Transforming the Boy Child to a responsible Child

Every year, Caritas Nairobi Dinner brings together stakeholders, friends and the Caritas Nairobi Family Network to fundraise for a cause. This year’s dinner scheduled on December 2nd focuses on rescuing the boy child from the moral decay that the society has directly and indirectly inflicted on him.

Over the years, a lot of emphasis has been put on the girl child to ensure that her rights are taken care of interms of protection against violence, access to education, empowerment among other issues. While these efforts have bought about positive change and a paradigm shift on how the girl child issues are handle, the boy child has subconsciously been forget in the midst of it all.

While the girl child is enjoying her freedom and coming out of her shell, the boy is fighting to treated better. Yet the expectations placed on boy child are huge yet the society does less interms of support to ensure that indeed the boy child not only performs but surpasses the set societal standards.

The boy child has been brought up to believe that he is not supposed to show weakness; most cultures believe a man keeps his issues to himself. As a result, a majority of boys and men are suffering and the effects are adverse. Mr. Martin Mburu, the Director of The Corner Brook School and a boy child champion, during the Launch of the UN HeforShe in the Archdiocese of Nairobi observed, “Men have gone on strike because they are a forgotten lot. The society needs to empower boys, inculcating in them the culture of responsibility and hard work; sweating for that ultimate success.”

The boy child is under siege, facing challenges of modern times and not knowing who to turn to. In Kiambu County which the Archdiocese of Nairobi serves, alcoholism and drug abuse is very high and poverty is crippling. These conditions do not favour the boy child and intervention is crucial before our young male generation gets consumes

Caritas Nairobi Boy Child Plans
The target for the Beacon boy child project will be the Pontifical Society of Missionary Childhood (PMC) age 9-13 and Missionary Youth Movement Groups (MYM) age 14-17. It is expected that every Parish will have a Beacon Boy Child Project but those in charge will be the CMA members for easy management of the programme. Each Catholic Members Association (CMA) in the Parish will have a man in charge of the boy child program to coordinate the activities and link with the Caritas Office.

Caritas Nairobi will identify and engage facilitators for the boy child program. The office will also ensure that activities organized take place. Communication between the Parish Program and Caritas Office will be channeled through the CMA leadership in the Parish.

It is expected that at the end of the project, it will impact on not just the boy child but the entire society through increased Peace and harmony, reduced crime cases, Improved performance in school and Strong and healthy youths. There will also be increased sense of responsibility by the fathers to their sons.

Goal “A committed and responsible boy child in the society supported by an empowered man capable and willing to take his roles in the society”

Objectives of the Beacon Boy Child Program

Overall, The Beacon Boy Child Program through a range of initiatives, is aimed to:

  1. Instill a sense of responsibility in mentorship of the boy child by the men
  2. Instill moral and ethical values to reach boys in all 13 Deaneries in the Archdiocese of Nairobi
  3. Reduce  the level of Boy-child school dropout rate
  4. Create a seamless transition from PMC, youth and finally to CMA
  5. Develop an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Intervention Programme
  1. Expand collaborations with other stakeholders in empowering the boy child

Expected outcomes:

  1. A committed and responsible boy child
  2. Increased involvement of Boys in church activities
  3. Increase in boy child performance in school
  4. Increased retention of the boy child in school
  5. Established Alcohol and Drug Abuse Intervention Programme
  6. Increased involvement of men in mentoring the boy child

Activities:

  1. Develop a mentorship program for men to boys
  2. Facilitate training of trainers for identified boy mentors
  3. Develop a training manual syllabus to be used in trainings
  4. Adopt a boy strategy for school monitoring
  5. Organize cultural festivals during school holidays to enhance sense of belonging
  6. Establish Collaborations with other stakeholders
  7. Facilitate Talent identification and development through Social interaction forums i.e. sports tournaments
  8. Establish an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Intervention Programme
  9. Develop Publicity Materials
  10. Bible quiz competitions, catholic social teachings,

May We Dwell in Unity, Peace and Liberty

A while back, I wrote an article about a woman who was set ablaze by her husband during the 2007 post elections violence. Interestingly, this couple had lived together for several years despite their different ethnic backgrounds. What started as normal discussion of politics turned tragic when her husband splashed kerosin, lit a matchbox and set her on fire.

