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
caritas nairobi a.i project

Kiambu Dairy Project A.I Project

Kiambu Dairy Project (KDP) is a two-year project and it was launched in partnership with Caritas Nairobi, Catholic Relief Services and the County Government of Kiambu being a key stakeholder. The project aims at increasing milk production in Kiambu County, a county that is home to several milk brands. Components of this project are Artificial insemination with gende- selected semen, formation of farmer groups, environmental conservation through indigenous tree planning and energy saving Jikos. Of the targeted 600 farmers, all have been reach, equally, cows that were services with gender-selected semen last year have calved hybrid heifer as expected.

Scope:

Kiambu County is among regions famous for milk production and is home to several dairy processors. Majority of farmers in this region rely on dairy farming as their main source of income. Reports indicate that Kiambu County has a high population of dairy cows however; the full potential of dairy farming in this county is yet to be realised. Prominent issues to cited as the cause of this underperformance is, lack of price control measures, raise and fall of corporatives, ethical issues surrounding Artificial Insemination and lack of knowledge at the grassroots level.

In an effort to develop dairy enterprises in Kiambu County and inline with Caritas Nairobi Strategic Plan GOAL 1 ‘To enhance self-reliance of 10, 000 targeted households within the ADN’, the agriculture programme launched the Kiambu Dairy Project (KDP) to enhance milk production.

The launch, in partnership with Catholic Relief Services and the County Government, KDP’s main component is Artificial Insemination Services with high quality gender selected semen for the production of hybrid cows capable of producing between 25-35 litres of milk per day. The beauty of this project is that, with the gender selected semen.

Project Goal:

To empower low-income families in Kiambu County with socio-economic stability and food security through sustainable dairy farming.

Project Targets and Timeline:

The two year project targeted 600 households in Kiambu’s Mutunguru, Githobokoni, Gituamba, Ituru and Kiriko.

Project Objectives:

  1. Improve dairy breeds in Kiambu County
  2. To Improved access and delivery of  A.I  services
  3. To improve dairy farming value chains for sustainable dairy production at the grassroots level
  4. To improve fodder management through continuous training and demonstrations activities
  5. To increase farmers knowledge on sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation
  6. Enhance market linkages through the formation of farmers groups.

Achievements:

  1. 600cows, the project’s target for artificial insemination services have been serviced.
  2. 24farmers’ groups have been formed
  3. a fully fledged farmers company has officially been launched- Faidi Farmers Limited Company
  4. More than600 farmers have been trained on sustainable and environmental friendly agricultural practises.
  5. The project’s first heifers have been calved.

Bahati Health Project

Caritas Nairobi officially launched the maternity wing of Mary Immaculate health Centre Bahati. This was in collaboration with Caritas Italiana and the Italian Episcopal Conference. The health centre located in Nairobi’s Eastlands area aims to provide affordable midwifery and childcare health services in line with the healing mission of the Catholic Church.

The health facility was officially opened and blessed by his Lordship Bishop David Kamau. “Taking care of life was the mandate and mission of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church is committed to fulfilling this. We shall therefore continue supporting such establishments and ensure that they operate accordingly,” said His Lordship Bishop David Kamau.

Mary Immaculate Health center was begun by the sisters of Mary Immaculate as a dispensary in 1973. The aim was to provide access to basic promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative community based health services thereby reducing incidences of sickness and death. The dispensary has been offering treatment for common ailments, antenatal care and immunization for babies to the Bahati people and beyond. With time, the need for maternity services became evident, as there was only one clinic in Bahati offering maternity services. Sisters reached out to donors to help them put up a maternity wing.

Through the upgrade, the hospital has a bed capacity of 30 and a fully equipped theater for delivery through cesarean section courtesy of Manos Unidas, Spain. The facility also has ultra sound services, and it is currently in the process of getting accreditation with NHIF to allow mothers and families who are NHIF contributors to use their cards. The health facility can be reached on 0725878014.

