Sunday, February 7, 2010

Joy, encouragement and celebration at youth graduation ceremony

SOS Children’s Village Eldoret passed yet another major milestone on Sunday 31st January 2010 with the celebration of the youth graduation ceremony (when youth leave the family house to live in a neaby youth facility). The event, which was held at the Noble Guest House & Conference Center in Eldoret, saw 8 youth graduating to the youth facility. It was a moment of jubilation as the graduands arrived at the hall colourfully dressed and palpably excited. The ceremony, which was full of pomp and colour, was presided over by the village director, Mr. Peter Mungai.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony in which co-workers as well as invited guests from the community took part, Mr. Mungai wished the youth the best in their future as they mark this major milestone in their lives. “I am today handing you over to the youth care co-workers who will continue guiding you on the path to independence. Today you celebrate this significant step in your lives - graduating from the family house to the youth facility, which for all of you is the beginning of the next phase of your life on the road to becoming independent and productive members of society”, said Mr. Mungai. He urged the youth to utilize their time well and ensure that they will have completed their education by disengagement time.

Pastor Mwalo, while giving a sermon to the congregation advised the youth to hold on to the guidance and instructions they had received from their caregivers in all aspects of their lives. The Hermann Gmeiner school principal, Mr. Omobe encouraged the youth to focus on building their character. “I want to emphasize that you endeavour to model good behavior at all times so that your younger brothers and sisters can learn from you”, he said.

The mothers poured their hearts out and urged the youth to be responsible, disciplined and make education their priority. “Make the best of what you have learnt from here”, remarked Mama Rogers. She dissuaded the youth from associating with friends who bring out the worst in them. “Our presence here today is an expression of our love for you”, added Mama Wambui.
The graduates, who were looking forward to this day with great anticipation, each spoke eloquently of what they learned from their mothers while in the family house and how they will apply what they learnt in their life in future. Each graduate received a gift from their mothers. Charo Yaa, one of the graduates, could not hide his joy at joining the youth facility. "I would like to thank my mother and other co-workers for the support, care and guidance they have given me while in the family house," he said. "You did a wonderful job in training me mama."

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