The woman, a mother of five survived the ordeal but the 75 per cent degree burns engraved on her body by her husband will be a constant reminder that because of different political stands, the man she trusted to be her protector turned against her. These is just but an example of the extremes of violence instigated by politics.

Let us face it, Kenya is synonymous to political unrest especially during the election period when the temperatures are high. Not once or twice but severally, leaders have been caught on camera making rather wanting remarks. I will not dive into the details of the 2007/2008 general election but we all know the wrecked status our country was at the time.

The general elections are just around the corner and already the temperatures are at boiling points. While the leaders currently sitting in office and those aspiring for office have a  responsibility to spread a word of peace as they politic, the question that remains is what am I, what are you, what are we as a society doing to uphold the sovereignty of this country by passing on this timeless message of peace?  Talking about peace can never be old news plus this message is not age conscience.

The elections upcoming crucial are crucial and the fact of the matter is, we all have preferred candidates who we feel will drive this Nation in the right direction. However, given that there are different aspirants, there are chances that our preferred might not win the election. Now does this automatically translate to hatred for one another? Absolutely not! If anything, this should bring us even closer knowing that we can coexists despite our different stands. Kenya is bigger than a day at the ballot.

As we ready ourselves for August 8th let us embrace the words of Pope Francis in his 2017 peace Message titles ‘Nonviolence: A style of Politics for Peace’  where the Holy Father says, “May charity and nonviolence govern how we treat each other as individuals, within society and in international life.”

New Policies To Aid Groups’ Management

In an effort to enhance service delivery to members of Self Help Groups, the Self Help-Programme launched new policies during the programme’s 25th All Leaders Annual General Meeting held on March 4th. The policies were launched as supplementary documents to aid in the interpretation and implementation the newly revised Self-Help Programme Guidelines. Equally, the policies will aid the groups in establishing internal control structures that protect the groups’s assets.

According to the Caritas Nairobi Self Help Programme Coordinator, Mr Eric Gichobi, as the coordinating office of the groups’ operations, Caritas Nairobi has the responsibility to respond to the groups’ needs as they continue to expand in membership and capital base.“As the programme continues to grow so is the constant need to streamline administrative structures,” said Mr. Gichobi adding that the policies will assist the groups to adapt to the current economic, social and legal environment while maintaining the relevance of the programme in the communities.

The policies, available at the Caritas Nairobi office are:

The Finance and Procurement Policy:

The document offers an elaborate description of the relevant policies regarding financial management in the Self-Help Groups. It will also assist in guiding procurement functions within the Self Help Programme This is will ensure that the program adapts to the current economic, social and legal environment while maintaining the relevance of the programme in the communities.

The Credit Policy:

The policies will guide the management committees and other stakeholders in the processing and monitoring of loans, managing defaults and development of good loan products

The Human Resource Policy:

This document that is in line with the Kenyan’s Employment Act, guides the management is handling issues relating to human resources i.e recruitment of the groups’ staff members, motivation, the retaining of loyal, responsible and professional staff.

the-catholic-archbishop-john-cardinal-njue-appeals-for-donation-as-he-flags-off-relief-food-to-northern-kenya

The Catholic Archbishop John Cardinal Njue Appeals for Donation as He flags off Relief Food to Northern Kenya

“Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.” Proverbs 22:9.

In response to the drought currently being experienced in the Northern part of the Country, the Catholic Archbishop, His Eminence John Cardinal Njue officially flagged off food donations to be distributed in Marsabit and Isiolo Dioceses. The donations amounting to 80 tonnes, are valued at Ksh.8 Million.

