Minutes of the Exodus - Kutoka Network Meetings
- 23rd November 2006 - St. Joseph's Mukasa, Kahawa West
- 7th September 2006 - Christ the King - Kibera
- 23rd February 2006 - St. John - Korogocho
- 24th November 2005 - St. Joseph the Worker - Kangemi
- 15th April 2005 - St. Joseph Mukasa - Kahawa West - Evaluation of the E-K Network
- 1st October 2003 - St. Joseph the Worker - Kangemi - Analysis on some Nairobi Informal Settlements
Exodus - Kutoka Meeting - 24th November 2005 at St. Joseph the Worker - Kangemi
1. The meeting started with a reflective prayer led by Fr. Gerry Whelan, S.J. Parish priest of St. Joseph the Worker-Kangemi. Theme: Solidarity.
2. Due to the outcome of the Referendum on the Proposed Constitution 2005 (the so-called Wako Draft) and the ensuing sacking of the entire Cabinet of Ministers by President Mwai Kibaki (21-23/11/05), Kutoka’s guest speaker, Mrs. Bett Tett, former Ass. Min. of Land, was unable to honour the invitation.
The agenda of the meeting was adjusted as follows:
a. Small group discussion on the parishes’ experiences with the Constitution of Kenya Review Process
b. Tea Break
c. Plenary sharing of those experiences
d. Planning the Kutoka Network structure and meetings for 2006
e. AOB followed by Lunch with farewell speeches to Christine Bodewes Kutoka’s co-founder, secretary and driving force.
3. Each parish delegation discussed three questions among themselves:
a. How did our parish participate in civic education in preparation for the National Referendum?
b. What are our experiences and lessons learned that emerge from this event?
c. What is our role as a Catholic parish presently?
4. Their answers were reported in the plenary session as follows:
a. Consolata Shrine – Westlands
Our parishioners are divided socio-economically between the extreme rich and extreme poor. We organised several meetings with invited specialists who explained the Wako Draft. We distributed over 2,000 copies of the Wako Draft (courtesy of the CKRC). There was a low turn-out however. People seemed to have made up their minds already, certainly after the President had made his stand clear. The whole exercise was politicised and voting became more reacting for or against Kibaki and his supporters in the Banana camp who were in favour of the Wako Draft. It was pointless, many appeared to think, to discuss the merits/demerits of the actual content of the proposed constitution.
Other factors that may have swayed votes were: the demolition of kiosks and 200 structures in the Deep Sea slum; the campaigns of politicians who bluntly asked to vote for them in the 2007 General Elections; their confusing statements; their misinformation; and their dishing out of land, food and promises.
There is a strong feeling of disappointment with the lack of guidance by the Catholic Bishops of Kenya. We, the parishes of the KUTOKA network, should enlighten our Bishops how people feel and about the present opportunity for intensified civic education, and changing attitudes of their flock (in terms of peace and reconciliation) instead of keeping their eyes fixed on what is going on in State House.
b. St. Joseph the Worker – Kangemi
The youth were more enlightened and interested in civic education than their parents who showed an amazing lack of knowledge about the Constitution but had made up their minds beforehand how to vote.
Factors that played in voter behaviour were: ethnicity, discrimination, being frustrated with bad governance, blindly following your leaders, fears & anxieties, threats of being evicted as a slum dweller under a new constitution.
The Church has now the task to heal the palpable mistrust; preach tolerance and respect for each others opinions and interests; encourage people to acknowledge defeat (as their President did in public); intensify Civic Education in simple language; raise even greater awareness with sensitivity…
c. Our Lady Queen of Peace – South B
There was quite a good turnout in the events organised by the Young Catholic Professionals; 50 copies of the Wako Draft were distributed and the Small Christian Communities had their weekly discussions; this was no match however with the rallies organised by the politicians with their huge PA systems and their prayers in our Church; and the huge seminar organised by the government-connected Maendeleo ya Wanawake.
Slum dwellers had made up their mind against the Government’s choice and said “NO” to the Wako Draft. The others see themselves as failures now, and may suffer from an inferiority complex. Between them and the over-confident winners there is a kind of ‘Cold War’ tension, which can be observed even inside matatus.
The Church must definitely engage in preaching reconciliation.
d. Kariobangi and St. John’s – Korogocho
The Parish organised substantial and sustained civic education up to the last Friday before the Referendum. P.L.O. Lumumba, the CKRC Secretary came and a big crowd came to listen to his explanations on the Wako Draft; the lively debates are still going on here and there. On the other hand, people had made up their minds.
They voted largely for ‘No’ out of disgust with the arrogance of those in the Government who did not deliver the expected services; the youth appears to be more focused on the future. As most of them were born in multicultural Nairobi they seem to be more ready to reflect on the traps of ethnicity in Kenya. Generally, fear, anxiety and mistrust characterise the mood in our area.
The Church should therefore prioritise trust-building among the parishioners.
e. Kahawa West
Civic Education took off quite early even before politicians had shown their allegiance. We used schools, small Christian Communities, the elders in our 4 outstations and other Church institutions to distribute copies of the Wako draft and enlighten people. The message of the Kenya Episcopal Conference came when our efforts were well underway, clashed with our understanding of doing civic education and confused people more than guiding them.
Our parishioners instead need intensified Civic education that stresses the moral and spiritual values of peace, reconciliation, nation-building and our responsibility as Kenyan citizens. This event has shown us the great need to mobilise our brothers and sisters even more to study constitutionalism and the content of the legal documents that govern us. And above all how to harmonise the tribal sensitivities.
f. Our Lady of Guadalupe – Adams Arcade & Christ the King – Kibera
the Human Rights Office in Kibera had not only prepared the booklet Understanding Your Constitution, with its synopsis of the various Constitutions of Kenya since independence, it had stipulated an entire programme with its own timeline for training trainers, sending them out into the communities and additional teaching sessions to Church personnel and various Church organisations.