The government and the private sector have come under fire as to whether they are doing enough to curb issues pertaining maternal health care in Kenya, which have in the recent past come on the lime light due to escalating death rate caused by preventable childbirth related complications.

A report by the Health Policy Paper 2012 indicates that Kenya’s mortality rates still remains at a worrying rate of 488 deaths per 100,000 live births; at this rate, the country is losing over 8,000 mothers annually due to pregnancy and birth related complications. This report further indicates that as of 2009, the lifetime risk of maternal death was 1 in 39 women making Kenya as one of the world’s most affected countries.

A more recent report by the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) 2014 shows a decline in maternal mortality quoting it at 362 deaths per 100, 000 live births. Going by these figures, birth related deaths have reduced however, as it stands more interventions are needed to reduce these numbers. According to the Millennium Development Goals Status report
2013, the target for Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) of 147 to 100,000 live births is achievable as all maternal deaths are largely preventable through proper and timely care services.

While gracing the occasion, Dagoretti South Member of Parliament Hon’ Dennis Waweru said, “This contribution by the Catholic community comes as a boost to the government’s strides of providing professional and affordable health services”

caritas nairobi AYEP programme

AYEP

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, the Aid and Development department of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi, facilitates community based empowerment and poverty eradication projects. We believe that the action of the Church affects community lives in a large number of ways and that the contribution of an engaged society and especially the youth is necessary for sustainable community development.

Youth Enterprise Development Fund a state corporation under the Ministry of devolution and planning, was established to address the challenges of youth unemployment in Kenya. Since its inception, the Fund has continued to create employment opportunities for the Kenyan youth through enterprise development, market support linkages, facilitating jobs abroad as well as commercial infrastructure.

Caritas and YEDF have shared objectives, which form the foundation of this partnership, initiated to draw a larger youth membership. The AYEP partnership, a first of its kind, will set learning and networking platforms for the youth in our communities while at the same time taking advantage of the existing opportunities offered by YEDF and other County and national Government initiatives.

Project’s Objectives:

-:To expand access to finance and capital fry out entrepreneurship throughout the Archdiocese.
-:To expand collaborations between government initiatives and youth enterprise.
-:Provide business incubation services through consulted efforts with relevant stakeholders.
-: Increase business management skills through relevant training.
-: To identify talent identification and development.

Achievements since inception:

-: Over 54 groups have joined the programme
-: Individual members are 
2,000
-: 
20 groups have been funded.
-: 
5 groups have received second loans 
-: 
The highest loan to be disbursed is Ksh. 400, 000.
-:
A total of Ksh3.7 million loans issued 

Caritas Nairobi Heifer Project

Heifer Project

This livelihood project loans heifers to vulnerable people who are particularly interested with dairy farming. This project has enabled farmers to access high yielding cows, which have in return enhanced milk production and improved their living standards. The heifer project uses a model that has been tried and tested around the world

Under this project, the loan is spread across three years and as soon as farmers start earning from the loan, they are required to start. Because the essence of this project is to reach out to many famers for sustainable development, beneficiaries must commit to passing on the first heifer calved to a new beneficiary in the project. To encourage this, once a farmer passes on the heifer, the loan is halved.

Famers are trained on livestock management and to promote self-reliance, they also receive resources to expand the cowsheds and feeds in the first three months.

“A gift that keeps on giving” Heifer beneficiary

Nicholas Mwangi, a beneficiary in Kiriko, Gatundu.

heifer_380

“A gift that keeps on giving is what I would term the Caritas Nairobi heifer project. July last year,I received my heifer from Mr. John Waweru who was a direct beneficiary from Caritas Nairobi.When his cow calved he passed it to me. Currently, my heifer is expectant and I am looking forward to passing it on.

From this project, I have not only been able to realize returns from the milk sales but also collected manure which I use in the farm and have enabled me yield better crops.

Through various training sessions organized by Caritas Nairobi, I have learnt a lot on livestock management. My only hope is that more farmers will benefit from this projects. Most people around Kiriko still languish in poverty and this project can really change the situation.”