Joshua O. Ayiemba, Matthew M. Theuri, Peter C. Mungai
Poverty and attempts to alleviate it is an issue that has continued to generate interest of national governments and international agencies and mostly in most developing countries. The Christian Church, in spite of its central mandate being spiritual evangelism has continued to participate in the fight against poverty to accomplish Jesus Christ's mission to whole-heartedly serve and minister to all; both rich and poor of the World. This paper evaluates the mandate of the Christian Church in poverty alleviation with reference to the role Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) plays in helping to alleviate poverty amongst its faithful. Specifically, the paper discusses the source of action by the church and the type and nature of development programmes carried out by the ACK in Maseno and Winam Divisions to establish the influence of the development programmes on the people. The Church, due to its proximity to the poor, remains one of the major stakeholders of poverty alleviation in rural areas. Hence, the paper makes the basic assumption that the majority of living poor, mostly in rural areas are not only poor but also profess the Christian faith as adherents of the ACK. The paper was guided by the Christian theory of human development which has two basic goals: to achieve life everlasting in the company of God and Christ in heaven; and to do God's will in one's daily life on earth by being responsive to the needs of the poor. Data was collected through literature review and a survey which comprised of responses of respondents to the questionnaires, focus group discussions and existing data records of the ACK. Qualitative data analysis Statistic Programme for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze the data. The paper reveals that the Christian Church particularly the ACK has been and continues to be involved in improving the quality of life and economic status of the poor through the provision of essential social services and promotion of income-generation programmes, specifically in the areas of health, education, employment and small scale business entrepreneurship (SSBE). The paper, it is hoped, will provide relevant information for various stakeholders involved in poverty alleviation. Specifically the paper will contribute towards the achievement of Kenya vision 2030.
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