Perhaps the most frequent question the teachers had to answer was: why did the Bishops abandon us with their ‘neutral’ stand and left us to be misled by politicians?
In the midst of dangerous animosity in Kibera we need to create unity while keeping on teaching our fellow citizens that we still need a new Constitution. A tool for more systematic Civic Education needs to be developed.
g. St Mary’s – Mukuru
Apart from regular payers for a peaceful Referendum, the parish helped distributing the Wako Draft; our efforts were interfered with by politicians and even by the CKRC civic educators invited to the parish.
Political rallies, misinformation, the dissatisfaction with the government’s performance so far were factors that influenced many in their decisions. Abortion, and other controversial issues were hotly debated; inconsistencies inside the Wako Draft were causing a confusion even official civic educators could not handle properly in their classes; the local MP Hon. David Mwenje’s crossing the floor at the last minute caused great confusion especially among those who just follow leaders.
The Church needs to renew its option for the poor and protect them against the manipulations of the rich; we need to send a Memorandum to our leaders, the Bishops and the President.
5. Comments and Observations
Our last KUTOKA meeting was partly captured on video and shown around in civic education classes. This had a positive effect: people found our discussions very interesting.
We have now years of experience with daily civic education in Kibera. We need a proper curriculum, especially now when all our parishes just mentioned terms like animosity, tension, cold war, misinformation and mistrust repeatedly. We do not need a mere meeting or a series of rallies, but a serious, sustained and integrated programme incorporating elements of the Catholic Social Teaching (Nation-building, solidarity, common good, democracy….), the message that Kenya needs a new Constitution, a common methodology and a thought-through Trainer-of-Trainers action plan. A distribution of Wako Drafts is bure for instance without such an effort.
This civic education would know how to accompany real processes towards democracy on the ground and name certain anomalies like: the Referendum is all Kenyans against Central Province as well as take into account real possible alternatives.
We would have liked KEC to speak more about values, analyse the Wako Draft without getting entangled in politics, give clear guidelines and spell out the lessons learned from the Constitution review process.
The role of the media in the latest Referendum exercise should be analysed as well with Radio Kass and Radio Citizen being accused of poisoning people’s minds or being partisan. At the same time, we need to use the media more ourselves.
How to do Civic Education within an unstable environment? How to talk about governance to people with empty stomachs? Civic education needs to be complemented with serious advocacy helping the president of Kenya to reflect, as well as changing laws, policies, the public opinion, and the behaviour of citizens.
At Kibera parish we are thinking of a comprehensive civic education programme, with its curriculum, its own manual and publicize /publish it (@ Paulines) not just for a few KUTOKA parishes only.
Why don’t we compose a prayer for peace and reconciliation, print and distribute it?
a. The KUTOKA meeting supports the work on a comprehensive Civic Education programme. Christine Bodewes and her team in Kibera will prepare the ‘tools’ for it.
b. KUTOKA advocates for peace, reconciliation and good governance. A Memorandum, drafted by Frs. Ludwig and Franco Cellana, is to be sent to the Kenya Episcopal Conference and State House. We will communicate through E-mail. The Memo will express our immediate governance concerns, capture the mood on the ground, spell out some lessons learned and outline our expectations.
c. Fr. O’Toole will compose a prayer for peace to be attached to the above Memo.
7. Planning for KUTOKA 2006
a. KUOTOKA Executive:
Fr. Franco Cellana
Fr. Daniel Mosquetti
Fr. Ludwig (Secretary)
Peter Ndungu (Consolata)
Cleophas Oyugi (Guadalupe)
Dorothy Ombayo (Kibera)
Magdalene Kasuku (Radio Waumini)
Fr. Gabriel Dolan (eventually)
b. KUTOKA Meetings: 3rd Thursdays of Feb, May, Sep and Nov 2006
- February 16th : St. John’s – Korogocho
- May 18th : O. L. of Guadalupe – Adam’s Arcade
- September 21st : Christ the King – Kibera, Laini Saba
- November 16th : St. Joseph Mukasa – Kahawa West
c. A Menu of topics
Allowing always for last-minute changes, the Executive will chose wisely among the topics below and invite speakers accordingly.
Elections; African Cities Campaign; Spiritual formation; Small Christian Communities; Human Resources and Labour laws of Kenya; Land; Civic Education; Peace, Reconciliation & Healing; Street children; Security (see: Feb 2005); Globalisation and Slums; Slum upgrading; Socio-economic justice; World Urban Forum (Vancouver, June 2006); World Social Forum (Nairobi, Jan 2007)…
a. The 40th Anniversary of the Guadalupe Missionaries will be celebrated 3rd December at Christ the King parish with a choir competition, and with a festival 10th-12th December at Guadalupe Parish – Adam’s Arcade.
b. Could we think about a KUTOKA “Newsletter”?
c. Update on the Kenya Railways (KR) concession1:
We are talking about a “relocation plan” to be implemented starting December 31st 2005 with a notice and the clearance of the designated areas (see plan left). The World Bank loans put pressure on the Government of Kenya to implement the plans within a 18-months period. There will be no compensation for the estimated 10,000 residents who will be affected.
The displacement caused by the exercise will affect MUKURU residents who will be mercifully relocated in a nearby area, and KIBERA residents who will be relocated in temporary structures (15 year lease) in Langata. The latter will be a massive operation and, though the affected seem to be eager enough to get land for 15 years, the operation may cause a lot of disruption. The details of the plan are Top Secret which is part of the problem: people do not really know what is going to happen, where or when. At any rate, the Anglican Church which is entirely situated in the affected area is in panic.
Pamoja Trust, that functions as a kind of gate keeper or trustee on behalf of the slum dwellers has legitimacy problems in the eyes of some. The good news is that Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka has announced that the slum upgrading programme suffers from a ‘political deadlock’. Now that the Minister with the rest of the Cabinet has been sacked, we can consider the slum-upgrading in Kibera Soweto dead.
