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.

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.”

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.

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”