Mission- To transform lives through evangelization, pastoral care, and socio-economic development

Vision- A community living a Christ-like life in the service of humanity

Core Values

  • Respect and uphold the dignity of the human person
  • Preferential option for the poor
  • Honesty
  • Transparency and accountability
  • Communion with and service to others
  • Stewardship

Thematic Focus

  • Pastoral Care and Spiritual Development Pillar
  • Education
  • Livelihoods and empowerment
  • Health Pillar
  • Institutional Development

Location- Kangemi, Along Thing'o Road of Waiyaki Way

St. Joseph Development Programmes is the developmental wing of the broader St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Kangemi. St. Joseph the Worker Parish, a parish in the informal settlement areas of Kangemi, is a Catholic Parish under the Nairobi Archdiocese.

The Parish was established in 1985 by the Jesuit Fathers of Eastern Africa Province. As the developmental wing of St. Joseph the Worker parish, St. Joseph Development Programmes Office was created in its current form in 1987 to coordinate and manage the various social apostolic works of the Parish.

SJDP Board of Management pose with management staff of SJDP during a visit to the Offices

Started in 1985, St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Parish is one of the 112 parishes of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi and is one of eight parishes that constitute the Nairobi Western Deanery. The church was started by the Jesuits of Eastern Africa Province, under the leadership of Late Archbishop Maurice Cardinal Otunga, in response to various gaps identified within Kangemi.

The news of absence of a Catholic Church in Kangemi reached Fr. Gachuga and the late Sr. Martin Wanjiru with the Sister starting an initiative to mobilize sponsors who would aid towards the purchase of a land on which a church would be built. With the generous support from Mr. and Mrs. Mary Hues, a piece of land was acquired where a grass thatched house, only adequate to shelter the priest during Mass celebration, was put up. From 1981-1984, Christians continued to contribute towards the construction of a church made of iron sheet with the Kangemi Church still operating as an outstation of St. John the Baptist-Riruta. Language was still a big challenge and as time passed, Christians had to learn Swahili language and songs for use during mass.

On 1st May 1985, the Jesuit Provincial and other priests visited the Kangemi outstation. It is this day that St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Parish was officially opened and handed over to the Jesuits by Late Cardinal Michael Otunga. Fr. Joseph Payeur, SJ was the first Parish Priest of the new Parish.

Since its formation, the parish has grown into a beacon of hope lighting the larger Kangemi slum. Today, St. Joseph the Worker- Kangemi Catholic Parish is the only catholic parish serving the larger Kangemi area which spans around 10 Kilometers.

In line with the motivation behind the establishment of St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Parish, the Jesuit missionaries, the early Jesuit priests, a pool of generous donors, and many more stakeholders, the Church is renowned for its work among the poor and the least advantaged in society.

How we Work

The parish adopts the system of subdividing a parish into manageable portions best known as Small Christian Communities (SCC) which ensures efficiency in ministering to the high population of faithful, a concept highly recommended by both the Association of Members of Episcopal Conference of Eastern Africa (AMECEA) and the Kenya Catholic Conference of Bishops(KCCB). Over time, the number of the SCCs has grown and increased to a current of 31 communities. In their structures, each SCC has a moderator, secretary and treasurer and their assistants. The parish retains eyes and presence on the ground through various leaders and ministries who also play various designated critical roles. These individuals inform the parish of any urgent matters affecting the vulnerable including cases of death, neglect of children and so on. In return, the Development arm of the Parish works with such leaders to offer appropriate support; youth representatives who link the parish with the youth in the slums; the liturgical ministers who are well adept with the Roman Catholic liturgy and help prepare their communities for the weekly masses; and catechists who teach catechumen the Catholic faith and prepare them for sacraments. As a best practice, these community leaders are drawn from the communities living in Kangemi since they are more in touch and in close proximity with the community members.

St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Parish strives to continually build the capacities of the various leaders in an effort to ensure that they are best equipped to execute their mandate effectively and efficiently. The parish also retains a strong connection with the community through encouraging members to participate in decision making as well as through meeting their various needs to the best possible levels.

Reflection of Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter (May 19, 2020)

Praise to Our Lord Jesus Christ. I am Fr. Binamungu the parish priest of St. Joseph the Worker Kangemi. I welcome you all to listen to today’s Gospel May 19 the Tuesday of the sixth week of Easter. A reading from the Gospel according to John 16:5-11.

“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts.  Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate [133] will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin, righteousness, and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. The word of the Lord.

Praise to Our Lord Jesus Christ! Let us now have a brief reflection of the Gospel, we have just read.  Jesus tells the advantages of him going back to his Father. One of the crucial advantage of him going is that without his going the Holy Spirit will not come. Once the Holy Spirit comes, he will give witness and deal with two categories of people. The first category is that of people immersed itself to worldly affairs. Jesus calls this category those pre-occupied by worldliness, meaning, those whose hearts and minds refuse to cooperate within the dynamics of God’s grace. For today, we shall focus our discussion on this category. For this category, the Holy Spirit will bring to light the true meaning of sin, righteousness and judgement.

Once sin, righteousness and judgement are brought to human knowledge, they will be held responsible, because, no one will find any excuse of any sort that, they do not know. Since, the Spirit will make it clear the meaning of sin, which is to deny, reject and not to trust Jesus by action in one’s life. The Spirit will clarify the meaning of righteousness. Righteousness is not a victory over the fact of oppressing others but rather the victory of helping others in their needs and troubles as shown by Christ on the cross-and through the cross. The Holy Spirit will also bring to light the true meaning of judgement which will be given out when the devil and his advocates, thus, death when the risen Lord out merges death.

The work of the Holy Spirit is to help humanity to know well the sin, righteousness and judgement. Let us pray to God, so that when the Holy Spirit speaks to us and in us we may listen and benefit from his directives in our hearts and minds. Praise to our Lord Jesus Christ! 

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