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Africa Alliance of YMCAs condemns in the strongest terms possible the cowardly acts of terrorism witnessed at the Dusit D2 Hotel. We would like to express our sympathy and solidarity to the victims of this tragedy, their relatives and friends. We share in the grief of all those who are injured or mourning their kin. May God give you the strength to go through this difficult time. 

Our research and work in the communities has shown that unemployment, religious/ideological influences and lack of equal opportunities are among leading factors contributing to the youth joining violent extremist groups. 

In order to effectively commit to the elimination of violent extremism, the YMCA is investing more in prevention measures targeting young people, while including them in shaping of such measures. The YMCA believes that promoting cooperation and working towards the encouragement of mutual values of peace and stability will pave the way for long-term change. The YMCA also believes that without the participation of youth, any efforts towards reduction and eventual elimination of violent extremism will not succeed. We must therefore stand together to fight social and environmental injustices to root out terrorism.

Kenyans faced the tragedy with resilience, courage and dignity, particularly those who were present in the building and the surrounding buildings during the attack. The pictures posted on social media show how valiant they are, women and men, remained calm and followed the evacuation instructions. They are people who strive in everyday life to maintain peace both in their immediate neighborhood and in the country as a whole.

It’s within this context that our work makes sense; and that each of our actions – which contribute to build a responsible youth citizen, self-aware, self-confident, and working hard for a better future – brings hope.

We also take this opportunity to commend the courageous efforts of the security forces, the Kenya Red Cross, other ambulance support, hospitals, volunteers and all those involved in the rescue operations. We applaud the efforts of Kenyans in standing together with the victims by donating blood, giving food and also helping in evacuation process. We urge all Kenyans to stay strong; this incident should not break Kenyans’ resilience and unity. Keep courage and remain blessed.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. » Eph 6 : 10

Rakatomalala Lantonirina, General Secretary AAYMCA

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