Understanding the Poverty Perspective of Women in Kibera: Its Implications for the Redeemed Christian Church of God Mission

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Through my research, the poverty perspectives of Kibera women have been understood and will be the first focus of our poverty reduction initiative with a view to transforming them. The definition of poverty by women in Kibera differs hugely from the international standard definition of poverty. For the women in Kibera poverty means deprivation, incapacitation, and dependence or total reliance on others.

The lessons of working with the women of Kibera as partner-beneficiaries has been learned, our poverty alleviation initiative in Kibera will consist in working with the women to implement the income generation activities that the women may identify based on individual and group capacities. Also future failure of SC’s ministry in Kibera will be obviated as the message of the loving Christ will be better preached through sustainable socio-economic empowerment. These findings were in line with the three research actions among the women of Kibera: documenting the presence of the international characteristics of poverty; understanding their perspectives of poverty; and defining appropriate strategies and approaches for poverty alleviation based on suggestions of the women and progress of existing local initiatives (homegrown strategies for poverty alleviation). These research actions were undertaken through a three pronged research methodology: focused group discussions (seven FGDs were conducted with each consisting of eight married women with children ages six to thirteen). The participants were drawn from seven different villages in Kibera), participant observation (I visited three of the FGD women to confirm their information), and key informants interviews (I interviewed two women from Kibera whose economic lives have changed positively to ascertain what happened and how it happened. These women will act as change agents for our transformation plan). Finally four founders of local initiatives were interviewed to help understand the impact of local initiatives in addressing poverty. All of these were preceded by an extensive literature review.

I used Grounded theory for data analysis. This technique involves using categories and concepts that emerged from text and linking the concepts into substantive and formal theories.

Mentor: Elizabeth L. Glanville

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Doctor of Intercultural Studies

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Glanville, Elizabeth L.

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Redeemed Christian Church of God, Missions, Women, Poverty, Kenya


Missions and World Christianity


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