The spouse of the Deputy President Pastor Dorcas Rigathi held a talk with the students of Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) on Wednesday, marking the 9th institution of higher learning she has visited in her advocacy against alcohol, drugs, and substance abuse.
She has previously visited University of Nairobi (UoN-Main Campus), Mount Kenya University (Thika), St. Paul University (Limuru), Daystar University (Nairobi), Maasai Mara University (Narok), Karatina University (Nyeri), Chuka University (Tharaka Nithi), and SOT Technical Training Institute (Bomet).
Pastor Dorcas said the preventive program against addictions was targeting students at an early age before they fall victim to the psychoactive substances.
She told the students to avoid taking their own lives when life gets tough.
“When things are very tough, do not take that step that will have you taken home in a casket. As servants of God, it is very painful to be burying our children. It is very painful to see parents burying their children. We (parents) brought you here (university) so you can change our lives, and instead you bring us sorrow, grief and mental illness,” said Pastor Dorcas.
She encouraged a closer relationship between children and their parents or guardians, and students and their lecturers and counselors, so the youth can speak freely about the struggles they face.
She said the youth were the future of Kenya, and she did not want this hope cut off.
“10-20 years from today, the youth will be running most sectors of our economy as thought leaders. The youth are, therefore, the strongest pillars of our community and future,” said Pastor Dorcas.
She also reminded the 1500 students that their background should not dictate their lives.
“I came from an obscure background. I grew up at a ghetto in Thika called Kiandutu (the place of jiggers). We grew up there, with struggles. In the ghetto you find all manner of illicit brews, drugs and substances, and radicalized criminals. But in the same ghetto there are good people, who are wonderful and loving,” said Pastor Dorcas.
Acting County Commissioner Ronald Mwiwawi acknowledged the transformative work of reaching out to the youth in the university and in the streets.
“As we cut down on demand for drugs, and pull out those who have fallen victim to these drugs from the drug dens, take them or rehabilitation and to TVETs for skilling, and make them productive, we shall realise the bottom-up economic transformation agenda, and have Kenya compete at the global stage,” said Commissioner Mwiwawi.
He said that Mombasa County would change due to the preventive and curative programs against drug addictions.
The Coast region has the highest incidences of drug use in the country largely caused by the coastline, and the robust tourism industry, and import and export business.
Others present were Vice Chancellor Leila Abubakar, and Deputy VC Academics Prof Peter Gichangi who in their speech appreciated the visit by Pastor Dorcas, saying her conversation with the students would tag on their hearts to make the right choices for their lives.