Social Capital; A Perspective On Organizational Development

By Martin Ndichu
Social capital

Social Capital is almost a new concept in modern organizations, this is despite its long existence. Social capital refers to the networks, institutions and norms that mark and define the quality and quantity of interactions within individuals in a society, organization, project or business. In this context, social capital does not account for players within the network but acts to glue them together. It is evident that cohesion within any organization is a vital component for development and sustainability of that organization. This is mainly because of the effect it has on the degree of association of individuals or players within that organization or network.

There are several attributes that constitute social capital, these include; Trust, Reciprocity, Appreciation, Acceptance and tolerance among others. These attributes of social capital have an effect on organizational productivity and well-being of individual players and reduces the costs of doing business by facilitating coordination and cooperation within the organization. Trust among individuals within any context is vital in promoting transparency while on the other hand reciprocity of goodwill encourages continuity of healthy interrelations; it also eliminates the feeling of abuse among partners. Acceptance and tolerance of individuals within an organization regardless of educational background or qualification, disability, societal branding, race or religious affiliation goes a long way to promote self-esteem, self worth and organizational ownership by the individuals.

So what’s the impact of Social Capital on organizations? True to my word, organizations that nurture high-quality social capital have staffs and partners that demonstrate a high sense of obligation towards the organizations and collectively engage in the attainment of the ultimate goal of the organization. Such organizations experience low staff and partner turn over which in turn increases the prospect of success. On the contrary, organizations with little or no social capital exhibits low growth, poorly motivated staff with a high element of self centeredness. They worry much on what they get in return of their service to the organization than on the welfare of his fellows or the organization. This has the effect on the organization security both internally and externally, simply because most of the individual/partners may be unwilling to stand by the organization when it faces challenges of different kinds.

Building social capital can be fun and disappointing at the same time. This is mainly because it comes with a strong element of expectation. This is mutual, so as a leader in any organization as much as you would want to grow social capital within your fellows or partners ensure that the benefits accrued are mutual such that no one feels abused. Learn to note actions by your partners that desire your reciprocity and promptly act back. As an organization, appreciate the little efforts made on daily basis by your staffs because they may end up being the best they ever do before stagnating due to unmet expectations. Building social capital could constitute a big budgets such as increase in remuneration, luxury holiday and excursions, but could also be done in simple ways in the day to day operation of the organization. Try volunteering your special skills to an organization, mentor someone of a different ethnic or religious group, avoid gossip, Say “Thanks” to colleagues and support staff and the likes.

To pen off, a message to managers and officers in charge of project, human resource, public relations, chairpersons of youth groups, women groups, CBOs, NGOs, aspiring entrepreneurs and other organizations in general government included; observe the element of social capital within your networks and you will not have to worry about how to meet your goal, how you will accomplish your tasks or with whom to share your plans. Caution though, social capital is an investment of a kind so invest wisely and please have a fair interest rate that won’t hurt incase of bad debt!!…won’t you? All the best.      




Story that moved Kibaki to tears

President Kibaki with Noadiah Jepkirui from Nandi County during a ceremony to honour 2,140 beneficiaries of Equity Group Foundation scholarships at Moi Sports Centre Kasarani in Nairobi on February 1, 2012. Photo/JARED NYATAYA

President Kibaki with Noadiah Jepkirui from Nandi County during a ceremony to honour 2,140 beneficiaries of Equity Group Foundation scholarships at Moi Sports Centre Kasarani in Nairobi on February 1, 2012. Photo/JARED NYATAYA

Posted  Wednesday, February 1  2012 at  22:30

A woman puts her marriage on hold to return to school…Two girls escape forced marriage to pursue education and better themselves.

 These stories of triumph over adversary are what moved President Kibaki to tears on Wednesday during a ceremony to honour recipients of arguably East Africa’s most generous corporate philanthropy.

The President Kibaki declared it one of his most joyous occasions.

“To see all these students and to hear their stories…The fact that they have returned to school and are pursuing their goals is my most joyous day,” he said at Kasarani Sports Gymnasium in Nairobi.

Guests and an audience watching the live broadcast of the event on NTV were moved by the story of Roseline Nadicho of Nayopong Primary in West Pokot County.

