Equity Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr James Mwangi, has urged 153 students from Uasin Gishu County who benefitted from the ‘Wings to Fly’ scholarship to avoid drugs and teenage pregnancies in their pursuit of success and a better life.
Speaking while commissioning the ‘Wings to Fly’ scholarship at Moi Girls High School Eldoret, Dr Mwangi told the students not to trade their big purpose with the temptation of drug abuse and teenage pregnancies.
“The next four years will see you transitioning from a child to an adult, in an involuntary hormonal transformation and this may trigger pressure and temptations to lose your way and your ambitions, please don’t stray from your purpose,” advised the CEO, adding “as for the girls, please use your intelligence to suppress the emotions that come with hormonal change”.
Dr Mwangi who has been recognised globally for his work to democratise financial access in Kenya, providing over 90 percent of the unbanked population opportunities for broader economic participation, reiterated that the Equity Group Foundation, has made arrangements with all the schools receiving the beneficiaries to ensure the students are assisted through a scholars champion programme and gender champion programme which are geared to assist the students on counselling and other gender-based issues.
“Your peers know as little as you know, therefore, they cannot be your counsel,” he warned.
“If you want assistance please seek counsel from your parents who love you the most and have your best interest at heart,” Dr Mwangi.
He further urged the students to seek counsel from their teachers who are professionally trained and developed purely to nurture the students and therefore they are qualified to offer advice and guidance.
A 2019 Report by the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA), shows Uasin Gishu County has the highest current rate of alcohol abuse among pupils with 7.5 percent followed closely by Kisii and Kisumu counties.
He challenged students to take the next four years of their education seriously because it is a phase of character development.
The CEO further said the students need to choose carefully the values they need to show the behavioural traits they need to see in themselves.
The 2014 National Demographic and Health Survey indicate that teenage pregnancy rate in Uasin Gishu County is at 22 percent compared to the national rate of 14.7 percent.