Caritas Department of the Catholic Diocese of Murang’a was revived in the year 2000 after the appointment of Rt. Rev. Bishop Peter Kihara after a stalemate during the delayed appointment of a Bishop in the diocese when Rt. Rev. Bishop Peter Kairo was transferred to Nakuru Diocese. The Department under the Bishop’s Office is charged with the responsibility of coordinating church sponsored Social Economic development activities within the diocese.Caritas Murang’a covers 2 counties of Murang’a and Kirinyaga and 2 Divisions of Thika District. The Total Population of the Diocese stands at 1.7 Million. Of these, 670,000 are Catholics. The others follow different Faiths such as Muslims, Protestants, and some Traditional Religions.The total area covered is 4016 km2 and it serves a total of 40 Parishes.
Head of Department – Mr. Tiras Githaiga
The promotion wholesome human development by working alongside needy people to reduce poverty and bring about sustainable change.
Building a world free from poverty and injustice where; Dignity and rights of all are respected and no one is excluded. Goods of creation are shared by all and that ultimately all have access to food, clean water, shelter and security and all can participate in shaping their destiny and that of their world.
• To coordinate the social economic development activitiesprojectsprogrammes which are directly or indirectly sponsored by the Catholic Church.
• Facilitate the initiation and implementation of development projects in the diocese.
• Resource mobilization (sourcing) to implement development activities in the diocese either from external, national or local partners.
• Build the capacity of the church development practioners in the diocese so that, in absence of development office personnel, the local persons can sustainably manage their own development.
• Account for finances that pass through the development office.
• Promote food security activities and improve the livelihoods of the communities within the diocese.
• Build the capacity of churchproject’s leaders to give quality leaders to enhance sustainable development.
• To collaborate and network with other development agencies working within areas covered by the diocese.
Caritas Murang’a Programmes:
1. Humanitarian Programme
2. Livelihoods Programme
3. Gender and Development Programme incorporating youth
4. Advocacy Information, and Communication Programme
5. Capacity Building Programme
6. Orphan and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Programme
The Capacity Building Programme aims to ensure that Caritas Murang’a and the Community Based Organizations (CBOs) increase efficiency and effectiveness in promoting sustainable and integral human development programming and representation. Capacity building is a cross cutting component in all programmes.
Coordinates programmes aimed at reducing the levels of poverty through supporting innovative strategies that facilitate sustainable livelihoods among communities. Main components include: Sustainable Agriculture and food security, water development, environmental conservation and climate change mitigation, and microfinance.
Livelihoods cover the following areas:
• Food Security
• Microfinance initiatives
• Farming and alternative (non-farm) livelihoods
• Environment and climate change
• Water and Sanitation
Advocacy, Information and Communication
Activities aimed at ensuring that voices of the poor and marginalized are heard through proactive research linked policy influencing. Caritas Murang’a strives to advocate for the (children in especially difficult circumstances (CED), women, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) and the youth.
Advocacy strategies include the research into the issues for advocacy, proactively engaging stakeholders in discourse on pertinent issues, participation in policy formulation processes and influencing policy reform through fora with legislators at national level.
Coordination whereas the livelihoods advocacy entails research based policy influencing through promoting engagement between Church leaders with legislators.
Gender and Development Programme (GDP)
The programme coordinates activities aimed at promoting empowerment of women and integral human development. Main activities include:
Capacity Building through training and awareness creation: This includes imparting knowledge and skills on women to enable them transform their situations: and sensitizing the community, made up of women, men, boys and girls, on specific gender concerns, their impact on the progress of the society the need for legal, social and judicial redress. Main projects are:
• Training women on management skills
• Gender sensitization
• Single Mothers Animation
• Civic Education
The programme aims at disaster management and mitigation. It coordinates emergency interventions while at the same time integrating long term development in a bid to build mitigation capacities for disaster prevention.
Food Security Project
The food security programme is an avenue for support of various agricultural associated initiatives aimed at enabling the poor to have food at all times and in sufficient quantities. It aims at enhancement of National Food Security and supporting appropriate production and sustenance strategies within communities, as well as building capacities within the same communities to allow for sustainable environmental practices.
Water, Sanitation and Environmental Protection
For a productive population, there is need to facilitate a conducive physical environment within which the development activities can be conducted. Caritas Murang’a aims at achieving that through initiatives in the livelihoods programme which target water and sanitation and protection of the environment.
Activities undertaken aim to achieve the following:
Protect and improve the health of people
Create a healthy and sustainable environment
Ensure that individuals and organizations are aware of their duties to protect the health of others and to protect the environment.
Micro-finance is an effective development intervention tool, inspired from Catholic Social Teaching, which can improve family livelihoods and reduce the vulnerability of the poor and low income earners.
Caritas Murang’a aims at promoting these individual initiatives, as well as pursuing unified integrated micro-finance and development activities in the diocese, through looking at new and existing models that reduce vulnerability, poverty, improve livelihoods and contribute towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Caritas Murang’a has a Savings and Credit Association called Mutirima which mission, vision and goalobjectives are as follows:
CDM Mutirima savings and credit Association
Creating a strong community through instilling a savings culture and provision of affordable micro – credit.
To provide accessible, reliable and affordable source of financial and non- financial support services to members.
The major goal of Mutirima Savings and Credit Association is to reduce poverty of the people living in the jurisdiction of Catholic Diocese of Murang’a, by providing them with an opportunity to become economically active and viable through the provision of requisite and relevant financial and non- financial services. The programme will use the group approach.
The following are the objectives of Mutirima Savings and Credit Association:-
1. To establish a self-sustaining savings and credit scheme owned by its members through participatory management.
2. To enhance participation of members in economic development through facilitating savings mobilization among the members.
Mutirima saving and credit association is a diocesan micro-credit which targets the Christians in the diocese and has continued to be helpful to the Christian community in instilling a saving culture. Despite the several challenges in the environment we are working hard to retain Mutirima in the market and we hope Mutirima will grow strong and stable.
Orphans and Vulnerable Children
This program addresses the plight of orphans and vulnerable children. It provides comprehensive and compassionate care for orphans and vulnerable children in families and their community. The department put forward five key strategies for care and support to OVC as follows:-
– To strengthen the capacity of families to protect OVC by prolonging the lives of parents and providing economic, psychosocial and other support.
– To mobilize and support community based responses to provide both immediate and long term support to vulnerable households.
– To ensure access for OVC to essential services including education, healthcare and others.
– To ensure that government protect the most vulnerable children through improved policy legislation and by channeling resources to communities.
– To raise awareness levels through advocacy and social mobilization to create a supportive environment for the orphans and vulnerable children
2. LILIANE FONDS FOUNDATION
4. Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB)
Calendar of Events
– Caritas day – 24th November