According to Equity Bank managing director James Mwangi, Nadicho’s determination to continue with her education had been thwarted by forced marriage.

She said during the commissioning of the multi-billion shilling scholarship programme sponsored by Equity Bank, MasterCard Foundation and USaid that she had no father while her mother was jobless.

Nadicho who comes from a community where forced marriages are the norm, scored 356 marks in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams and was one of 2,144 students selected to benefit from the Sh6 billion scholarship programme.

Pursuit of education

President Kibaki, who was accompanied by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Education Minister Sam Ongeri and acting Finance Minister Njeru Githae, could not hold back tears as the girl narrated the difficulties she underwent in pursuit of education.

Ms Naurelia Atiang, 28, from Trans Nzoia County stunned guests, who included US deputy ambassador to Kenya Lee Brudvig and MasterCard Foundation President Reeta Roy, when she said she left her husband with two children and returned to school.

“I was born out of wedlock and stayed with my maternal grandparents because of poverty,” Ms Atiang said, adding that she first sat KCPE examination in 1998 and scored 412 marks but could not join secondary school due to lack of fees.

Last year, she returned to school and scored 348 marks. She was admitted to St Joseph’s Girls, Kitale.

“I had told myself that even after 50 years I will still go back to school if I get sponsorship. I have now left my husband with two children,” Ms Atiang said.

Her dream is study law in the university to enable her fight for the rights of destitute children

Another beneficiary of the scholarship, Douglas Kiptum, boarded a truck in Kitale and was abandoned in Nakuru where he lived as a street boy for years.

 However, after learning of Equity scholarships Kiptum returned to school and scored 369 marks last year’s KCPE.

Abel Oguchu, who is an orphan and had to fend for himself, overcame all odds and scored 391 marks.

Oguchu, however, missed being admitted to Starehe Boys Centre by nine marks.

Starehe MP Margaret Wanjiru, who is also Housing assistant minister, promised to intervene.

“I now have a reason to smile and will be there in Vision 2030,” he said.

An orphan and former street girl, Agnes Wanjiku from Kariobangi who eked out a living at Nairobi’s Dandora dumpsite, was all smiles after scoring 363 marks in last year’s KCPE.

Wanjiku is among Equity scholarship beneficiaries.


Njuki  Githethwa & Faith Mwende of  KCOMNET TEL: +254 00202379949



a paper presented during a counter human trafficking symposium for the faith based and grassroots organizations in east africa held at shalom house nairobi, 22nd to 24th november 2011


Established in 1995, the Kenya Community Media Network (KCOMNET) is a national network of individuals, media practitioners, community communication groups, media professionals and non-governmental organizations committed to the promotion of community media and development communication in Kenya. KCOMNET advocates for the creation and sustainability of community-based media owned, controlled, and produced by, for, and about communities.

Our Vision

To be the key driver of the national community media movement and voice of social change in Kenya.

Our Mission

To champion and popularize community communication initiatives through representation, capacity building and policy advocacy for transformative social change in Kenya.


“Community Communication-Giving Voice to Communities”

Our Key Objectives

The Kenya Community Media Network has, but is not limited to the following three key objectives: –

(i)     To lobby for the establishment of a dynamic communication regime in Kenya that includes community media as a third sector after public and private media

(ii)  To execute a rigorous training programme for community communication groups to make them strong and vibrant

(iii)      To act as a capacity building arm for individual groups and for zonal joint communication groups efforts.

Our Programs

KCOMNETS main programs include:

1.      Community Radio and Radio Listening & Production Groups

2.      Community based Information Resources and Documentation Centers

3.      Community based Folk Media i.e. art, drama, puppetry, song and dance

4.      Community driven Video Production

5.      Community Newsletters

The role of Community Media in Society

Community media is any form of media that is created and controlled by a community, either a geographic community or a community of identity or interest. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), The World Bank, and the European Commission recognize community media as a crucial element in a vibrant and democratic media system.

Community media is a platform which enables the “voiceless” to have a “voice”. This kind of media exists in many countries in all continents, and in media systems they usually stand in-between public broadcasting and private media outlets.