Can the Church bail out the poor like it does in times of fire in the slums? The World Bank gave its recommendations in accordance with International humanitarian Law, but the Government of Kenya does not seem to care about those. The issue was instead politicised and remains extremely complex.
d. Fr. Daniel gave info on the Tangaza College Social Ministries courses and the Dandorra Garbage Site campaign for which he collected signatures.
e. Update on the demolitions and evictions at Deep Sea –Westlands: there is a case in court which has been referred until Feb 2006. Consolata Shrine thanks all for their solidarity in these difficult times.
f. Info was supplied on the www.Habitatjam.com website. It encourages free global conversation on the six forum topics of the World Urban Forum3 (Vancouver – Canada, 19-23 June 2006): Improving the Lives of Slum Dwellers, Sustainable Access to Water, Environmental Sustainability, Safety and Security, Finance and Governance, Humanity: the Future of our Cities.
g. Italy is ready to convert Kenya’s external debt into development projects. Sanitation and streetlight projects in Soweto and Korogocho are likely to benefit if the agreement accepted by the former Min. of Finance goes through.
h. Sauti Toka Ghetto, the successful radio programme (awarded twice!) at Radio Waumini is going into its 3rd year and some activities should mark the occasion. It was and still is an initiative of the KUTOKA network. Suggestions are welcome and everyone’s participation highly appreciated.
9. Fr. O’Toole improvised the closing prayer.
10. CHRISTINE BODEWES, the co-founder and driving force of KUTOKA is leaving Kenya at the end of her contract with Maryknoll.
She will invite friends for a farewell-party end January 2006, but speeches over lunch at this her last KUTOKA meeting anticipated the event. Very warm words of thanks were uttered and the chief successes of KUTOKA, e.g. the halting of the 2004 government demolitions and evictions, were recalled in tribute of Christine’s yearlong dedication, her faith, her inspiration and her professionalism.
She herself looked back upon the KUTOKA meetings as among the most consoling moments during her ministry in Kenya.
NEXT KUTOKA MEETING
February 16th 2006 at St. John’s – Korogocho
1 South Africa’s Sheltam-led consortium has won the 25-year concession to operate the combined Kenya and Uganda Railway. The result, announced Friday, 14 October 2005 in Nairobi, ends a long process encouraged by the World Bank for a private operator to take over the cash-strapped and insolvent national railway.
The Rift Valley Railway, as Kenya and Uganda’s railways are now likely to be known for the next quarter of a century, is made up of Sheltam Trade CC (60%), with minority shares held by Comazar Ltd, Mirambo Holdings (a Tanzania investment group), Primefuels Group (based in East Africa) and CDIO Institute for Africa. The latter company is an engineering and technology company from South Africa with Swedish connections.
050415 Slum Ministry: Reflections and suggestions to KUTOKA - EXODUS Network
St. Joseph Mukasa in Kahawa West. (April 15. 04.05)
My task today is to facilitate the reflection on the evolution of the network of the parishes operating in the informal settlements or slums in the Archdiocese of Nairobi. Many initiatives mark the history of this movement from February 2002 when the first meeting occurred until today, when we are assembled for a moment of evaluation to set the stage for a new phase. Your four groups have shared on: Spirituality - Themes discussed during the passed 17 encounters -Actions taken to counteract emerging issues - Logistics support structures. My talk doesn't make reference to the outcome of the sharing since we haven't yet scrutinized the reports. Hopefully my reflection might help to move forward. Continuity with the past should be there, but also innovation and creativity. Our time, as Redemptoris Missio points out, is characterised by rapid changes; KUTOKA should not be afraid of evolution and transformation.
1. From 2002 to 2005: a journey towards a more participatory methodology
We pastoral agents from the 14 parishes involved in the slums have developed insights ands methodology throughout the three years of our cooperation. A journey of 3 years with 17 meetings for reflection, sharing and planning common initiaves has affirmed us in our commitment to slums ministry. We have experienced that together transformation can occur and we might have an impact on the local church, on the society and on the state of Kenya. Initiatives such as the campaign against "shangaa", the presentation of memorandum to the Archbishop to forestall the forcible eviction, efforts of civic education, social and cultural analysis, elections are but a few of the major events occurred over the years. The people have grown through the process of democratization in the country. 2002 marked the end of a regime; we are grappling with a more democratic type of government. People are more sensitive to and capable of speaking by themselves. Involvement and participation are key words for the future. If KUTOKA is to come up with a plan of action, that Plan should not be only for the people but by the people as well.
2. From Land Caucus to KUTOKA: the importance of internal cohesion.
As mentioned by Mss. Christine Bowers in the brief the history of the network, KUTOKA chronologically came after the experience of Land Caucus, an initiative which lasted for four years focusing on the burning issue of land ownership. At certain moment, the tensions between NGO's and the Churches brought about the downfall of the Caucus. From this experience something should be learnt by all of us. For a a Christian movement which aims at a lasting impact it is not enough neither to have a common problem to solve, for example the land as it was in the case of the Caucus, nor a common enemy to fight. Against. It is of paramount importance to share common vision, goal, methodology and spirituality, inspired by our common Christian Faith, grounded on serious social and cultural analysis, with ministers equipped with solid competence and readiness for collaboration and networking within and without the church. For a movement like KOTOKA spread out over 14 parishes it is of vital important to pursue strongly shared commonalities; differences will always be there. Otherwise in the long run it will break off either, because of internal tensions which will always arise or because the motivations to work together may have grown rusty or because other urgencies and emergencies may have diverted the attention to other issues. The foundational interest and enthusiasm may grow weary and vanish. KUTOKA should not forget the causes of the disintegration of the Land Caucus, lest it might occur again.
