THE CENTRE FOR URBAN MISSION
Transforming Urban Communities
“Carlile College has brought to the grassroots its mission training in the class by working with churches in slums to transform informal settlements.“ Nancy Njagi, Director, Centre for Urban Mission
Centre for Urban Mission (C.U.M) is a ministry of Church Army Africa, an institution of the Anglican church in Africa.The centre was founded in 2002 with the aim of training practitioners in urban mission while at the same time working with local churches to bring out the holistic transformation of informal settlements. The Centre’s vision is to transform the informal settlements through the ministry of the local church. It carries out this vision by equipping the local church to be agents of transformation within their communities as the church models the H.E.A.L strategy. The Center has extension non-formal or grassroots training and capacity building programme operating among about 300 churches situated in 16 informal settlements of Nairobi.
Overview: Transforming the Informal Settlements
In recognizing the local church as a significant entity through which God works to transform both the individual and the community, CUM works with churches to transform informal settlements through the following programmes:
The Samaritan Strategy (SS) is C.U.M’s discipleship training programme tailored to the needs of the churches in the informal settlements introducing the concept of integral mission in the community through the ministry of the local church. This programme challenges churches in the slum to implement a ministry set up using local resources that meets the needs of the community and that communicates the love of Jesus Christ to its neighbours.
Shepherd’s Institute (SI) exists to offer training to pastors and church leaders in the informal settlements who cannot access formal theological training. This is a one year training programme for pastors that equips them with skills and knowledge of how o teach and preach the word of God in their context.
The Christian Economic Empowerment Programme (CEEP) has three primary intervention: Increasing the capacities of the youth with skills for salaried and self employment, building the capacities of church groups with business and saving skills and building linkages and networking with like – minded organizations keen on economic empowerment among the poorest of the poor. Over 300 youth have received enterprise based vocational training in trades such as vehicle repair, hairdressing, welding, shoe making, tailoring, catering and photography among other trades. This programme has also facilitated in the setting up of over 25 successful savings and credit groups among local churches in the slums.
The Children’s Ministry Programme (CMP) has developed a children’s ministry curriculum to aid Sunday school teachers to respond appropriately to children living in informal settlements. From 2012 to 2014, the programme worked with 6 churches in Kibera to support 90 vulnerable families to improve the well being of orphan and vulnerable children. In 2015 , the programme will identify 50 vulnerable households from Mukuru informal settlements with the aim of equipping their skills through a participatory method so as to improve the lives of children hospitality.
The Youth Development Programme (YDP) engages with the needs of the youth in Nairobi’s informal settlents. This programme targets youth aged 13 to 25 years and has so far set up 11 after school reading programmes in partnership with the local churches, then engages the youth in life skills awareness, spirituual and character fromation, sports, music, drama and enterprise based vocational training.
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