Africa’s greatest potential (resource and asset) is its youthful population. According to the latest World Bank statistics, there are 200 million youth in Africa that constitutes 20% of the continent’s population. Out of this number, the data reveal that 60% are unemployed.
The Church, as God’s principally ordained institution to bring transformation to the lives of individuals and communities has a role in the process of youth empowerment. However, it is unfortunate that though the church has immense resources to do this, the motivation and skill required for engagement are often lacking.
It’s for this purpose that CMS Africa has developed a curriculum to empower the church to effectively engage the youths with the aim of building their potential for wholistic engagements in the family, community and the nation as a whole.
CMS AFRICA YOUTH PUBLICATIONS FOCUS/OUTCOMES:
The following is the transformation we hope to see in the individual and in the community when they finish the program using this 3D (Discover, Develop and Deploy) Youth curriculum:
For more details and training contact CMS Africa.
UGANDA: A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION FOR MUKONO DIOCESE YOUTH
Mukono diocese played host to a youth conference like no other the area had ever seen before. The event which took place from the 9th to 14th December, 2013 was aimed at introducing the CMS- Africa youth training manuals to the diocese as well as get an update on the ongoing Mukono Wholistic community transformation initiative in the area..
A photo of youths and children who attended the conference in Mukono Diocese, Uganda.
The one week event organized by Transforming National Alliance (TNA) a partner with CMS-Africa based in Uganda saw James Kweyu, CMS-Africa’s Finance and Grants Manager grace the occasion as a guest speaker. “The event was very special and dear to my heart as it enabled many youths and children in Mukono diocese set aside a whole week to discuss topics that are very relevant to them,” he said.
The event that had well over 700 youths and children of the diocese attending was based at a local primary school in a remote village in Mukono known as Lugazi. Lugazi is about 40 kilometers from the country’s capital Kampala and is home to many youths and children that make up majority of the population there. It was the nerve centre for all the activities of the youth conference. “The area was remote and even had network problems but the bonding and sharing we had was all worth it,” said James.
The event that focuses on youth development and impartation of programs to enhance renewed mindsets for wholistic transformation has had significant impact on the lives of the youth in the area. Last year’s conference had attendance numbers nearly triple as compared to when the conference was first held. Indeed Mukono diocese is a good illustration of wholistic transformation story. The youth ministry specifically was reported to have been revived courtesy of their new youth coordinator Rev. Eddie Balamaze.
The Reverend has managed to bring up 12 Trainers of Trainers (TOT), a term used to describe representatives of the mission who undergo a training exercise for mission work and later use the knowledge they acquire to train others in their respective communities. These TOTs use CMS-Africa’s youth empowering manuals to teach others. “The event employed the use of our empowerment series that will really help them,” said CMS Africa’s James Kweyu.
The conference had morning, afternoon and night sessions that had the youths and children participate in unique and distinguished activities within the boundaries of these sessions. The children aged between 10 years to 14 years had special programs designed for them. However, during devotion the two groups held prayers jointly. According to James, the group discussions contained interesting topics that affect the current crop of youths in the region and the world at large. “Matters of sexuality and dating are among the few topics that were discussed,” he said.
A projector displays one of the discussion topics- Homosexuality (Sodomy), at the youth conference.
The young minds were also blessed with biblical teachings from Bishop James Ssebagala who is the head of the Mukono diocese. Post-conference discussions were held to have the Church of Uganda (Youths and Children’s Department) use the CMS-Africa youth empowerment manuals in schools for training. This will be wonderful in having the youths receive the transformative message at an early stage
Plans are also under way between CMS-Africa and Transforming National Alliance (TNA) to have a follow-up program to be held later this year. There’s no denying the great strides being made by the diocese of Mukono in youth empowerment especially focussing on spiritual growth and development. “Surely Mukono diocese is transforming at a commendable pace. We trust to have this replicated in other dioceses,” concluded James.