During the celebration of the 10-year anniversary of YouthConnekt, which brought together over 2000 young people from different backgrounds, it came to light that every year, thousands of youths trek a mountain in western Rwanda for a prayer. Organised by the Catholic Church, specifically Nyundo Diocese in western Rwanda, the pilgrimage takes place annually at a 'prayer mountain' known as Our Lady of the Poor, which is located in Rutsiro District. ALSO READ Kagame’s warning to poverty-worshipping youth pilgrimage explained According to President Paul Kagame, who was also the guest of honour at the event, the fact that the youth who should be striving for prosperity, spend days and nights walking to this mountain to ‘pray for poverty’ is absurd and shows lack of direction. In a country that prides itself in empowering the youth through creating for them opportunity in many ways; be it in ICT through different initiatives and hubs, and entrepreneurship, such pilgrimages are a major setback. Following the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the government put in place different initiatives including YouthConnekt, as a way of linking the youth to opportunity to be able to make a meaningful contribution to the development of the country. In fact, the same government has pulled all stops to ensure the youth are in decision-making positions at different levels of governance as they are being prepared to take on the mantle from the generation of the seniors. However, with such poor mindset, these efforts are likely to face a major setback, if such practices are allowed to thrive. While praying is important, such acts can be detrimental to the development of the country, and must be avoided at every cost. The church should also be a partner in development. For example, the Catholic Church, which organizes this pilgrimage that compels the youth to walk days and night and go without food in a prayer associated with poverty, should be at the centre of rallying its followers to strive for development. While everyone has a right to practice religion, such cult-like practices that can easily mislead the youth must not be tolerated. Local leaders should also be on the look out for such unconventional gatherings so that they are nipped in the bud.