The contributions were received from various Parishes within the Archdiocese of Nairobi following a national appeal by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Archdiocese of Nairobi (ADN), which covers Nairobi and Kiambu Counties, has a total of 111 parishes majority of whom contributed towards this cause. Caritas Nairobi, the Social Development Arm of the Catholic Church has been coordinating the collection from various Parishes within the ADN.

“While the government is playing its part in addressing the issue at hand, the Church equally has a responsibility which is why we are inclined to make a contribution and supplement the efforts already being made. In addition, the current situation dictates the individual responsibility that we ought to play in showing solidarity to our brothers and sisters. I am therefore making an appeal to individuals and institutions to donate in monetary form or in-kind,” said the Cardinal.

The donations were received by the respective Dioceses and distributed to residents at the parish level. The trucks also traveled in the interior parts to ensure that supplies reach people in those areas. The relief efforts are in collaboration with Caritas Nairobi and Caritas Kenya.

International Women’s Day 2017

The 2017 theme for International Women's Day, 8 March, focuses on “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”. It is a call for Gender Equality by ensuring that the world of work works for all women.

The world of work is changing, with significant implications for women. There is need for “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work.”

Work statistics -Men Vs Women

  1. Only 50 per cent of working age women are represented in the labour force globally, compared to 76 per cent of men.
  2. An overwhelming majority of women are in the informal economy, subsidizing care and domestic work, and concentrated in lower-paid, lower-skill occupations with little or no social protection (Women still predominantly occupy jobs that pay less and provide no benefits).
  3. They earn less than men, even as they shoulder the enormous—and economically essential—burden of unpaid care and domestic work.

Around the world, women do the vast majority of the unpaid work, including child care, cooking, cleaning and farming. This unpaid work is essential for households and economies to function, but it is also valued less than paid work.

Some hard facts!

  1. Globally, women only make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men for work of equal value. This is a major cause of lifetime income inequality.
  2. Women are more likely to be unemployed than men worldwide, with wide disparities regionally.
  3. Women are concentrated in lower-paid, lower-skill work with greater job insecurity and under-represented in decision-making roles and fields such as science and technology.
  4. Violence against women in the world of work is a human rights violation that affects women regardless of age, location, income or social status. In the European Union, for instance, 55 per cent of women have experienced sexual harassment at least once since the age of 15. Of these, 32 per cent experienced it in a place of work.
  5. Only 67 countries have laws against Gender discrimination in hiring practices. In 18 countries, husbands can legally prevent their wives from working
  • Every woman should enjoy her right to decent work.
  • Women have a right to participate equally.
  • Women make a huge economic contribution that fills gaps in services.
  • Any job is a woman’s job

What should be done?

  1. Call for passing and enforcing laws and regulations upholding the principle of equal pay for work of equal value. Ensure that businesses do their part to close the gender pay gap.
  2. Enact paid parental leave and flexible work policies, provide child care, and encourage public and private employers to aim for gender parity at all levels of hiring.
  3. Pass policies that reduce and redistribute unpaid work, such as through more paid jobs in the care economy, and encourage men to share care and domestic work.
  4. Invest in systems to provide water, electricity, transportation and other essentials that reduce household labour.
  5. Extend social protection and minimum living wages, promote the transition to formal employment
  6. Take urgent policy action to eliminate barriers that discriminate against women workers.
  7. Provide education and training for women that open opportunities for women in the changing world of work.
  8. Aim for gender parity in decision-making positions in trade unions, worker and employer organizations and corporate boards
  9. Governments, employers and organized workers to jointly promote the human and labour rights of all women workers.
  10. Enact and implement laws and policies to criminalize all forms of workplace harassment and gender-based violence.
  11. Work with unions, employers and advocates for informal workers so all women know their rights and can seek redress for violations
  12. Remove all discriminatory labour legislation in line with CEDAW.