Drought, hunger, civil con ict and violence in parts of the Horn of Africa led to an in ux of hundreds of refugees into Kenya’s North Eastern Province (NEP). Those seeking refuge in NEP desperately hold on to hope for a new life and be er future. Tension and insecurities continue to haunt the region, requiring CBM and the broader NGO community to address issues unique to this area with wisdom and originality.
For two decades, Kenya has been a refuge for those eeing from the turmoil of neighbouring countries. Over time, some of those refugees have migrated to Nairobi. Most of them are poor with very few opportunities and even fewer civil rights. Families are crammed into small apartments doing what they can to earn enough to pay rent and feed their children. In this environment, women and young girls endure the most isolation.
Kenya’s Urban Ministries Program encompass women’s Self-Help Groups (SHG). Several groups have been established with the goal of empowering women socially, economically and politically. The intent is to connect these women from Muslim backgrounds with projects established with our partner churches. The groups provide members with social support as well as a forum to discuss issues that affect the lives of their families and community. A recent conference brought together Christian and Muslim SHG leaders. They learned practical skills such as basket weaving, tie dyeing and making soap, while sharing experiences with each other. By learning and talking together the women develop trust in each other, resulting in friendships that provide mutual encouragement and support.
How the Project Works
CBM continues to build relationships and nd new avenues to minister effectively in this predominantly Muslim context. The needs are great and plans are underway to break the cycle of poverty.
The project uses a Self Help Group (SHG) approach to enhance the well-being of vulnerable households through holistic interventions that leads to social, economic and spiritual empowerment. The groups provide the context wherein adult literacy is fostered, scholarships are provided for vulnerable children, members receive funds for skills training and are taught to implement “sack gardening”. The objective remains to empower communities to create better lives for themselves and their children. To this end groups are gain access to sanitation and clean water as latrines are constructed and water filters are distributed.