CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF NAKURU – SOCIAL WELFARE PROGRAMME
Mr. Joash Diemo Sigu,
The Social Welfare Programme is a programme of the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru, established in 1973 to identify and prioritize social needs of marginalized and disadvantaged communities with the view of enhancing access to their inherent basic rights and human dignity.
In this respect, the SWP facilitates these communities and individuals to gain social acceptance and engage meaningfully in sustainable development activities.
The SWP currently run three projects namely:
- the street children project (Mwangaza and St. Francis Rehabilitation Centres) for rehabilitation and reintegration of street children;
- the Women of Destiny (WoD) project for the rehabilitation of commercial sex workers (CSW); and,
- the Association Project for rehabilitation of youth living and working on the streets, run in partnership with the Undugu Society of Kenya.
- To contribute towards improved quality of life of disadvantaged and marginalized communities, enabling them to gain social acceptance and actively participate in sustainable development activities.
- To create awareness on social issues and empowerment of marginalized and disadvantaged communities for economic and social inclusion.
- To empower marginalized and disadvantaged communities to create, access, manage and utilize local resources and services sustainably.
- To provide rehabilitation services to disadvantaged and marginalized communities for economic and social reintegration.
- Rehabilitation of Street Children Project
This project was established in 1976 as a “drop-in” centre to facilitate recruitment, rehabilitation and reintegration of street children in Nakuru. The project is mainly funded through partnership with Caritas Germany in order to meet project objectives and other administrative costs.
The rehabilitation of street children project currently has two centres in Nakuru namely; Mwangaza Rehabilitation Centre and St. Francis Rehabilitation Centres respectively. This project targets children between 7 – 16 years old and has a capacity of rehabilitation at least 80 children annually, 40 for each centre. The rehabilitation programme is designed to last for 1 year before reintegration into formal education, except for very few cases of children who may take longer before they are ready.
To secure the dignity of children who live and work in the streets and their families and promote their personal development and social integration.
Strategies and Approach
Mapping of bases
- Through street work, Social Workers are able to identify areas and streets within Nakuru where street children frequent or have established their “bases” (places where they reside). As a result, the SWP targets the areas of Shabaab, Kaptembwo, Bondeni, Ponda Mali, Sewage, Mwariki, Lake View, Manyani, Industrial Area and Nakuru Town (Central Business District) for street outreach and recruitment.
- During street visits, the Social Workers establish relationships of mutual trust with street children. This is done mostly during the period of recruitment in which Social Workers share information about our rehabilitation centres as well as the positive benefits of children leaving street life to join the programme.
Withdrawal and admission at the centres
- Only when children voluntarily decide to start the rehabilitation are they accompanied by social workers for admission at the centres. This is when the processes of family tracing and reunion are also commenced.
The processes of rehabilitation have many components which targets the holistic growth and development of the child. These are summarized as:
- Health and hygiene
- de-worming, treatment of skin infections, body hygiene
- Spiritual development
- Remedial classes
- School and home visits
- Feeding programme
- Games and sports
- Guidance and counseling
- Life skills
- Family support
- Positive parenting
- Income Generating Activities (IGAs) – table banking, soap making, bead work etc)
- Child rights training
- Family tracing and re-union
- School placement
- School and home visits
The Association Model Project
The Association Model is a project that targets youth living and working in the streets. The Catholic Diocese of Nakuru, through the Social Welfare Programme has partnered with Undugu Society of Kenya and WeSeeHope to replicate this model in Nakuru since July 2016 (effective October 2016).
The Association Model project targets youth between 16 and 26 years who are clustered into several groups called associations. In Nakuru, there are currently 5 Association Groups namely:
- Upendo Youth Group (Kismayu)
- Vegas Boyz
- Pamoja Group
- Home Boyz
- Langas Boyz
The Association Model has five phases through which groups transition.
This phase involves mapping of places (bases) where youth living and working in the streets are commonly found as well as identifying possible members to form the associations. Establishing rapport with the youth is key in this process.
The formation stage involves:
- Actual establishment of Association Groups
- Orientation of members into the project purpose and objectives, expectations as well as roles and duties of each party (members and CDN)
- Developing of group rules/norms
- Election and training of group leaders
- Identification of key stakeholder from Government and other relevant organizations
- Conducting exchange visits for learning and sharing
- Conducting weekly visits and group meetings, football tournaments, youth camps, and life skills sessions for behaviour change
- Capacity building
This phase entail building the capacity of youth to gain essential business and employability skills. During this phase, Association Members conduct Market surveys to map-out and collect data on marketable skills and skill-gaps in their areas, consumer perceptions and satisfaction as well as possible areas of future training.
Association members are also taken through a goal setting workshop for purposes of choosing suitable trades for their skills training; business entrepreneurship training for those who intend to pursue businesses other than skills training. This is followed by placement of members for Technical and Vocational skills training as well as provision of start-up grants small businesses.
The empowerment stage is attained when groups members have improved personal income and are able to meet their basic needs of food, clothing, shelter and other family responsibilities; have demonstrated improved behaviour change; no longer abuse drugs and are living responsible lives as good citizens.
Following the successes realized in the previous phase, when the group can continue existing despite the support of CDN, the project then exits their support, celebrating the achievement thus far realized. So far, no Association Groups have reached the empowerment and disengagement stages of the process.
- Women of Destiny (WoD) Project
The Women of Destiny project was established in 2001 to facilitate women engaged in commercial sex trade to acquire skills and competencies for personal development as well as economic self sufficiency.
The project strives to enhance resilience among women in coping with social challenges as well as engage creatively in other legitimate alternative sources of income. The project currently has groups in Nakuru, Salgaa, Gilgil, Marigat, Lanet, Mogotio and Kambi Samaki.
- Guidance and counseling
- Gender Based Violence and Human Rights Training
- Pastoral Care
- Team building
- Radio Programmes (Radio Amani)
- Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC)
- Soap Making
- Bead work
- Sewing (re-usable sanitary towels)