National Youth Service to recruit 20,000 every year

By Isaac Meso and Nicholas Waitathu

Kenya: The National Youth Service (NYS) plans to recruit a minimum of 20,000 youths every year. This is aimed at curbing radicalisation of jobless youth by vigilante groups, Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning Anne Waiguru has said.

The 21,870 servicemen and women are further expected to train 227,670 more youths once they finish their training at the NYS.

Waiguru said the youth are going to serve the nation for a period of between four and six months under paid labour while being supervised by the 21,870 youths.

“If you ask the youth what makes them get involved with the vigilante groups, most of them will say it is due to unemployment. We thought that if we gave them an identity and significance, then we will be able to deal with the problem of insecurity,” she said.

Waiguru noted that the Government would restructure the NYS such that apart from training youths, the body would also champion social transformation driven by the youth.

The CS was speaking Thursday in Nairobi during the launch of the 5-point vision of the NYS. She also gave a detailed breakdown of how the youths are going to be divided in the new structure.

The youths are going to be regimented into 15,178 squads. Each squad will have 15 youths, making a total of 323 squads in each county.

While in the camps, the youths will be expected to make a mandatory saving of Sh100 every day which will be deposited in a squad account.

The collective account, she notes will help them bond and the money they save will come from the payment they get from NYS. These squads will also have the opportunity to apply for funds being issued by the Government. 

New equipment

Meanwhile, the Government has procured equipment worth more than Sh5 billion from the Chinese Government to be used at the NYS.

Ms Waiguru said the exercise is part of the Government efforts to restructure the institution. The machinery will arrive in the country next month. Further, the restructuring programme is aimed at encouraging the national service concept to enable the youth graduating to serve in various capacities before completely joining the labour market.

She said the equipment would be installed in seven schools under the NYS management in the country and assist in training the high number of youths expected to join the institution.