3. KUTOKA: pastoral and missionary situations in the Archdiocese of Nairobi.
One of complains which often surfaces at the meetings of KUTOKA is that the diocesan priests hardly attend any initiatives, though invited. Yet the archbishop Raphael Ndingi Mwana' a Nzeki has more than once blessed and encouraged KUTOKA. Are diocesan priests not interested? Let me try to give an explanation. When in 1995-97 I was teaching at St. Thomas Seminary, the seminarians of the fourth year I was lecturing to, had a very clear point in their mind, that is the difference between pastoral and missionary activity. With Pastoral Activity they meant the accompaniment of a parish properly established with a good number of Christians through a series of initiatives based on the liturgical calendar and the celebration/administration of sacraments. As we can see the social dimension in the pastoral ministry hardly finds any room; religious initiatives take the lion share! Missionary activity is located in situations whereby either there are no Christians or the social conditions are so poor and disorganised that pastoral activity would not be possible without strong social slant. Missionary activity according to those seminarians would aim at creating proper pastoral conditions and activities befitting diocesan the priests. In the slums normal pastoral ministry is not possible hence slum ministry is not, according to those seminarians, for diocesan priests.
In the encyclical letter Redemptoris Missio (33-34) John Paul II clearly states the difference between missionary activity and pastoral activity. In that same document (RM 37) the Pope states that the slum ministry is one of the new phenomenons of the modern era and falls under missionary activity. Drawing from the above mentioned points we might assume the one of the reasons why the diocesan priests might not be responding to the invitation to take part in KUTOKA is that they might feel that slum ministry is not of their own business. Is this attitude a right one? In KUTOKA' s Plan for Action the issue of relationships with other parishes has to be seriously considered. Which relationship between missionary situations and pastoral situations in the archdiocese of Nairobi? Missionary situations often mean poverty, misery and undignified situations of life. May better off Christian Parishes ignore such situations in the Archdiocese? If the Archdiocese is to be a communion of communities the two worlds are to meet somewhere otherwise social sin may rot the whole Church.
4. The slow rise of slums' awareness in the Church
As far as the Magisterium of the Church, we find the first hint at slum situations in Mater Magistra (1961) where John the XXIII portrays the swelling immigration from the country side to towns. He strongly recommends that governments provides rural areas with basic facilities such as : communication, education, health, electricity, water and so forth to help people remain in their own rural set up. An ample and passionate attention is found in Medellin Conference of Bishops of Latin America in 1968 attended by Paul VI. It was a shocking experience for the Pope an exposure to a type of inhuman conditions of life he had never dreamed of. We can understand why the same Paul VI in Octagesima Adveniens (May 1971) under the heading of: new social problems (8-12) elaborated at length on Urbanization, Slums and Christians in the City. In the same year (October 19971) the Synod of Bishops on Justice in the World (10) touched upon the issue of informal settlements in several passages of the final document. Some of the Bishops, such as Helder Camara, had personal first hand experience of the life in the slums. Four years later in Evangelii Nuntiandi (December 1975) insists on liberation from inhuman conditions of life and recommends Small Christina Communities which find the slums fertile ground in Latin America and in Africa. The Conference of Latin America Bishops of Puebla (1979) eleven years after Medellin, went back on it in the context of the preferential option for the poor. As far as Africa is concerned, the African Synod in 1994 is rather generic, though the presence of the Catholic Church in the slums had already scored interesting positive experience, outstanding for courage, passion and insertion. All in all the awareness of the Church as far as slums is concerned has grown rather slowly and is till , I might dare say, at it primal stage. This is the very reason why is called a missionary phenomenon not yet fully absorbed by the Church; a systematic and organized slum ministry is still looked for. Is a serious duty of the missionaries to keep sensitising the local churches and providing them with and appropriate slum ministry is a matter of grave obligation and urgency.
Let us now enrich these historical hints with a piece of history concerning Kenya. When in 1986 the issue of insertion in the slums was brought to the attention of that great and compassionate pastor who was Cardinal Otunga, he was hesitant about allowing a stable presence, hence full insertion. He considered the slums as outstations of Parishes located in saver places. He was afraid for the physical and psychological soundness of the missionaries and other pastoral agents. After two years he grew convinced of the importance of opening up a new chapter in the slums and he allowed an inserted missionary presence in the slums of Korogocho. In 1998 the first Catholic Parish fully inserted in the slum was inaugurated in Kibera, Laini Saba, by the title of Christ the King
It is also worth mentioning the contribution given by the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Tonucci Giovanni during his term of office from 1996 until 2004. He greatly contributed to the growing awareness in the Catholic Church by making himself available for celebrations in the slums be they religious or social. The apex of that attention was reached when Cardinal Renato Martino, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice an Peace came to Kenya in February 2004 to address the first Pan African Congress on Social Apostolate on the occasion of the ten anniversary of the foundation of the Institute of Social Ministry at Tangaza College of the Catholic University of Easter Africa. The Nuncio personally accompanied the Cardinal to visit the slum of Kibera where forcible evictions were already planned and partially executed. The visit was followed by a courtesy call at State House for an encounter with President Mwai Kibaki; the issue of the eviction was brought to the attention of the President followed by a change of the policy of the government concerning the eviction. KUTOKA with its three years of operations is an important chapter in the history of slum apostolate by the Catholic Church in Kenya.
5. World wide sense of shame: project approach
In the process of working out a Plan of Action, KUTOKA should strongly consider another factor: the growing world wide attention to the inhuman conditions of life in the slums. Among the stakeholders we may mention: Law Society of Kenya, other numerous NGOs, State of Kenya, United Nations/UNEP, Foundations such as Ford Foundations, the MILLENNIUM Golden Goals driven programmes and so forth. The Churches and Religions are not alone; many stakeholders are directly involved. In the title of this paragraph I have used the word shame, not concern. Shame means uneasiness, nervousness which beget urgency to do something not very much for the sake of the people of the slums, but to do way with the shame. For MPs and other politicians, it might mean the loss of the seat in parliament in the next election if nothing is done.
