” she told the beneficiaries of the project.
Interior and Co-ordination of National Government, Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery said governors need to emulate the President by initiating similar projects in their respective counties.
He said good mentorship has correlation with security adding that some of security challenges have been perpetuated by misguided and deviant use of the youth in the country.
“What you are launching here today is a welcome initiative which will be an additional arsenal in the fight against crime and insecurity,” said the CS.
Other speakers during the function included Science and Technology, Principal Secretary Prof. Colleta Suda, UNICEF representative in Kenya Dr. Pirkko Heinonen and Nairobi Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke.