Bishop Kaisamari Hintikka’s visit unveils FCA’s impactful initiatives

Our director, Tomi Järvinen, Vice-Chair Bishop Kaisamari Hintikka, and a delegation of Finn Church Aid supporters are welcomed by women groups in Kerio Valley undertaking peace and livelihoods interventions  supported by FCA
Our director, Tomi Järvinen, Vice-Chair Bishop Kaisamari Hintikka, FCA Kenya Country Director John Bongei and a delegation of Finn Church Aid staff and supporters are welcomed by women groups in Kerio Valley undertaking peace and livelihoods interventions supported by FCA. PHOTO: Daisy Obare

In a recent week-long journey marked by purposeful engagements and a shared vision, Bishop Kaisamari Hintikka of Finland, alongside FCA Executive Director Tomi Järvinen and a distinguished delegation, explored various regions of Kenya.

The visit aimed to gain insights into FCA’s programmatic work, showcase the power of collaboration and shared purpose, and leave an indelible mark on the communities visited.

The week began with a symbolic Sunday service at the Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oliorum, Kajiado County. FCA’s global leadership, including Tomi Järvinen and Bishop Kaisamari, participated in this spiritual event, setting the tone for the week.

Exploring Kakuma: unveiling humanitarian initiatives

The delegation engaged in courtesy calls with the Department of Refugee Services (DRS), gaining a comprehensive overview of Kakuma’s current humanitarian landscape. Visits to FCA-managed primary and secondary schools in Village 3 showcased the impact of FCA’s educational initiatives. Immersed in vibrant programs, the delegation connected with teachers, parents, and learners. The day extended to a host community school supported by FCA, fostering connections with the local community and aligning efforts with national strategies through a courtesy call to the Deputy County Commissioner.

Insights into UNHCR and local initiatives

Pictures from a field visit to Kenya by major supporters of FCA, Executive Director Tomi Järvinen and Vice Chair of the Board, Bishop Kaisamari Hintikka Pictured: Järvinen and Hintikka meeting with Edwin Chabari, Camp Manager, for Kakuma-Kalobeyei, in his office.

A significant meeting with UNHCR provided valuable insights into the situational report for Kakuma/Kalobeyei refugee operations. A visit to the LEAP-supported school Towokayeni brought forth human stories behind FCA’s impactful interventions, emphasising the community-centric approach.

Strategic peace meeting with local youth and women talking circle in Elgeyo Marakwet

The visit witnessed a shift towards peace-building initiatives in Elgeyo Marakwet, engaging with local peace groups such as Cheluche and Amani Mbele Women Talking Circles. The day illuminated the transformative power of community-led initiatives.

The delegation’s presence also featured a meeting with HE Rachel Ruto and the Governor of the County Government of Elgeyo Marakwet Wisley Rotich, aligning efforts with strategic leaders in the Kenyan landscape. Simultaneously, the team engaged with the Tot FC Youth Group, delving into sports for peace and livelihood activities for youth.

Sustainable practices and creative ventures

The group later visited the FCA Creative Industries program centre, witnessing firsthand how FCA is mentoring youth in digital skills for a sustainable future.

FCA’s Commitment to local initiatives

Finn Church Aid Executive Directors and other delegates from Finland paid a visit to TakaTaka Solutions’ recycling plant in Limuru. The visit showcased the entire waste management process, highlighting FCA’s commitment to supporting waste pickers with livelihood, protective gear, insurance, and more.

Quotes of the day 

“Our visit to Kenya has been a journey of enlightenment, revealing the resilience and strength within communities. It’s a testament to the transformative power of collaborative efforts and a shared commitment to building a better future.” – Bishop Kaisamari Hintikka

At FCA, we believe in the potential for positive change when hearts and minds come together. The experiences shared during our visit to Kenya reaffirm the importance of our mission, emphasizing the impact that collective action can have on creating sustainable and meaningful transformations.” – Tomi Järvinen, FCA Executive Director

“Working with women and youth groups has allowed us to witness firsthand the impact of our collective efforts. The dedication and spirit of the communities we’ve engaged with highlight the potential for lasting change. It’s a reminder that every action, no matter how small, contributes to building resilient and empowered societies.” – John Bongei, FCA Kenya Country Director

Text: Daisy Obare