Yes! The world suffers the shame and the guilty feeling of the slums! Therefore something will be done over the next few years! Hence we might witness a flurry of attempts, proposals ands efforts for the 'upgrading' of the slums. Let me put up-grading into inverted commas, and you guess the reasons!. When there is shame, people are in a hurry! They want to get rid of the painful feelings not for the sake of the slum dwellers but because is uncomfortable to live with those pangs inside. It is to be foreseen that over the next few years different proposals will be offered to the government for initiatives to be taken. The methodology will be top down approach, decisions will be taken somewhere without the involvement of the people. Money will be set apart to be spent within a year or two. It will be a project approach, worked out in governments' offices or in the NGO headquarters. The Church as a main stakeholder should come up with a ministry approach to correct the limitations and inadequacies of the project approach; ministry approach means putting the people first as agents of the transformation and betterment of their own life and being inspired by the vision of human dignity grounded in the Bible. The Catholic Church will not do anything .without the creative and qualified contribution of KUTOKA The issue cannot by put off. To be late means to be out. Late complains wouldn't change anything.
6. Christian Social Ministry Approach
Before breaking the component of what we call the Christian ministry approach, let us elaborate about two important assumptions: one from the Bible and the other from History of Labour Movement.
The dynamism of the Biblical Exodus.
The name KUTOKA was chosen on purpose to link the slums movement with the great event which is at the core of God's action in the life of the people of Israel: Exodus, that is liberation and gradual building of the people of God. Liberation from slavery was the prerequisite for the final product: the people of God. What Saint Peter writes in his first letter: who once were not a people, now are a people of God (1 Pt 2:10), applies first and foremost to the ex-slaves who fled from Egypt some time in the century between 1300 and 1200 before Christ, Those who had fled from Egypt were a mass, a mob, a throng (translation Bible of Jerusalem) that is all but not a unified group. The glue which was unifying them was just the chance of shaking off the Egyptian yoke; nothing very deep, neither al the level of common vision nor of positive motivations and shared faith. The years in the desert showed it very clearly: 40 years of tensions, rebellions, nostalgic sighs to go back to Egypt. All that put to the test the leadership qualities of Moses first and Joshua after. Moses' most difficult task was to promote internal cohesion, to provide identity, sense of belonging, common hope for the future based on a faith shared and celebrated by the all people as qah'al (assembly) of YHWH. Exodus had two very clear dimensions: the religious and the social. The separation of the two would tantamount to disintegrating Exodus. What does Exodus tell KUTOKA?
The Slums cradle of labour movement: a major new social actor
In the encyclical Redemptoris Missio no. 37b, John Paul II speaks of new social phenomena which are modifying the history of the world and consequently the missionary activity: The rapid and profound transformations which characterize today's world, especially in the southern hemisphere, are having a powerful effect on the overall missionary picture. Where before there were stable human and social situations, today everything is in flux. One thinks, for example of urbanisation and of the massive growth of cities, especially where demographic pressure is greatest. In not a few countries, over half of the population already live in a few 'megalopolis', where human problems are often aggravated by the feeling of anonymity experienced by masses of people…Today the image of mission Ad Gentes is perhaps changing: efforts should be concentrated on the big cities, where new costumes and styles of living raise together with new forms of culture and communication, which influence the wider population. It is true that the 'option for the neediest' means that we should not overlook the most abandoned and isolated human groups, but it is also true that individuals or small groups cannot be evangelized if we neglect the centres where a new humanity, so to speck is emerging ands where new models of development are taking shape. The future of younger nations is being shaped in the cities (RM 37b). John Paul II, himself a worker/miner for a while, should have remembered of the industrial revolution in Europe, revolution which gave rise to slums near factories and farms where working possibility where at hand. The same as in Africa today, though in 2005 the situation is more complex and difficult. Population growth and unemployment are far higher then ever before in the Europe of the XIX century and of the first half of the XX. Yes! In the slums grew up the labour movement of Europe the new class which gradually got organized in Labour Trade Unions major stakeholder in the Europe of the third millennium together with the Government/Politicians and Association of Entrepreneurs. The Pope, hence, has sound reasons to foretell a new humanity in the context of the slums. The working class in Europe grew up not without the Church, though fiercely contrasted by the communist and socialist movements. New type of apostolate were invented, let us mention the Young Christian Workers in Belgium, the Associations of Christian Labourers in Italy and the so-called Working Priests in France.
The slums hence have tremendous potential to condition for better or for worse the future the future of Kenya and of Africa. The slums are an unparalleled text for the credibility of the Church as far as the perception of the signs of the times and of the Church response to it, Let us no forget the John XXIII in 1963 heralded the rise of the workers movement as one of the three major signs of the times together with the end of colonialism and the access of women to public life (Pacem in Terris, 48). The millions of Kibarua of today should found a way of becoming a class, the labourers' class for their own sake, for the sake of their families and ultimately for the sake of their own countries and of Africa as a whole. The new class should find in the Social Teaching of the Church inspiration, vision and methodology for a sound updated organization befitting the civil society and the state of today. KUTOKA should seriously consider this aspect lest it become a sacristy movement.
Now let us proceed to a tentative description of the components of Christian Ministry. What follows is a tentative list of major elements of what can be termed ministry approach to slums.
From reaction to proaction: Plan of Action
Reaction is good in the sense that it assures survival vis a vis unforeseeable circumstances and rough social and natural environment, but will never assure that holist fullness proaction aims at. Reaction is based primarily on meeting needs, dangers, fears, proaction more on values, goals, and objectives. Reaction is motivated by perception ands intuition, proaction more by analysis and research as to have a global picture of the situation; reaction deals with effects, proaction pays more attention to the causes. Reaction is immediate emergency response, proaction is Plan of Action oriented, worked out with a scientific mentality.