Experience has shown that participation is the key defining feature of community media; it is what places community media outside of traditional media models, in which audiences are passive receivers of messages. In the community media model, senders and receivers together create messages and meaning through participatory processes.

Community media enables marginalised communities to speak about issues that concern them at the local level, creating linkages between development, democracy and community media. This presents a snap-shot of community needs and aspirations and allows a community to map its future using the bottom-up approach. The historical philosophy of community media is to use this medium as the voice of the voiceless, and the mouthpiece of oppressed people, or by communities that have not been served by conventional communication structures.

More so, community media offers space for creativity and is also a tool for empowerment. Besides this, community media is able to integrate different mediums of communication e.g. drama, song and dance, storytelling, puppetry, radio listenership groups and community radio stations.

The role of Community Media Groups in tackling Human Trafficking

An effective media can raise the awareness level and can also bring reduce vulnerability to human trafficking and other crimes. Community media is capable of performing the following roles in preventing human trafficking:

§  Education and Training: This can take the form of workshops, songs, drama, dance, storytelling, poetry, live music, bands, community newsletters puppetry and radio listenership groups among others.

§  A Channel for Communication and Discussion: One of the roles of media is to open the channels for communication and foster discussions about human trafficking and implications on women, girls, men and boys. Addressing human trafficking in the community radio program can have an enormous impact on the society.

§  A vehicle for Creating a supportive and enabling environment: Community media can be instrumental in breaking the silence that envelopes the practice and in making positive changes in the society. For example, Radio Mang’elete which use the Kikamba language to address issues of the community.

§  Education through entertainment: For creating an efficacious awareness about human trafficking, the messages need to be informative, educative as well as entertaining as these are mutually exclusive.

§  Mainstreaming: Broadcasters need to mainstream the human trafficking issue across a number of programs. A coordinated, multifaceted campaign has greater impact than a single programme. Documentaries, concerts, songs, drama, public service announcements, competitions, hotlines, books and websites can be linked together to reinforce awareness, information and messages about human trafficking.

§  Putting human trafficking on the News agenda and encouraging leaders to participate: The more the leaders see and hear about human trafficking in news the greater the resources they invest in anti-human trafficking strategies, which in turn leads to increased media coverage of the issue and helps to sustain public awareness which again has an impact on leaders’ priorities.

§  Making every citizen a “reporter”: Citizens reporting like journalists may be the only way for human rights abuses and other violations of a criminal or environmental nature to be brought to face broad public scrutiny.

§  Encouraging participation: From an audience perspective, it means that it can influence the content in a very proactive way and it enables individuals to access a readymade platform through which they can share their opinions.

  • Policy Advocacy Work: Through campaigns against human trafficking aimed at raising public awareness, to give chance to women, men and young people to contribute to activities against human trafficking and to lobby government response to human trafficking issues. Awareness raising can also be pursued through the production and distribution of information education materials, using the media for a wider reach as well as visual materials, using the media for a wider reach as well as visual materials in public areas.
  • Organizing regular dialogue forums at the grassroots to disseminate relevant information on human trafficking.


Community media is a very essential tool for development and can be used to disseminate information on human trafficking. Additionally, community media plays a crucial role in addressing issues of the community and offers a chance for debate on everyday community issues. There is need therefore to collaborate and create linkages in order to use community media as a means to report news differently from the mainstream media.

2012 The International Year of Cooperatives and Brief History of the Kenyan Cooperatives Movement

By Muko Ochanda

2012, the International Year of Cooperatives

The UN declared that the 2012 will be the International Year of the Cooperatives (IYC). In launching the year, the UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon said “Cooperatives are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility.” It is also a fact that the cooperative movement has been an important vehicle of empowerment and liberation from economic misery to many poor people across the world.  The world cooperative movement has approximately one billion people making it one of the largest constituencies in the world. On the other hand, 3 billion people do benefit from the cooperative movement.

The IYC has important significance for Kenya and Africa as a whole. According to the International Cooperatives alliance 2012 statistics, in Kenya, 1 out of 5 is a member of a co-operative or 5.9 million and and 20 million Kenyans directly or indirectly derive their lives from the Co-operative Movement. Secondly co-operatives are responsible for 45% of the GDP and 31% of national savings and deposits. They have 70% of the coffee market, 76% dairy, 90% pyrethrum, and 95% of cotton. The cooperative movement in Kenya also employs more than 250,000 people. On the other hand yhe increased HIV prevalence has affected membership in many cooperatives.

