The Pilgrim’s Presence Mission of Kiwawa is located in the West Pokot District of Kenya. This area is predominately semi-arid with only four percent cultivatable land. Among the various tribes of Kenya, the Pokot with a population of 300,000, form one of the most marginalized communities in Kenya.
The Pokot people have retained significant elements of their traditional culture. Much of their lives revolve around the care of livestock. These pastoral communities have failed to settle permanently due to the ongoing need to locate new pasturelands. The status of women remains low among the Pokot as evidenced by initiation rites that include excision and forced marriage at an early age. As a result of their nomadic lifestyle, the Pokot have failed to see the value of education especially for girls. In this tradition, parents would prefer that their daughters marry in exchange for a dowry, usually animals, called the “bride price.” For many years the Pokot have been at war with their neighbors mainly the Turkana, the Karamojong, and the Sabiny.
The Colonial Church of Edina, Minnesota, initiated the Pilgrim’s Presence Mission in co-operation with World Vision, Kenya. The project was adopted by the Missionary Society in 1992. Geoffrey LIpale, the mission director, reports that the goal of this ministry is to help these people transform their lives by gaining an understanding of their problems in a changing world.
Pilgrim’s Presence has an increasing need for scholarship assistance to help with the development of leaders to promote the “Pokot helping Pokot” approach to mission. The POKATUSA Program was formed to look into ways of establishing a lasting peace with neighboring tribes and communities. Due to the vulnerability to famine, a food security program is being established.
Printable bulletin insert
March 2012 Water Project Appeal