'This is something we can actually prevent'
Roy Sasaka Telewa, CEO of the National Government Affirmative Action Fund, has joined the Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign to mobilise young people across Kenya to drive action against this deadly disease
Roy Sasaka Telewa is currently Chief Executive Officer of the National Government Affirmative Action Fund in Kenya. He works to promote the socio-economic empowerment of vulnerable groups by improving their livelihoods through the provision of financial support. Growing up in Kenya, Roy was directly impacted by malaria and continues to be driven by the injustice it inflicts on society.
"Growing up I was affected by malaria," says Roy, "It made me miss days off school and my mum lost days of work to take care of me. This is why I joined the fight against malaria because the people who are suffering are our families... And this is something we can actually prevent."
Malaria is stealing young futures and is holding back the African economy. Roy explains: "By the virtue of ending malaria, we will save millions of lives, channel a more productive economy and bring about better livelihoods. So, let’s all arise and take action to end malaria."
With three-quarters of Africans now aged under 35, Roy is passionate about empowering youth to shape the continents future. In his most immediate role as CEO of the National Youth Council Kenya, Roy propelled it into a vibrant organisation that builds and enhances capacity of Kenyan youth through strategic consultations, engagements and partnerships.
"We’re looking at how we harness the youth voice, not only in Kenya but across Africa."
Roy has joined the Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign to mobilise more young people to join the fight against malaria. He recognises that today’s youth have the potential to be powerful agents of change: "We’re looking at how we harness the youth voice, not only in Kenya but across Africa… and that’s how I’m involved...to create an army of young people that are going to dedicate their time to fight malaria across the continent."
Roy believes the youth of Africa has a lot to offer to the fight against malaria. "With young people being the majority, when you harness that demographic dividend of young people, you’re harnessing a lot of energy, a lot of resilience and of lot of creative minds to drive the advocacy agenda to bring about awareness."
In a message to young people in Kenya and across Africa, Roy, who also serves as the Deputy Secretary General of the Pan-African Youth Union, says, "I believe that the fight to end malaria is a concerted effort where we put all our energies together… Advocacy, awareness and community engagement will require us to not only talk about it, but also take action."
"To end malaria we need all of us to put our heads together as governments, as civil society, as young people, to rally around in terms of policy, funding and awareness for malaria."
We are the generation that can end malaria. Join the Zero Malaria Starts With Me movement and call on your leaders today.