Virginia Wairimu, member PROMIC

Virginia Wairimu, member PROMIC

Virginia Wairimu, member PROMIC

Virginia Wairimu, member PROMIC

Virginia Wairimu is a member PROMIC, she sees the world from a different perspective that that of assisting people and mentoring them to be better persons in the community. With no young children in her house to cater for anymore, Wairumu now helps others wherever and whenever possible to meet their needs.

 Wairimu joined PROMIC in 2009 where she started saving Ksh100 with the Waithaka Karoli Lwanga group. With time she had saved Ksh20,000 and was able to acquire a loan three times her saving which she used to construct two rental houses in her compound. “The income from these houses has been helpful to me particularly financing my hospital bill,” says a jovial Wairimu.

Soon after joining PROMIC, Wairimu was diagnosed with Arthritis. The hospital bill sky- rocketed within months and she needed constant funds to finance the treatment. Despite the illness, she was able to finish repaying the loan as well as continue saving. Soon after, she was able to take up a second loan of Ksh70, 000, which she used to finance the construction of two additional rentals.

It is in one of these houses that he has hosted a tenant for the past months as he is not able to raise enough money to pay the rent. Wairimu feels that helping other people in time of need is a fundamental requirement to humanity. She says that when she was sick, her house hosted many priests, small Christian community members, friends and relatives who prayed with her and also contributed towards the hospital bill.

“Since I started contributing my 10% regularly, I have seen God work His Miracles in me”, confesses Wairimu adding that acts of charity towards other people in the community ever and always come back to us in different forms. Additionally, she says that one can never lack because of helping others.

The Beacon Boy Project

The Boy Child in Kenya has become a subject of discussion for not so good reasons. It has been expressed that while much attention has been given to the girl child, the opposite can be said of the boy child who is believed to be neglected, thereby leading to all sorts of social ills.

In August 2016 when the nation suffered from extremism through burning of schools, a Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Executive Secretary Sammy Borr said the menace that saw dozens of schools razed could be stopped if the boy child was guided and empowered. He said over 80 percent of the schools affected were boys’ schools “Boys are seeking attention by resorting to such activism,” said Borr.

This is a wanting situation and it calls for urgent and purposeful action from all and especially more from men. On the other hand, Leaders in Central Kenya have attributed the sharp increase in drug and alcohol abuse amongst the youths to the neglect of the boy child.

As one Dr. Wahome Ngare, of Don Bosco Church, aptly put it during the AGM of the Archdiocese Catholic Men Association, Social Development Programme, “What we have today is broken masculinity! Leaders without formation. We also have Christians who don’t practice their faith and Africans who don’t practice their culture” . One captivating revelation by Dr. Wahome is that there are more men in prisons than women! What is more, 80 - 90% of the children in prison, both boys and girls, had a problem with their daddy. Either he was absent, abusive or passive. Boys need to be mentored by men to understand authority and how to control their masculinity. Masculinity is raw power; it is like fire. When it is a servant it is very good, when it is the master, it is very destructive.

It is in view of this that Caritas Nairobi wull launch a boy child program, The Beacon Boys Project which, seeks to rescue the boy child by inculcating social values through mentorship and coaching of the young ones. The target of the Beacon boy child program will be the PMC (age 9-13) and MYM (age 14-17). It is expected that every Parish will have a Beacon Boy child Program but those in-charge will be the CMA members for easy management of the program. Each 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 programme. 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.

The Gender & Youth Development Programme, the coordinating office for this project, hopes to see a lot of participation from the men who are the sole custodians of this process. We believe that God being on our side, this noble process will bring much to honour Him through the CMA motto; Good Family, Good Church, Good Society!

Project 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 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
  6. Expand collaborations with other stakeholders in empowering the boy child

Gender and Youth Success Story Paul Mwai

“My story is that of a vision, empowerment and achievement; a success story”, says Paul Mwai, a beneficiary of the Archdiocese Youth Empowerment Programme.

The Archdiocese Youth Empowerment Programme (AYEP) is a partnership between Caritas Nairobi (Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi) and the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF). The programme centers on initiatives that engage and empower young people for social and economic development. Caritas Nairobi works as a link between the youth groups and YEDF

Mwai, 22 years old, wrote his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in 2012 and attained a mean grade of B- which qualified him to enroll for University Education. However, he was unable join as planned due to financial constrains.

“Since I was unable to join university as planned, I decided to start a business. I joined a youth group in my parish, St. Teresa’s Parish Eastleigh. With help from well-wishers specifically contribution from our Jumuiya (fellowship group) we were able to start a placard designing business,” He says.

It is through his parish that this group learnt about AYEP. Caritas Nairobi works with parishes to facilitate community based empowerment and poverty eradication projects. Caritas Nairobi engages the youth by mobilizing them for peacekeeping missions as well as training on business startup skills.

Accessing Funding

Mwai and his friends felt the need to expand their business to merchandize branding. In order to access funding from YEDF, they registered the group (St.Vincent De Paul Youth Self Help Group) under the Government’s Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development with Ksh.1. 000. The group presented a business plan, which received funding of Ksh.50, 000.

Currently, St.Vincent Group generates a monthly income of between Ksh7, 000 and Ksh10, 000 per month. During the recent AYEP second anniversary the group received a second cheque of Ksh. 200, 000. A total of five groups were funded at the same event.

“The success in our story is a vision that was empowered by Caritas Nairobi and YEDF.”

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,

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.