United Church of Canada on a Fact Finding Mission to Kenya.
April 7, 2017
United Church of Canada (UCC) has affirmed that it will continue partnering with The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) in areas of mutual engagement aimed at transforming lives. This was revealed during a meeting with visiting UCC delegation led by Cheryl Curtis and the NCCK’s General Secretary Reverend Canon Peter Karanja.
During their visit, the 17-member team held discussions with their Kenyan partners and also toured some of the projects implemented on their behalf. The tour is part of UCC’s Mission and Service Global Pilgrimage.
Affirming NCCK’s partnership, Cheryl and team were able to tour Tharaka Nithi and Kakuma, where they met the Council’s project implementers. They were also exposed to the Council’s projects and shelter work in Kalobeyei and community based rehabilitation projects in two occupational therapy centers.
In addition, they visited shelters constructed with funds from UCC channeled through ACT Alliance, in response to the South Sudan crisis and 2015 floods in Kakuma.
“Through our partnership with UCC, the Canadian Food Grain Bank is giving NCCK financial support to build the capacities of local farmers to practice Conservation Agriculture. More than 800 households in Tharaka Nithi County, a place characterized by perpetual food insecurity, will forever be grateful to the partnership between NCCK and UCC,” said Cano Karanja.
He said that positive impact of UCC’s work was evident, in that while other people would have no harvest during emergencies like the current drought, the farmers under the project had at least some food to keep them going.
UCC normally supports NCCK to respond to emergencies when they occur. Instances of engagement have focused on droughts and floods in Kenya, as happened during the drought of 2011 & 2012 where the Council supported more than 1,000 households with food relief and drought resistant seeds.
The two institutions have in the past, partnered in an economic empowerment project called “Jamii Imara Project” which sought to empower women in informal settlements in four middle-sized towns of Kakamega, Kisumu, Nyeri and Meru. In each of the project areas, 100 women were enrolled and supported under the Village Saving and Loans Association (VSLA) model to expand their businesses.
In addition, UCC and NCCK have partnered in the school bursary programme, thus increasing the uptake of vulnerable children to the NCCK Scholarship programme.