Slums dwellers: from objects of attention to subjects of transformation
Involvement and participatory process are very difficult in the slums where people are harassed by the daily survival to get few shillings for food, water or shelter. When people are uncertain about how to make ends meet for themselves and their children, it becomes almost impossible to find concentration and time for research, reflection and planning. On top of that it is almost impossible to find sufficient room to assemble people for discussion and training. Thus the temptation of taking decisions for the slums dwellers as the Kenyan government did when it started the forced evictions in 2003 (now fortunately halted) and many NGO do. The people of the slum run the risk of being the objects of attention for top down imposed on decisions and not the subjects of the working out and them implementing a plan of transformation of their persons and of the life conditions. The Ministry Approach focuses primarily on peoples and then on infrastructures with the understanding of human dignity and the vision of the society offered by the Christian Social Teaching. Some wrote not without a pinch of salt of wisdom: is far easier to take the people out of the slums than to remove the slums out of the people.
KOTOKA therefore should be at forefront of involving the people in the process: this is the first condition to build a people or the labour class; KUTOKA is far more than helping the poor. Are the people of the slums objects of the pastoral agents' compassion or we are we helping them to become real protagonist of their own life. How much behind our own initiatives, for example the memorandum presented to the Archbishop and then to the President was owned by the people Initiatives of civic education and the experience of the general elections 2002 have remarkably contributed to enhance self affirmation spirit and creativity. The experience of the social cultural and theological analysis in the Parish of Christ the King in Kibera has shown that an initiative of this kind is almost a must for conscientization first step towards taking the reins in one's hand. The people started speaking loudly and openly only on the 2nd round of the analysis when what they had said in the 1st round was returned to them in Kiswahili. Only them the people grew convinced that what they had say was of importance for the planning of the parish. We should not take for granted that we are consulting people. It is far easier to speech on behave of the people than to empowerment them to stand by themselves. Only this way the rise of the working class will be favoured in the slums dormitories. Of late even the Kenyan government through the mapping and numbering of the house of Kibera is developing a more participatory methodology.
Two pronged ministry: Religious and Social Action and Social Capital
The experience of the pasts three years have clearly shown , amply reaffirmed by the Plan of Action of Christ the King gradually build through the process in the Pastoral Circle/cycle, that the slum ministry should be both deeply Religious and deeply Social, according, as we mentioned above the paradigm of Exodus. The challenge is what type of Religious Ministry and what type of Social Ministry. The sects approach is highly religious; though it answers the high hunger for religious experiences in the slums, cannot be the KUTOKA approach because seems to alienate the faithful from a faith motivate involvement for the social transformation of the slums according to the tenets of the Christian social Teaching. The Small Christian Communities according to the original understanding, that is not prayer groups, seems to be by far the best way of
Linking faith and social action. The social cohesion of the SCC is commanding respect so much that is considered in the many circles a social capital to complement and counterbalance the unilateral and capitalist focus on financial capital only; the financial focus is typical of the project approach, the social capital is closer to Ministry approach. Obviously the should no the seen as alternatives. Religious and Social initiatives should promote the spirit of initiative of the people as to become more and more subject of their history. It means that for the SCC the focus of their religious life should be the Bible, biblical apostolate. As far as the social action initiatives which promote entrepreneurship and spirit of initiatives such as micro-credit and among the workers (many of them Kibarua) a spirit of associationism which brings them together to operate as a class and not simply as individuals selling the daily work.
Which Spirituality for pastoral agents and for the slums dwellers?
This topic which would deserves closer attention. Often the spirituality for slum ministry is unilaterally identified with the spirituality of insertion ands incarnation; though essential for it should develop other components. The spirituality of EXODUS is more than that; moreover the slum ministry call for spirituality not only for ministers but also the people slums dwellers. The mystery of evil find in the slums unique types of expressions in social and personal sins. How the mystery of Redemption and the presence of Christ the Redeemer can be proclaimed and experienced. .
Collaborative ministry: within the church - civil society - state - international contacts: UN-HAHITA
The slums are a very complex phenomenon the solution cannot be found in the hands of one stakeholders only but only in the partnership and collaboration of all actors. NGO often seem to be reluctant to open up to broad type of collaboration and yet without collaboration nothing is going to be achieved. The ministerial approach of Kutoka should consider collaboration and the promotion of it within the Catholic Church, with other churches, religions, NGO and international actors a major objective to be constantly pursued.
Pastoral Cycle: an already experienced methodology
The Pastoral Circle launched by Fr. Peter Henriot SJ around 1980 and gradually enriched and elaborated in the African context by the Institute of Social Ministry in Tangaza College from 1994 onward offers a powerful methodology which joins together faith and science, social/cultural analysis and theological/ministerial analysis and reflection, theory and action, the specific contribution of the Church in collaboration with the civil society, state, international actors.
7. Support Structures for and beyond Kutoka
The support structures of KUTOKA were at minimum level and on voluntary basis. Financial help was provided by Maryknoll Missionaries; Christine Bowers acted as secretary both for minutes taking, for invitations and organization o meetings and keeping the records. . Parishes in turns offered logistics facilities for meeting and catered for meals. In Korogocho, written material is kept in the local popular library.
In devising a Plan for the Future the issue of support structures should be seriously considered if what said so far is to be taking into consideration. Relationship with the Local Church, Advocacy, Collaboration with other stakeholders, Internet will not materialized in a systematic and far reaching way without a clear and well organized support structure. The period 2002-2005 can be called the Charismatic moment of KUTOKA; the charism should be embodied in a institution, lest the charism itself vaporize.
