Christ's Youth in Action
Christ's Youth in Action or CYA is a national Catholic movement of young men and women dedicated in sharing the love of Christ they have personally felt and experienced. It also aims to promote social transformation by equipping potential leaders with skills anchored in faith and Christian values, in the service of the church and the society. CYA is found in colleges, universities, parishes and renewal groups in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific region.
Some 27 years ago, a Catholic covenant community called Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon came up with a decision to do outreach programs for young people in Metro Manila. They organized informal get-togethers and faith-sharing sessions. An increased number of university students took affiliation with Ligaya which resulted to the formation of a sub-group called Student Outreach. Consequently, these informal events turned into regular activities held in campuses, attracting more college students.
Growing in popularity, the Student Outreach began accepting offers to spearhead and organize events like retreats, recollections, seminars, and sports activities in campuses. With more tangible activities, the Outreach began receiving unexpected financial supports allowing it to hire full-time staffers (youth volunteers) to serve in different universities. It was during this time that the Outreach became fully aware of its mission to spread God's word among college students. In effect, the group changed its name into Christian Youth in Action, and officially adopted the name Christ's Youth in Action in February 1982.
CYA grew rapidly the following years. It joined several groups as well like the Archdiocesan Youth Organizations and Movements and the Federation of National Youth Organizations. It now has units in 25 universities and colleges in Metro Manila and in almost 30 other places in the Philippines and in the United States. In 2006, CYA joined the search for the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) launched by Malacañan and the Senate Committee on Youth. Its outreach project on a rural area in Bataan entitled Let the Youth Build Up the Church won in the regional level and landed on the 20th place on the national level.
CYA Way of Life
Although CYA is a Catholic organization, it advances an ecuminical appproach among its members. As such, non-Catholic students are also welcome to join the group. But for Catholic members, it is advised that they participate actively in the life of the church especially in the celebration of its sacraments. The organizational structure is composed of a national council headed by the national director, regions, sectors headed by a sector head and a sector moderator, areas, chapters and units led by a service council with a chair as its head. Each unit has a program for their school, including regular prayer meetings and occasional trainings and seminars. A smaller support group for men and women called Action Group is held separately once in a week. Aside from these activities, CYA also conducts major events like the National Youth Festival, Summer Training Conference and Term-break and Summer Household. Among others, CYA is noted for its counter-culture of discouraging college students to enter into an exclusive intimate relationship. It teaches its members to prioritize study and to focus on their budding relationship with Christ, through personal prayer and scripture reading. Aside from this, CYA has institutionalized a unique way of greeting each other, a tap on the shoulder among men and a kiss among women signifying support for one another.Their motto says, "Kay Kristo Buong Buhay, Habambuhay!"
- "Christ's Youth in Action." http://www.christsyouthinaction.com