The Anglican Youth
The Kenya Anglican Youth Organization was one of the vibrant department during the initial stages of the diocese. This could be attributed to the fact that Bishop Muge was himself a youth and the provincial chairman of KAYO. He used the opportunity to champion for the rights of the young people not only in the church but in the political, social and economic spheres of life. He made sure the diocese engaged a full time youth worker who coordinated the youth programmes in the Diocese.
The Kenya Anglican Youth Organization was started in the year 1962 by the then Bishop of Mt. Kenya Diocese The late Obadiah Kariuki. He started it with the aim of bringing young people to the Church of Christ. He had a great vision for young people and wanted a forum where they would be empowered in matters of faith and equipped to be soldiers of Christ. This department serves young people aged 12 years and above. In the year 1964, the Bishop launched the Diocesan A.Y.O. at the St. Paul’s Mother Church Kabete and a youth committee was commissioned to carry on the herculean youth work in the Diocese. In the consequent Synod all other Bishops agreed to start A.Y.O. in their dioceses. The name was changed from A.Y.O. to KAYO to cover the entire country. In the commissioning service of the youth organization, Bishop Kariuki highlighted the following:-
• The need for the Church to relate to and respect the young people as persons. (1 Tim 4:12)
• Help the youths to develop a positive self image in Jesus Christ.
• The need for the Church leadership to accept the youths as they are. (1 Cor. 9:22)
• Establish a close relationship. 1Thes. 2:8 - be with them rather than be like them.
• Provide spiritual authority (work with them not just for them).
(Courtesy of http://ack-mtkenyasouth.org/diocese/kayo )
Its Anthem is:-
OO KAYO, Mashahidi wa Yesu Chama kikuu, chenye kusudi kubwa Kinawapendeza vijana, wasichana na wavulana OO KAYO Mashahidi wa Yesu.
The KAYO prayer is:-
Teach us good Lord to serve you with all our strength, body, soul and mind. To love you and rejoice in you always. To offer our services without counting the cost.
The KAYO promise is:-
I promise to serve Jesus Christ all the days of my life To pray and read the Bible each day, to reach out to the other young people Especially K.A.Y.O members and to abide by the rules of the group.
The KAYO objectives are:-
• To bring young people to know, to love Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
• To build up young people in the knowledge and behavior of the Christian faith, the Bible being the foundation.
• To educate young people in good Christian character and to encourage them to be leaders of the Church.
• To help the Church understand its responsibility towards young people.
The formation of the youth group was sometimes met with problems through lack of understanding from the adult church leaders. They saw the energetic youth singers, with instruments such as drums and guitars as a challenge to their work. They refused to allow young people to preach and to contribute in their meetings. We must now praise the Lord! That is over and the young people have now, 50 years later, a place which is unquestioned in Christ’s Church in Kenya. The KAYO can now boast that most of the Bishops over 70% now were D.Y.O.s and are KAYO products, 95% of all clergy were members of KAYO, over 90% of all church elders were members of KAYO, roots of senior politicians in our nation can be traced in KAYO and most of the workforce in our country were once and are members of the KAYO. Membership
Eligibility of members Full member to be considered a full member shall be required to fulfill the following: -
• Aged 12 – 35 years, baptized and confirmed
• Regular attendant of youth fellowship at local the church
• Be well versed with KAYO prayer and pledge
• Know the doctrine of the Anglican Church (the New Catechism)
• If married, it should be in church and one should be married to only spouse
• Membership fee of Ksh. 100/- which can be reviewed with time
• Full member shall be admitted by the Bishop or his nominee upon adequate preparation
As much as we would want to see a vibrant youth in the diocese once again, the following challenges to be faced in a positive way: -
• Lack of financial and moral support in implementing KAYO programmes • Lack of commitment by the parish and archdeaconry chairpersons since these is the diocesan entry points to parishes and archdeaconries