Fr Stephen Okello, co-ordinator of the Pope’s visit, talks about the security situation at the Safaricom Stadium in Kasarani, yesterday. Pope Francis will address over 200,000 youths in Nairobi. PHOTO: DAVID NJAAGA/STANDARD

Fr Stephen Okello, co-ordinator of the Pope’s visit, talks about the security situation at the Safaricom Stadium in Kasarani, yesterday. Pope Francis will address over 200,000 youths in Nairobi. PHOTO: DAVID NJAAGA/STANDARD

Top security personnel, including Nairobi Police Commander Japheth Koome, were at the stadium to meet with the organisers and discuss how security will be managed on November 27, when the Pope is to address more than 200,000 youths.

The security detail was keen to know where every invited guest would sit, Sports ministry officials sought to know what they would be expected to provide to the stadium, while youth representatives were anxious to see that they were involved in every step of the preparations.

“We are excited he chose to meet us. It shows he recognises the role of youths in national development,” said Dominic Kamau, the youth mobilisation committee co-ordinator.

He described the papal visit, specifically his meeting with the youths as the start to a beautiful narrative – one where youths are recognised as the core of society.

Father Edwin Hunja, Catholic youth chaplain in Nairobi, explained that the function would be mostly run by youths. He said more than 3,000 youths have already volunteered to help in ushering, cleaning and ensuring order.

The Pope will sit on a special 32-seater podium alongside youths, some of them from Equity Bank’s Wings to Fly programme. On his side will be another podium that will accommodate the President and several Cabinet secretaries.

“What the youths want to tell the Pope has already been sent to him so that he can know the best way to address them,” said Steven Okello, the visit’s co-ordinator.

By Mercy Adhiambo, The Standard

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