The statistics above are very important and speak loudly to policy makers. In Kenya the cooperative sector is considered one of the most regulated. The government has always been keen on this sector because of its influence on both the formal and informal and micro and macro sectors of the economy. This underscores the fact that  the contribution of the cooperative sector  in building the Kenyan economy’s  and in stimulating the spirit of enterprise and personal development cannot be overemphasized. The movement has played and continues to empower communities and individuals both socially and economically. Hence the government needs to recognize their role in a special way and continue to strengthen them. Cooperatives are important agents of the  third sector (economic agents with a humane- face)  and a bigger diffusion of the third sector helps address in a bigger way the dis-empowering dimensions paving way for eventual grassroots driven economic development.

In Kenya the cooperatives have always played an important role in the lives of the people since time immemorial. During the colonial era, cooperatives played a political mobilization role against  colonialism. Today cooperatives continue with their empowerment agenda. Quite a sizable population of Kenya is involved in the cooperative movement and have either been enriched, educated and helped to do so many things for themselves.

The cooperative nature of the Kenyan people can be traced to the the traditional society where people cooperated in many ways such as hunting, farming, caring for livestock, building houses and in performing many other  important chores etc. The cooperation in the traditional societies was devoid of financial expectations but was done solely for mutual assistance. These traditional cooperation endervors were embodied in the conventions and customs and were accorded different names  and meanings by various communities across Kenya. The traditional cooperation gave way into the spirit of Harambee  that has been considered one of the pillars of Kenya’s social economic and political progress today. It is important to note that this traditional cooperation contributed strongly to the  later embracing of the cooperative movement.

The beginnings of the formal efforts to establish cooperatives in Kenya could be traced to  1908, when the European settlers formed the Lumbwa Cooperative society. This society was restricted to the settler population in Kenya.  Africans on the other hand were only allowed to establish cooperatives after 1930’s.

The first legislation to look at the cooperatives on Kenyan soil included the cooperatives societies ordinance Act of 1931 which was replaced in 1932 and 1945. In 1946 the colonial government started supporting the idea of cooperatives by natives and established the Department of cooperatives and the office of the registrar of cooperatives. The first Cooperatives Societies Act, Cap 490 of Kenya was formulated in 1966 based on the recommendations of ILO. The Cooperatives Societies Act 490 was eventually repealed and replaced by the cooperative societies Act, No 12 of 1997.

In the following section I have summarized the important landmarks in the history of the Kenyan cooperative movement.

Landmark Processes/ Papers in the Growth of Kenyan Cooperatives

1904: The wheat grain growers started their cooperative activities through incorporating the Unga Ltd.

1908: Lumbwa Cooperative established by colonial settlers around the present Kipkellion area as a strategy for marketing, dealing with individual technological constraints and for helping provide farm inputs at subsidy rates.

1919: The first maize growers association under the name British East Africa Maize growers association (BEAMGA) was established.

1923: A second maize growers association named as Plateau Maize Growers Association (PMGA) formed.

1923: BEAMGA renamed Kenya Farmers Association (KFA)

1925: Second diary cooperative formed around Naivasha; Kenya Cooperative Creameries

1927: The wheat farmers established the Wheat Grain Growers Association (WGGA) and incorporated Kenya Grains Mills in 1928

1927: PMGA is dissolved and joins KFA

1928: Unga Mills acquires the controlling shares of the Kenya Grains Mills Ltd leading to the weakening of WGGA. WGGA disolves and merges with KFA. Hence in 1928 all the grain growers were operating under the KFA.

1928: The third diary cooperative formed in Nanyuki known as Nanyuki Cooperative Creameries

1930: Enactment of the Kenya Cooperative Ordinance of 1930 leading to the registration of KCC and KFA in 1931.

1931: All the cooperative creameries were united under the Kenya Cooperative Creameries

1937: The Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (KPCU) was formed by coffee growers at Ruiru as a stockist and processing organization. With time KPCU found that it was limited by the cooperative registration, it hence sought a second registration as an incorporated company. It was eventually incorporated in 1945 as a limited company. Hence it effectively has double registration.

