According to the World Youth Report (2020), there are 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 years, accounting for 16 per cent of the global population. Locally, Kenya is termed as a country of the youth according to the 2019 Population and Census results which shows that 75% (35.7 million) of the 47.6 million population is under the age of 35. With the energy, creativity and innovation embedded in the youth, they have a significant role to play in finding solutions to the global challenges. Young people are the future of any society, and as such, they have an important role to play in promoting transparency and accountability. They are feeling the corrosive effects of corruption and government apathy in every area of their lives, from education and road safety to health and environmental protection. They are ready to use their tech savvy to create new systems of accountability and transparency for the public and private sectors. By engaging in activities that promote transparency and accountability, young people can help to create a more open and equitable society that benefits everyone.
Integrity is a fundamental value that is essential for personal and societal growth. It is the quality of being honest, having strong moral principles, and doing the right thing even when no one is watching. Integrity building is the process of developing and maintaining a strong sense of honesty and ethical behavior in individuals and institutions. While many people assume that integrity building is the sole responsibility of adults, young people are also actively involved in this process. Read more to understand why involving young people in integrity building initiatives is necessary.
Firstly, young people are involved in integrity building as they are the future leaders and decision-makers of society. They are the ones who will be shaping the future, and their actions will have an impact on the world around them. Therefore, it is crucial to instill values of integrity in them from a young age. By doing so, they will be able to make ethical decisions and act responsibly in their personal and professional lives.
Secondly, young people are involved in integrity building as they are often exposed to situations where they must make ethical decisions. For instance, they may be faced with peer pressure to engage in unethical behavior, such as cheating on exams or engaging in substance abuse. By developing a strong sense of integrity, young people can resist these temptations and make the right decisions.
Thirdly, young people are involved in integrity building as they are often the ones who identify and report instances of unethical behavior. They may notice instances of corruption or misconduct in their schools, workplaces, or communities. By speaking up and reporting these instances, they can play a crucial role in promoting accountability and transparency.
Fourthly, young people are involved in integrity building as they are often the ones who drive change in society. They are passionate about making a difference and addressing social issues such as climate change, inequality, and human rights. By advocating for these causes with integrity and transparency, they can inspire others to follow their lead.
Lastly, young people are involved in integrity building as it is an essential life skill that will serve them well in their personal and professional lives. Employers value employees who act with integrity, and customers prefer to do business with companies that have a strong sense of ethics. By developing a reputation for integrity, young people can set themselves up for success in the future.