Norwegian Church Aid in Kenya
- Been here since: 1969
- Money spent in 2013: 10.6 million NOK
The Kenya programme has Climate Justice and Gender Justice as its prioritised areas. Norwegian Church Aid has worked in Kenya since 1984.
The Climate Justice component focuses on climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation. The Gender Justice component has a focus on gender-based violence and women in governance, with gender mainstreaming as a cross-cutting concern.
Our programme seeks to integrate innovative strategies and broad-based approaches in addressing developmental challenges whilst promoting equal rights for women and men.
Kenya is still in a very important and complex political transition. The promulgation of the new constitution in August 2010 marked an important turning point, ushering in a new constitutional order that many trust will lead the country towards much-needed institutional reform.
Poverty and security are major concerns facing the country where 19% of Kenya's population lives in extreme poverty (50% of these being women). 70% of Kenyans are under the age of 30, and this, combined with high rates of unemployment poses a challenge to the security situation in the country. This is the context for Norwegian Church Aid’s decision to focus on work to mobilize and engage with young people to ensure their positive contribution to development.
Over 80% of Kenyans are dependent on agriculture for employment and livelihoods. The growing reality of climate change marked by recurrent droughts and/or floods has seen a significant section of Kenya’s population dealing with intermittent shortages of water, food and energy.
Kenya still experiences traditional male-female power imbalances. Certain customary practices, gender-based violence, limited awareness on legal rights, limited capacity-building opportunities, stereotyped roles and poverty are some of the contributing factors that hinder the attainment of women’s empowerment and gender equality.
In spite of the above the country is generally perceived as Eastern and Central Africa’s hub for financial, communication and transportation services - a situation that serves the Kenya programme well.
The programme promotes climate mitigation and adaptation measures. Key components of this programme are policy influencing and mobilization especially of young people to engage and inform processes geared towards accountable and sustainable development.
Climate change mitigation: Norwegian Church Aid works to ensure that poor people and their communities have improved access to renewable energy, including bio-energy. This energy enables poor farmers to refine their produce and other raw materials and acquire a more sustainable revenue base. Awareness raising and the mobilization of young people at local, national and international levels for policy advocacy on matters related to the environment and climate are central to Norwegian Church Aid’s work.
Climate change adaptation: Through various adaptation measures, Norwegian Church Aid assists vulnerable population groups (e.g. smallholder farmers) to become less vulnerable to climate change. These measures include rainwater harvesting, tree planting, investing in more robust and drought-resistant plants and facilitating a more diverse revenue base.
Livelihood and trade: Norwegian Church Aid supports smallholder farmers, particularly coffee farmers, to organise themselves in associations in order to strengthen their position and improve interaction with government and private market actors. Norwegian Church Aid’s goal is that, by 2015, 20,000 coffee farmers will have increased their revenue base by producing high quality coffee and be involved in processes to influence policy with regard to fair returns on their inputs.
The Gender Justice programme is a multi- pronged programme which includes activities geared towards promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, addressing gender-based violence as a hindrance to the attainment of gender justice, and promoting gender mainstreaming both within Norwegian Church Aid and in partner organizations
Gender-based violence: This component of the Gender Justice programme focuses on harmful traditional practices with female genital mutilation (FGM) as a central issue of concern. Working with the Somali community in Mandera District where prevalence rates are 97.6%, and the Maasai community in Kajiado district where the rates are 73.2% (Kenya Demographic Health Survey 2008-2009), Norwegian Church Aid supports communities to develop their own solutions to the problem. Also included in this component is education and social support to vulnerable girls. The programme also targets custodians of culture as well as religious leaders with a view to gaining their support in the fight against FGM.
Additionally the programme creates linkages between local initiatives and national processes geared towards the elimination of FGM.
Women in Governance: Norwegian Church Aid is committed to equitable participation of women and men in all matters that affect their lives. Recognising the prevailing situation where majority of women in Kenya continue to operate in the periphery in governance matters, the programme aims to promote equitable and qualitative participation of women in faith-based organisations and in governance. Documentation, sensitisation and awareness-raising as well as lobbying, advocacy and capacity building are important components of the programme.
Faith Communities and Peace-building: The Eastern Africa and Great Lakes region is affected by latent and ongoing conflicts. Often, there is little political space for ordinary citizens – such as women, traditional leaders, religious communities and civil society – to influence the management of these conflicts and to build peace. Norwegian Church Aid supports partners to mobilise and build communities' capacities to advocate and engage in peace-building processes both at regional and local levels. A key component of this work is the support to ecumenical and interfaith fora in their efforts to contribute to the search of peace in affected countries.
Norwegian Church Aid in Kenya is a driving force in the ACT Alliance and ACT Kenya Forum, particularly within humanitarian and emergency work.