1944: Door opened for Africans to form and Join the Cooperatives. The post of a registrar of Cooperatives suggested

1945: Cooperative Societies Ordinance enacted allowing African participation in the cooperative movement.

1946: Department of cooperatives established and  the registrar appointed

1950-1952 Great support of the cooperative idea by the colonial civil servants. 160 cooperatives formed during this time.

1952: Mau Mau rebellion: Cooperative members withdrew to join pro independence forces

1954-Swynnerton Plan of 1954 on developing African Agriculture and improving land tenure

1958- Over 400 registered cooperatives

1963-1000 Cooperatives formed

1964-The reorganization of the coop sector into a tier structure by the new post independence government. The four tiers were at the bottom the grassroots/primary coops, cooperative unions, national cooperative organizations (NACOs) and the National apex body. Hence an apex body was created under the name Kenya National Federation of Cooperatives (KNFC).

1965 The government saw the cooperatives as vehicles to introduce African Socialism and strengthen ties between the people from different regions of Kenya and accelerate the development process in its Sessional Paper 10 of 1965 on African Socialism and its application to planning in Kenya.

1965: The Cooperative Bank of Kenya is established, another important structure in the development of the coop movement in Kenya. It was formarlly registered as a bank in 1968

1966-Enactment of CAP 490 the cooperatives societies Act.

1966: Office of commissioner of cooperatives established replacing the formal colonial structure of the registrar of cooperatives

1967- Kenya Nordic Cooperative Development Programme (KNCDP) and assistance from the World Bank, US and Germany: Purpose Building Human Capital and Capitalization Boost. The KNCDP assistance helped in the building of the cooperative college in Karen. Gvt on its part provided subsidies and free access to government credit and free extension services to the movement.

1970-Sessional Paper 8  on cooperative development. The paper urged primary coops to view government parastatals as collaborators instead of competitors.

1973: An association formed to respond to the needs of SACCOs known as Kenya Unions of Savings and Credits; to promote SACCOs, forster trainings, consultancy and research, representation and risk management.

1974-Full ministry formed on cooperatives development. Producer cooperatives directly linked to parastatals and statutory boards which were run by the state (state corporations). Government protected the cooperatives from competition by any other market agents

1978 An important step taken to initiate an insurace agency to address the insurance needs of the cooperative movement by initiating the Cooperative Insurance Services (CIS Insurance) as a company owned by the movement.  In 1999 the company changed its name to Cooperative Insurance Company of Kenya (CIC Insurance) motivated by the need to adopt agility and dynamism as dictated by the liberalization wave.

1979: The National Cooperative Housing Union (NACHU) was registered in response to the rapid urbanization and proliferation of slums. NACHU had the vision to improve the housing conditions through the cooperative model and was formed by trade unions, faith communities, civil societies and the cooperative movement.

1980- SAPs introduction accelerating reform through liberalization and structural reforms. The SAPs introduces transformation in wide ranging trade and macro economic policies impacting  on production costs, incentive structures and sector competitiveness. They also allowed market entrants into the areas that were previously protected. Coops were forced to become competitive in order to enhance their survival.

1982-An attempted coup . The performance of the government began to be questioned on a number of spheres such as human rights, economic performance and increasing corruption. The cold war  after WWII ensured great support for Kenya as a pro western capitalist democracy.  Some pressure began mounting on political reform  and particularly introduction to multi party politics. There were dwindling donor flows. This too weakened the movement.

1986- Sessional paper on renewed growth and economic management of the economy. It removed all government monopolistic tendencies, divested government investment in commercial activities and encouraged private sector to run and invest in the government owned organizations and parastatals.

1987- Sessional Paper No. 4 on renewed growth through cooperative movement

1990- Promotion of regionalization and globalization policies; key being removal of tariff and non tariff trade barriers, withdrawal of direct and indirect protection to domestic competition. Adverse economic conditions, collapse of many financial institutions and coops.

