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Harambee as an indigenous lived philosophy : empowering the poor in the Kenyan Anglican church.

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This thesis deals with the Harambee as an indigenous lived philosophy and its capacity of empowering the poor in the Kenyan Anglican Church. From a historical perspective, it explores and scrutinises the origins, the definition and the philosophy behind Harambee. The thesis shows how Harambee was incorporated in the Kenyan Anglican Church and how it has been used as a survival strategy in the midst of the dominant development models which have failed to address the social-economic and political issues in Kenya. The thesis notes that even though Harambee is promoted in Kenya as a cultural, socio-economic and political philosophy its basic orientation is in harmony with the Christian theology. In this regard, the thesis offers a theological understanding of Harambee in the light of themes such as creation, imago Dei, incarnation, justice, redemption, love and solidarity. In undertaking this task, the thesis attempts to shed more light on how Harambee is in harmony with the principles and values of the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) model. It argues that Harambee shares many concerns with ABCD even though Harambee has a Kenyan cultural flavour. Therefore, it affirms that Harambee as a lived philosophy is likely to empower the poor in the community, and the Kenyan Anglican Church should consider enhancing Harambee to mobilise the local resources. In view of this, the study highlights various projects initiated by the church through Harambee and it concludes by proposing that the Church needs to go beyond humanitarian programmes and initiate sustainable projects that can address the causes of poverty thus striving to make the twenty-first century a century of hope for millions of people who are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.


Thesis (M.Th.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2007.


Church and state--Kenya., Anglican Church of Kenya., Poverty--Religious aspects--Christianity., Poor--Religious aspects--Christianity., Poverty--Kenya., Church work with the poor--Kenya., Theses--Theology., Kenya--Politics and government--1978-