Thursday 12th January was our annual Teens Conference 2017. Every year we hold a special conference for all of the teenagers that we work with and this year was even bigger and better than ever!
Over 1000 teenagers from across Kampala came together for a fantastic day of entertainment, seminars, advice, faith and fun. The day involved inspirational talks from a range of speakers; dance performances from our teens including our children’s choir and the Fantastic Four; question and answer sessions and space for group discussion; and a hot meal for everyone who attended. Every teenager also received a gift pack of essential items and a special T-shirt commemorating the event.
This year we were so blessed to have some special guest speakers who came to motivate and encourage the teens. Agaba Ronald Bills, a prominent Ugandan author, leadership speaker and youth mentor and Levixone, one of Uganda’s top Gospel artists. Levixone’s story in particular was really powerful and resonated a lot with the teens. After growing up in Kampala’s slums himself and even spending time living on the streets, he got caught up in gang crime. But after an amazing encounter with God, he became a Christian and transformed his life. Now one of Uganda’s top celebrities, he uses his fame to encourage young people to make good choices in life and as a platform to share about his faith. He also stressed the importance of being proud of where you come from and not thinking you are too young to make a difference – “Don't wait to be rich to make a difference in your community - even now you can change someone's life”.
The day finished with an altar call where four brave boys decided to commit their lives to Christ for the very first time!
Many of these teenagers have to live with extremely difficult circumstances. Some are leading child-headed families, others have lost family members to sickness and poverty. Many teens have not been able to finish their education due to lack of school fees and have little prospects of employment, making them vulnerable to getting involved in crime, violence and substance misuse. We want to provide hope for these teenagers for their futures and we love to host this yearly event to allow all teenagers at our centres to feel loved and valued. Thank you everyone who helped to make this year’s Teens Conference possible.