1997-Sessional paper no. 6 of 1997 which came up with a policy to provide for a member based, autonomous and member controlled movement. A new legislation developed. Liberalization during the 1990s saw many mergers , disputes and splits in various cooperative societies into small and uneconomic units on one hand and on high level of mismanagement.
Cooperatives Society Act 490 repealed and replaced by Cooperatives Society Act No 12 of 1997.
1998: Kenya Rural Savings and Credit Cooperatives Societies Unions (KERUSSU)  was registered to respond to the needs of rural SACCOS.
1999-Ministry of Cooperatives reduced to a department in the ministry of agriculture and rural development. This led to staff and budget cuts within the movement. 7000 cooperatives formed. This was the era of liberalization, structural adjustments and privatization
1999-National poverty eradication plan: A charter for social integration setting out rights and responsibilities for the citizens, communities, businesses, civil societies and policy makers. Improving access of the poor to basic services such as health, education, water and sanitation. Broad based economic growth, especially in the rural areas where a majority of the poor people live.
2002: New goverment under NARC comes to power replacing an incumbent 38 years old KANU government.
2003: Ministry of cooperatives revived as Ministry of Cooperative Development and Marketing (MoCDM). Registered cooperative societies totalled to 10,297 with a membership of 5.9m and an income of about 7.4 billion contributing to 30% of national saving
2004:  Draft Sessional Paper on Cooperative Development in Kenya indicating that the country had 10700 registered coops with a total membership of 5.9m and total turnover of Kshs 7.9 billion contributing 30% of the GDP.
2004: Cooperative Amendment Act enacted that paved the way for various changes within the movement
2007: Vision 2030 published  recognizing the contributions of the coop sector in reducing social exclusion and in strengthening of the agriculture sector.
2008: SACCO Societies Act enacted providing for the formation of SACCO Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) and other procedural issues.  Cooperatives development policy also developed to expand the space for sustainable growth of cooperatives and in reinforcing their contribution in economic development. In the same year MoCDM developed a strategic plan for the period 2008-2012 using four pillars of customer orientation, financial viability, business effectiveness and skills building.
2009: MoCDM developed a cooperative marketing strategy to as a sub-strategy to the 2008-2012 strategic plan focusing on coops revitalization through professionalization, competitiveness and strenghtening value addition activities.

East Africa: Human Trafficking Continues Unabated

This revelation came at a symposium on countering human trafficking held on 22 November in Nairobi that saw over 10 organisations in the region working against it, meet to seek interventions into ending the dehumanising crime.
Elisha 'seith' Moseti Ratemo

By Elisha Ratemo from  newsfromafrica

NAIROBI–Trafficking in persons in East Africa has been said to be a multifaceted phenomenon whose major driving force is the economic benefits attached to the illegal trade which is increasing concerns globally.
This revelation came at a symposium on countering human trafficking held on 22 November in Nairobi that saw over 10 organisations in the region working against it, meet to seek interventions into ending the dehumanising crime.

Over 50 participants took part in the three-day discussions organised by Koinonia  Advisory  Research and Development Service (KARDS) with co-sponsorship from other five religious groups: the International Religious Council of Kenya, Catholic Information Services for Africa, Trace Kenya, Jesuit Hakimani and the International Movement of Catholic Students.
This year’s symposium was mainly targeting the involvement of faith- based organisations who initially didn’t give the problem of human trafficking prominence in their interventions, and also finding solutions at the grassroots levels.
Richard Ochanda, the lead consultant with KARDS says  a study done at the Kenyan and Tanzanian coasts in 2008 and 2009,  revealed that many non-governmental organisations working to counter human trafficking needed capacity building to effectively handle evolving challenges.
Mr. Ochanda added that the idea of having a counter human trafficking  programme started with the long experiences of Koinonia Community in working with vulnerable populations such as the street children and the refugees. Since these populations have weak family ties, whatever happens to them usually goes un-followed or unreported.

“In the year 2006 Fr. Kizito [founder of Koinonia Community] wrote a book “Shiko” which depicted life of one street girl who had gone through horrendous experience,” he says. “This made us look deeper into the problem and extent to which people leave home for urban centres where they go through such pain in the hands of those they trust.”

