The History of NYS
The NYS was established in 1964 through an Act of Parliament to train the youth in important national matters such as service in the armed forces, national reconstruction programmes and disaster response.
At this time, service in the NYS was compulsory to all Kenyan high school graduates. This compulsory recruitment lasted for a period of about twenty years. In the late 1980’s, however, the recruitment of pre-university students was made voluntary and has remained that way ever since.
The Act that brought life to the NYS has the following goals; to facilitate the provision of work experience for young persons with a view to their employment to encourage participants to develop, a sense of responsibility and of service to the country; and self-respect and respect for authority; to promote among participants, values of discipline, democracy, citizenship and cooperation. The programme trained about 4000 recruits a year and gave them such skills as paramilitary training, secretarial skills, and dressmaking. Thus through the NYS, many young people in Kenya were able to obtain basic life skills such as organization skills, discipline and leadership.
In 2013, the government of Kenya began the restructuring of the NYS in order to effectively execute its mandate. This is in order for the youth to participate actively in the country’s development goals. The new NYS will be launched on the 10th of September 2014.
The Service undertakes major projects which are part of the national development plan and all servicemen and servicewomen make an important contribution to the project work while at the same time gaining personal skills that will be of use to them in their own lives.