The annual East and Central Africa Division (ECD) youth congress and students retreat was officially opened on Tuesday 22nd December, 2014 at the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton by Nandi County Governor, Dr. Cleophas Lagat and accompanied by the Chairperson of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) of Kenya , Sarah Serem, and the ECD Executive Director, Dr. Nathaniel Walemba.
The retreat, themed “Turning the Cities Upside Down” and is attended by hundreds of youths from 11 countries, is aimed at inculcating leadership values and morals in young people for the service of the humanity.
Speaking during the function, Governor Lagat said that young people are the cornerstone of the society and challenged them to take up leadership roles and serve for the common good of the society.
“I am very proud that Adventists owns such an auspicious University in my county. My doors are always open to this church and to this Institution and I will work with you for the prosperity of Baraton University,” He said
The governor added that the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s health mission, evident in the mega Jeremic Community Hospital, has benefited the residents of his County.
SRC chairperson Sarah Serem, who is scheduled to give a talk on Women and Excellent Leadership at the retreat, said that she honed her leadership skills from the teachings of the SDA Church.
“When people say, who this serious woman is, I know that I am a woman brought up by an Adventist church. So I invite the governor to the Adventist world. I will be here through my lifetime,” she stated
Dr. Nathaniel Walemba, the ECD Executive Secretary, and UEAB former Vice Chancellor, said that the church recognizes the leadership potential in young people and that it is the reason why several youths are serving in its key decision-making organs.
“When you see the smiles of the people around, know that it’s a smile because the Chepterit-Baraton road has been now tarmacked. We will appreciate today, tomorrow and at any opportunity we get, we will do so. Take the message to the national government that the improvement of this road is highly appreciated by the Adventist Church globally,” He added
The event started by the inspection of a gourd of honour by Governor Lagat and mounted by the ECD Master Guide and the UEAB Pathfinders.
Other key facilitators are Ruraka Constituency MP, TJ Kajwang, who will give a presentation on Adventism and Political Leadership, Professor Mary N. Getui, the chairperson of the National Aids Control Council and Dr. Baraka Muganda, the Vice-President of the Ministry at Washington Adventist University.
The retreat ends on 27th December, 2014.