8. Conclusion: a call to a joint venture
Le me conclude with a quotation from an article of mine in the book: The Slums A Challenge to Evangelization, (Tangaza Occasional Paper 7 No 14, Paulines Publications Africa 2002): Indeed, the slums are, as often repeated here, a complex phenomenon; non can therefore meet the challenge in isolation. A person or and institution alone and without a strong cooperation with partners involved in the slums, will achieve very little. Who are theses persons?
The slums dwellers themselves are to be the first protagonists of their liberation; nobody can do it for them, hence the paramount importance that they be adequately mobilized and sustained by an efficient network, particularly among different slums. In this way, a tremendous human, social, political ands economic potential will be brought to fruition.
The Churches and others religious groups have a unique weight due to their all-pervading presence through the Small Christian Communities, projects of human development, associations and other entities. Their fragmentation, competition, and relatively weak ecumenical spirit and interfaith dialogue are a great liability.
The state and the civil society at large: the slums dwellers are citizens with all rights and duties, and they pay taxes. Why should the state so shamefully ignore them that hardly any social facilities are available to them? Traditional authorities also have a great role to play, which can only be ignored with serious consequences.
NGO are present in the slums with a variety of initiatives. Cooperation is not their main asset, but we think that collaboration can improve even with them as well.
Cooperation among all these actors is difficult by all means, yet the slums offer a unique opportunity for it to become a reality. Even though many may fall short of joining hands with others, our experience assures us that without collaborative ministry hardly anything will be achieved. Globalization adds further motivations to the call to open up the fences of our small garden. Tuko Pamoja will transform human challenges, no matter the hurdles, into the pregnant ground from which a more human, and therefore more divine life will spring up for many" (Slums A Challenge to Evangelization)140 - 141) .
Fr. Francesco Pierli, mccj
Institute of Social Ministry - Tangaza College
For further reading
" Bowers Christine, ( a book to be published over the next two months)
" Consonni, P., Mission at the Cross-Roads of Urbanization, Nairobi: New People, 1997
" Moschetti, D., Urbanization in Africa, Nairobi: New People, 1997
" Murphy, D., The Urban Poor - Land and Housing, Quezon City: Claretian Publications, 1993
" Various Authors, The slums A Challenge to Evangelization, (Tangaza Occasional Papers / No 14) Nairobi: Paulines, 202" Various Authors, The poor discover their own resources, (Faith and Society Series / No ), Nairobi: Paulines, 2004
031001 Meeting on informal settlements- Kutoka
Research on some Nairobi Informal Settlements
1. Population 100,000
2. percentage of men plus women
3. percentage of the youth
4. household -
House size: 10"x10" feet, some even smaller
Number of occupants: between 3- 6 people for 61%, 1-2 people for 24%, 7 above 15 %
% pit latrine
% with bathroom
5. Percentage employment men women
Permanent 28% 17%
Kibarua 6 9
Jua Kali 39% 23%
Unemployed 19% 9%
92% 58% and the rest?
6. Average income
Permanent below 5000
Kibarua 21,650 gross income
7. Average daily expenses
8. Average monthly expenses
Fuel 400/- kerosene+ charcoal
Primary school fees
Child care 800/- (person employed to care for children)
9. Education level
10. Resources in the informal settlements:
2. KOROGOCHO - research by Concern
Men and women 1:5 ratio
Youth 40% 120,000 population
Employment men women
Permanent 40 25
Kibarua majority majority (washing clothes for 30/-day)
Jua kali few negligible
Set up small
Businesses on their few few
Kibarua 30-300/- per day
Jua kali 0-200 /- per day
Average daily expenses for a family (5 to 6)
Depends on meals
Normal 40 ksh per day (to survive)
Rent 150-1000 at Ndumu side
Water 60-80 litres/day
20 litres sold at Kshs 2-50, it changes
Charcoal 50 Kshs/meal
Kerosene 40 Khs/meal
Firewood and rubbish
Primary school fees (2 city council schools, the rest are informal)
Before the free primary education it was 2000 per term, there were many informal schools
Agreement with owner of the house to provide the teacher with food and children come and they pay 100 per month.
Education level Men Women
Primary 57 58
Secondary 27 13
College 13 1
Shamba along Nairobi river
Garbage (compost) 1 project
Animals pigs, goats
Recreation St. John/ Social Hall/ Video shows
Bars kumi kumi centres that contribute to HIV
Medical Kariobangi clinic- 1 clinic
Growth of informal settlements (from 78% to 150% now) why?
Kibera flying toilets
Informal settlement in past 80% single women
Sr. Gill of Aid Care
Youth and CBO 28 groups
2 schools NCC St John
Single female headed households
Report done by Concern
Market assessment in Korogocho
Poverty and ethnicity
People from Western Kenya
There is land titles for Kikuyu
Luhya tenants are the part that is more powerful
Gumo exploits it and there is a land riot.
Local alcoholism, the chang'aa business
The kikuyu women experience this as an appraisal against the Luhya
40% Luhya 40% Kangemi 20% others
Average income men is less than that of women
4. Overview of the analysis
Income is less than expenditure
What are the areas hit when there is a difference in family budget?
a) medical expenses are left out.
b) Shambas, goats, chicken, alleged activities increase the income.
Men richer than women because what they earn is there while women run the family (men are responsible)
The mother is absent because women have to go to work. The girls do the work of the house, prepare supper, wash clothes and dishes.
They use plastic bags for toilet.
No space, careful not to fall into dumps
Children collect bottles, cans
70% of the women are single women
They supplement by prostitution (huge survival activities)
50% of kids are not in school at all
The school fees are luxurious
Difference between the 3 informal settlements
In the context of Kenyan economy and international economy
Kenya Green Town (NGOs)
Bad governance at base of existence of slum
Sustainable poverty reduction should start with a focus on resources but with the people
Growth of informal settlements from 78 to 150%
Informal settlement in part of 80% of women. When the economy of women improved, then the husbands came back because the women wanted a father figure
Inhabitants in house are many because people come to town
Income 244 126
Health 9 2.4
Price of water limited < 2 shs > 2shs/day
Daily food 100 shs/day/family
1. Absolute poverty- tea and left over ugali (no sugar)
2. Relative poverty- 1 meal/day
56% of people are taking tea only or left overs.