An estimated 600,000 to 800,000 individuals are trafficked across international borders each year with millions more especially women and children trafficked within their own countries. The UN agency for drugs and crime (UNODC) describes human trafficking as one of the most profitable activities of crime groups worldwide, which like many other forms of criminal activities, takes advantage of conflicts, humanitarian disasters and vulnerability of people in situations of crises.

UNODC also  established the blue heart campaign against human trafficking in the year 2010. The Blue Heart Campaign’s goal is to inspire people and mobilize support for action against human trafficking by international organizations, governments, civil society, the private sector and ultimately by individuals. The Blue Heart also aims to enable citizens to show their support to the cause and to increase understanding of, and create urgency around the issue of human trafficking in order to spur coordinated actions to fight the crime. The intention is that the Blue Heart becomes the symbol for human trafficking as the red ribbon is the symbol for HIV/AIDS.  The blue heart campaign takes cognizance of the following facts:

  • It is estimated that 2.4 million people throughout the world are lured into forced labour as a result of human trafficking at any given time. (ILO, 2005)
  • Women  and  girls  account  for  about  80%  of  the  detected  victims.  Child  trafficking  accounts for  about  15-20%  of  the  victims.  Child  trafficking  has  been  detected  in  all  regions  of  the world, and in some countries is the major form of trafficking detected. (UNODC, 2009)
  • Sexual exploitation accounts for about 80% of the detected cases. Experts believe trafficking in  persons  for  forced  labour  is  greatly  under-detected  or  that  it  is  mostly  prosecuted  under other offences. (UNODC, 2009)
  • In  30%  of  the  countries  where  the  gender  of  the  offender  was  known,  more  women  were convicted for human trafficking related offences than men. (UNODC, 2009)
  • The  United  Nations  estimates  the  total  market  value  of  illicit  human  trafficking  at  US$32 billion. (ILO, 2005)
  • The  data  on  detected  cases  show  that  intra-regional  trafficking  in  persons  (within  a  region) was  predominant  in  most  countries  and  that  trans-regional  (across  regions),  though  still significant, was relatively less frequent. (UNODC, 2008)
  • Domestic trafficking was detected in at least 32 countries among those where information was available, and in some countries, it is a major issue. (UNODC, 2008)

Recent major cases on human trafficking in Kenya have been those involving employment seekers in the middle east countries where victims have fallen into traps of rogue agents or employers who abuse them in every manner, even killing them. These is also alot of unreported cased of domestic human trafficking.
Albert Masawe of Reintegrated Efforts for Social Transformation (REST) an NGO based in Dares Salaam that works against human trafficking talks of superstitious culture in Tanzania that propagates trafficking mainly blamed on poverty. “Unlike victims in many other countries where major cases of human trafficking are for sexual causes, in Tanzania they are charmed for their organs,” he says. He gave an instance where organs such as human hands are used in the belief that they entice prospects for minerals in mines.
Tanzania has had alarming incidences where albinos, believed to possess special charms are trafficked across the region for their organs to make witchcraft paraphernalia. This led to international outcry for more strict legislations by the government against those found engaging in the trade.

Longstanding conflicts in the region have also led to widespread human trafficking, targeting mostly the vulnerable children and women. Abductions in northern Uganda, southern Sudan and DR Congo have been considerably for military services and sexual servicing of soldiers.

The Human Rights Watch estimates that over 20,000 children alone have been abducted by the Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) since the beginning of its terror. It relies on trafficking because of lack of public support for its activities where they have been raiding and pillaging on local communities.

Caroline Gathu, assistant director at HAART, a counter human trafficking group working in Kenya says most trafficking cases are said to involve the youth who ironically are creating demand for activities or services linked to it.
“By consuming pornography, engaging in prostitution other social vices leads to the commodification of persons which in essence fuels human trafficking statistics. Irony is that it’s the same generation that is falling prey to the trade,” she says.
Ms. Gathu proposed for need to cut on issues that create  the demand, calling on all anti-trafficking NGOs to ensure orchestrated efforts against peril which cuts across all religions and cultures. Though the awareness of human trafficking is still limited, not many government policies or strategies are formulated and in place to effectively prevent and combat its trends.
Dr. Andrea, a lecturer at UNILAC Institute’s cultural department identifies human trafficking as a major problem in the society. The aspect of refugees in the Great Lakes region has proven their vulnerability to the trade, which he terms as being a form of a money making cartel that draws in various stakeholders in the unlawful industry.
He says the symposium was organised to focus on this aspect and seek ways of how people as a community will find solutions against it within themselves.
“People should join together in all efforts and at all costs to fight human trafficking. Victims should in a better manner be integrated back to society and their life normalised.”

