Changing Times Ministry 在卡卡梅加(Kakamega)建立的高中並非一座普通的建築物，我們深信神祢會讓它成為一個特別的訓練基地，去建立祢的子民，差遣他們去完成祢的大使命。我們又求主拯救那些住在貧民窟中的居民，他們面對各樣痛苦，如乾旱、饑荒、水浸、貧窮、餞餓、艱辛、疾病和滋擾，求主的憐憫臨到他們。我們自知能力有限，但願繼續作代禱勇士記念這個國家。
Poverty & Slums
Inner city poverty and slums have become a serious problem as the world’s population is experiencing urbanization. Studies show that 54% of the world population lives in urban areas and by 2050 the concentration of people in cities will increase to 66 percent, especially in Asia and Africa. Currently 50% of Africans and Asian populations and more than 75% of Latin Americans are urbanites.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that nearly a billion people live in urban slums, shantytowns, on sidewalks, under bridges and along railroad tracks, 600 millions of them are in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
While these regions have the biggest and fastest developing cities in the world, a significant numbers of the people fueling that growth lives in temporary shelters, slums, areas where their lives and health are constantly under the pressure due to shortage of affordable housing. The problems of congested and inadequate housing along with limited access to clean water, sanitation, education and other government services are only part of that pressure. A lot of the makeshift housing is not made with proper construction materials and makes it very vulnerable to storms, typhoons, and other natural disasters.
Living in slums puts enormous social, economic, and financial burdens on households, and many argue that slum dwellers are caught in an intergenerational poverty trap — that living in slums makes it harder for households to escape poverty.
Kenya is home to some of the worst slums in the world. The housing deficit in Kenya stood at 2 million in 2012 and continues to grow at the rate of over 200,000 units a year. The country is urbanizing at such a speed that it is projected to be 50% urban by 2020, and half of all Kenya’s poor will be living in urban areas. In this respect there can be no doubt that poverty itself is rapidly urbanizing in Kenya. There is a proliferation of informal settlements in urban areas with 60% of the population living in informal settlements. Families live in overcrowded homes typically with one room and no adequate ventilation. These families are at high risk of diseases such as malaria, respiratory infections or worm infestation.
Nairobi, its capital city, is facing rapid urbanization, yet the divide between rich and poor is growing wider and 60% of residents now live in slums with no or limited access to even the most basic services. The scale of urban poverty in Kenya is something that policymakers can no longer afford to ignore. Moreover, the percentage of the urban population in the poorest categories of all is on the increase, and the gap between rich and poor is rapidly widening. While some urban dwellers have seen their position improve due to impressive levels of economic growth in recent years, poverty has been deepening for the majority of the urban poor who have become trapped in downward spirals of deprivation and vulnerability.
The increasingly severe inequalities in cities have negative implications for human security, stability and economic development. Urban poverty and inequality can have catastrophic social consequences when combined with poor governance and ethnic resentment. Meanwhile gender inequalities are deeply entrenched in the slums, with women being most disadvantaged of all, and slum children are the unhealthiest in the country according to a wide range of indicators.
Oxfam’s urban analysis reveals the extent of the challenge facing Kenya’s cities and calls for urgent action to address a situation that has already reached crisis proportions. Focusing on Nairobi in particular – a city whose population is set to spiral from around 3.4 million today to almost 6 million in 2025 – key points raised in the Oxfam Kenya analysis include the following:
- Poverty and inequality in Kenya’s burgeoning slums
- Almost half (43%) of the total “food poor” in Kenya live in urban slums, amounting to over 4 million people
- The poorest urban-dwellers spend up to 75% of their income on staple foods alone.
- 60% of Nairobi’s population – around 2 million people – live in slums with limited or non-existent access to water, sanitation, housing, education and healthcare services
- While primary school enrolment is marginally higher in urban areas, after the age of 15 far fewer boys and girls attend school in cities than rural areas. This has significant impacts as urban poverty has been shown to be inversely related to the level of education of the head of the household
- Inequality is declining in Kenya’s rural areas, but in cities it is high and rising.
- In a Nairobi slum area home to around 25,000 people there may be as few as two private schools and no public ones
- Women in the slums are almost 5 times as likely as men to be unemployed
Praying for Kenya
– Rev. Sophia Wong
Lord, you are the creator of the world. We feel indebted to you for we have not been using our own gifts and resources to build up one another. We want to turn to you for forgiveness due to our own aloofness, self-centeredness, and selfishness. We tend to immerse in over-control, elevate our own significance, and indulge in our comfort zone. As we cry out to you Lord, open up our minds, our hearts, and our eyes on the needs of Kenya. You are using this Kenya missions to train us – to be more appreciative of what we have, to stretch us, and to shape us to feel what Jesus felt and did.
The Changing Times Ministry High School in Kakamega is not just an ordinary building. We truly believe that God, you will use this place as a special training ground. You will build up your people before sending them out to fulfil your Great Commission.
We also ask the Lord’s deliverance to save the residents in the slum area. As they face so much suffering like droughts, famines, flooding, poverty, hunger, hardships, diseases, and harassments, we plead for your mercy upon the Kenyans. We are humbled by our limits but continue to be the prayer intercessors for this country.
Lord we thank You that this mission is no longer our burden, but our privilege. Lord, please take the lead and join our hands with the brothers and sisters in Kenya to embark on this journey of FAITH to experience God’s greatness! “…that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
If you are interested in knowing more about RHCCC’s PEACE program in Kenya or would like to participate in this ministry, please contact Rev. Sophia Wong.