Engage the Youth for Prosperity of the Nation
August 24, 2021
Press Statement during the Launch of the Youth Policy and Engagement Framework
The National Council of Churches of Kenya has today August 24, 2021 launched the Youth Policy and Engagement Framework here at Jumuia Conference and Country Home, Limuru. The launch was done during the opening ceremony of the 64th NCCK General Assembly guided by the theme “Wholesome Youth for a Wholesome Society 1 Timothy 4:12”
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
The launch of the Framework follows that of the National Youth Fragility Survey Report that highlighted the key issues facing the youth in Kenya.
Issues Facing the Youth
The Youth Policy and Engagement Framework was developed from two national surveys conducted by the NCCK in 2020 and 2021 with a goal of clarifying the key issues facing the youth in Kenya and the most strategic approaches to address them.
From the two surveys, the issues facing the youth were identified as:
- Poverty, which encapsulates challenges related to unemployment, underemployment, lack of opportunities, lack of support for young entrepreneurs and talented youth
- Poor education and training iii. Crime and insecurity, which they experience as both victims and perpetrators, high-handed treatment and harassment by security agencies and government officials, as well as their increased indulgence with drugs and substance abuse
- Exclusion from governance, politics and decision-making processes
- Mental health issues leading to stress, depression, suicide and murders
- Family Life Challenges marked by moral decay, marital breakdowns, casual sex, teenage pregnancies, and illicit sexual relations
- Sexual and Gender Based Violence including Female Genital Mutilation
- Health related challenges especially sexually transmitted diseases
Approaches to Address Issues Facing the Youth
To address the issues facing the youth, the NCCK will seek to promote creation of a country where “All young people have improved agency to seize opportunities, engage and influence decisions and society outcomes in a healthy and responsible way”.
Towards this goal, the Framework posits five key approaches:
- Partnership between youth and adults
- Rights Based Approach
- Life Cycle Approach
- Positive Youth Development
- Effective collaboration
Moving forward, the NCCK will facilitate youth-led and youth-focused consultations across the country to facilitate development of localized implementation of the Framework. The consultations will be organized through our member churches and community forums.
Engage The Youth
On their part, we call upon the political, community and religious structures in our nation to integrate the youth. Let us all remember that the youth constitute more than 70% of the national population. This youth bulge will reach its peak by 2037.
This youth bulge presents an opportunity for economic, social and political development while at the same time portending risks and threats to the country’s social cohesion and stability if not adequately empowered and supported.
It is therefore essential that all sectors of our society put in place effective plans to transition from the current youth-suppression approach to governance to a youth-integrated approach. Failure to do this could foment chaos unprecedented in our nation.
May we always remember the wisdom God has shared in Psalms 78: 5 – 7
He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so that the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.
We counsel every adult to take as their responsibility to mentor the youth so that we shape the current and future society to be what is best for all.
On their part, we reiterate our call to the youth step out and take every opportunity to join leadership and decision making positions in political, community and religious institutions. Your diligence and determination is itself an indicator of your readiness and capacity to engage. Youth should not sit back waiting for leadership and opportunities to be given on a silver platter.
In conclusion, we reiterate our commitment as the church to continue building the resilience of the communities so that they can resist political manipulation for short term gains of a few. The youth are especially vulnerable, and we will play our role in empowering them to define their aspirations for the nation and to work to achieve the same.
May God bless Kenya now and always.
Signed on this 24rd day of August 2021 here at Jumuia Conference and Country Home, Limuru.
Rev Canon Chris Kinyanjui