[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] Youth projects in the Anglican provinces of Kenya and Rwanda have been chosen by African Anglicans to receive the first of a new set of Anglican Communion awards in recognition of their success in youth discipleship.
Details of the new awards were announced in February: At each meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) the provinces of the region hosting the meeting will be invited to submit entries which will be judged by the provinces of the region.
One award will recognise the success of an existing project while the other will receive a cash grant of £10,000 GBP to support innovative and embryonic schemes.
The first winners were announced last night at a dinner hosted by Bishop David Njovu and the Diocese of Lusaka for members of the ACC and local Christians in the grounds of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Explaining the thinking behind the award, the chair of the ACC, Bishop James Tengatenga, told those present at the dinner that the former official youth work network of the Anglican Communion had come to a close and that the area work had been transferred to the Communion’s mission department. Discussions had taken place about how youth work could be supported and reinvigorated and the concept for the award was developed.
The Council of Anglican Churches in Africa (CAPA) – the regional grouping of Anglican provinces on the continent – chose the Anglican Students’ Fellowship (ASF), a movement of Anglican students in colleges and universities for the recognition award.
The ASF, under the umbrella of the Kenya Anglican Youth Organisation (KAYO), nurtures Anglican students to act as role models for their peers and supports them through discipleship. It also ensures Anglican students remain connected to local churches while they are at universities. Its wide ranging programme also includes the promotion of Christian values amongst the students and encouraging them to “collectively give back to our community and local churches.”
The Bishop of Nairobi, the Rt Revd Joel Waweru, one of the Kenyan members of the ACC, received the award from Bishop James Tengatenga.
The Bishop of Nairobi, the Rt Revd Joel Waweru, celebrates after receiving the Anglican Communion’s new youth ministry recognition award on behalf of the Anglican Church of Kenya’s Anglican Students’ Fellowship.
Photo: Gavin Drake / ACNS
CAPA chose the Diocese of Kigali’s youth project in the Province of Rwanda to receive the award in the emerging project category. The announcement from Bishop James Tengatenga was greeted with warm applause; but nobody from Kigali or Rwanda was there to hear it – Rwanda being one of the small number of provinces that chose not to attend ACC-16.
The Diocese of Kigali’s new youth project will work in a number of ways: It will raise awareness in congregations about the importance and cost of youth ministry; and mobilise resources to create a “vision focussed youth leadership” that will “raise new preachers and leaders” and “reach out to many young people.”
The project will also develop the diocese’s work with children by publishing new Sunday School literature and providing training for Sunday School teachers. It will also encourage ministry to young people and teachers through youth camps and a new youth Centre in Bihembe.
Bishop James Tengatenga said that the Anglican Communion’s mission department will work out a way to present the award to the diocese.