Trends and patterns
Korogocho and Kibera- the city dump
1. growth in informal settlements- 78-150%
2. same indicators
5% Kenyan rich
85% start to work with people
1. increased economy- 0.3%
2. Four out of ten Kenyan live below 15 years
3. 1% Nairobi population below 15 years
Poverty- 56% live below poverty
Poverty in Nairobi is between 92-97 grew by 92%
Schools enrollment doubled to 95% with the new government
75% of children are between 14-17 years and are not in school, they collect garbage. Plastic (income without taxation), some are brokers to get tenants. The youth are richer than the mothers.
out of 100 children born alive 71 die after one year.
The government revenue increased to 48% and expenses increased by 72%
41% of this expenditure to service debt.
53% to salaries
6% to development activities
(No contribution in town - no development)
Public debt 600 billion
70% of National economy estimated at 88 billion
population in Kenya is 28.6 million
Nairobi is 7%- about 2 million
Informal settlements experts more than 7
Hunnish Boll foundation has done a study on Africa global and local.
1 toilet and 2 bathrooms to 1000 people
Kshs 20 imports to Kenya from South Africa
19 remain in South Africa, on reaches Kenya
Informal settlement is not recognized.
Matatu started in 1963 and are not recognized
Informal settlement started before 1963 and are not recognized
Maasai agriculture not recognized
Agriculture of Kangemi and not recognized
What makes an informal economy to be recognized? These sectors that employ 350,000
450 informal economy increase and formal economy decreases
From 75,000 to 65,000 advertisement for offers in newspapers.
Policy production requires public action, interest, need, value that can be addressed through public action
Is the informal sector a policy problem?
Is the informal settlement a policy problem?
Are matatus a policy problem?
The political wing accepts this reality but the ministry of land- slums are blank
City Hall settlement is illegal
City agricultural settlement- illegal but because of inefficiency unable to control and check but now the government tries to put more control - informal sector will loose their jobs.
Control put back
When modernized garbage system would take out the people living out of garbage.
Labour is poor urban more of resource
Housing or shelter used for economical activities
Household relation (whole family taking care of others)
Kenyans thinks about buildings, money, not people (often men and youth keep money)
In Kibera more women alone
Socio-capital- network of trust and loans in the city e.g before you can get to a shamba of another to get food. Nobody will say anything. In slums, people share.
The….. of people and politics? In the inquiry study by national main problem is the choice of the VP
70% of residents of Nairobi in informal settlements and is increasing
70% of Kenya's GDP in the wrong hands is produced in Nairobi- by informal settlements today.
Empower people in informal settlement (to play their place in the economy of the country)
If the economy does not improve then the slums will increase.
People have no control of what is going on in Nairobi.
People are sinking deeper into poverty
Look at policy issues
How to address this through public action
Recognition of services to the economy
Need for conversion drop to be more sensitive to the economy (bishops and priest)
To go to the root causes
How to help the leaders of the Church because the problem is that the poor people are exhausted that they have not…
In a beautiful country they come to the slums because it makes good economical sense. For allowing to work so well.
To know the consequences of
Need to analyze the situation- to go
The education system is that if you go to school you get a job (not agriculture)- not to think about the potential I have in me to exploit it at the service of all.
Mukuru recycling project- use that o move forward. Able to the council and move forward
Korogocho 5 million loan project
Possibility to empower in micro finance
CASA- young people involved in garbage collection
56 country based
poverry eradication scheme
together with peace Africa point working on developmental issues and democracy
need to put the effect of HIV/AIDS in poverty
Pushing together to address policy
the network to push the government to recognize the contribution of informal sector into National economy because there is no recognition of what slums contribute to the policy. There is no money coming back into the slums as infrastructure.
Where do the people of the slums invest the money received in loans?
It is not invested in the slums
The slums are financially advantageous for permanent people (also for the poor)
The talents of the young peole are not used (not in secondary schools). There are also cultural implications e.g gender
At national level the catholic church is not doing enough at economical level.
SDD is a social capital about building economy
Effort of an MP that tried to develop the local industry
The jua kali they all do the same thing.
The problems of crime affecting so much of the economy. Shops are closed because of crime and insecurity
1. informal sector - jua kali not recognized 450,000
2. small micro enterprise- 350,000
3. formal sector
Lack of opportunities
¢ influence on policy
Identify problems, weakness to avoid the threat
Single mothers lack male figure
The catholic church instills morality on these children (while his mother has lost morals (prostitution)
I work so hard and children don't' do it (enter into crimes)
Even when in the whole family, children are left alone because parents are busy.
a) In March Un memorandum to do slum upgrading in 4 slums (Soweto in Kibera) politics made some declarations
b) UN indicated its responsibility, they said the government is the people violence is "normal" in upgrade in Nairobi. Children should work against this.
c) Asking for full information , some level of participation- no step till now
d) Importance to …
Radio Waumini (slums programme)
Programme produced on slum issues
At least 8 to 10000 programmes
On slums not on parishes
Marathon on shelter
Kibera no 1- changaa (alcohol) no to changaa
Organize an event around it.
Same event- concern writing about Kibera
December 14th -raising awareness on 1 problem in parish (inside the city)
Kibera-Korogocho-Kangemi is the police that is involved into it.
Search involvement of government people
Seminar for network (17-20th November)
a) to share experience
c) to do homework
kshs 1200 per day, 3600 per person, SOMIRENEC in charge
walk from Guadeloupe to Tangaza 9.00 am on 27th September to raise funds for social ministers understanding the human society - social dimension and changes.