The symposium came up with resolutions that called on other institutions in the East African region to seek measures to end poverty, which has been identified as a major push in the trade that is rendering people vulnerable.
A succeeding similar symposium is expected to be held early next year in Dares Salaam, Tanzania where reports from these two meetings will be compiled into a manual that will aid institutions and organisations working against human trafficking in their duties.

Economy of Communion XIV: Construction of Economic Democracy

Spirituality of Unity

The case of Loppiano Prima underlines how pillars of communion, instru­ments and aspects are strictly interrelated and how they contribute to develop respect with the construction of economic democracy using the spirituality of Unity inside and outside of an entity. In fact, living aspects of commun­ion without dialogue, trust and reciprocity, can create a simple organizational structure which could overwhelm people. The company proves to be consist­ently socially-oriented in regard to the centrality of human beings and the quality of relationships it develops both internally and externally, along with the environment, as well as the actual re-examination of its operating in light in this direction. To this end, instruments of communion are useful to renew options and make it continuously effective. In fact, it must be kept in mind that communion is not achieved once and for all, but it is necessary to rejuvenate it, improve it and, where necessary rebuild it once more. In this way, the cor­porate mission extends into society, so that entrepreneurs and managers can find a broader sense or logic to their work that is not the exclusive fulfilling of enterprise’s legitimate and dutiful economic purpose.

The firm has both a social mandate and a social vocation

Nowadays it appears that the crucial element on which to focus the atten­tion, that is if the firm wants to achieve a lasting success, is the person and the modality of relationship adopted inside the firm along with the outside. Therefore, it cannot be disregarded that, the adoption of an integrated social orientation can constitute a convenience for the firm, both from an internal and external point of view. From the external perception, it is important to consider not only the product/service the business can offer to the clients and the perspective that the social community has, but also the quality of relation­ships the business is able to build with the stakeholders. On the other hand, with regard to an internal point of view, it is enough to say that, in the present social – economic context, where the resource knowledge is the main aspect upon which to build the competitive advantage, firms need to use all the pos­sible strategies to employ and maintain the best human resources. This way, the firm answers not only to the ever new and pressing social and sustainable demands, but also to that insuppressible social vocation which springs directly from its own nature.

I have learnt the importance of Communion and expounded my understanding of the firm’s purpose

The training was successful and to me it has increased both knowledge and made me learn the importance of communion. And that the feeling of personal comfort is found in social relations, living in common, means that we are one united, the others joy, success, failure is mine and what they go through I go through too.

From this I strongly believe that not so long a lot of companies assumed something quite different about the purpose of business, they said, quite simply that the purpose is to make money but that proved a vacuous  as a saving, that the purpose of life without eating is a requisite not a purpose of life, without eating, life stops, without profit, business stops. Thus profit is a requisite not a purpose of business.


Paul Kisolo: Executive Consultant KARDS

Millicent Agutu: Administrator KARDS

Francis Owino: Administrator REG

Economy of Communion in EA XIII: Judging Experiences thro Spiritual Theory

By emphasizing the difficulties that also business with a clear ethical mission can face, our objective is to transmit the awareness of the problems to operate in the actual social-economic context, characterized by complexity. The use of ethical references can’t be considered as a reduction of complexity, but if it is clearly adopted, correctly integrated in the business management, and coher­ently practiced in the daily activities it can become an instrument of govern­ment of the business and of the complexity itself. In the following sentences we offer some examples.

Dilemma: should we invite the technicians into the cooperative board?

For a business that produces wine, the possibility to plant new vines is im­portant as the choice of producing red or white wine. The interaction among technicians and the administrative manager and the following confrontation between the administrative chief and the responsible person for the technical area is operated according to a principle of collaboration and communion. This preface helps the dialogue among everybody, because it creates a demo­cratic context, in which all the people are open to listen to what the other has to say. In other words, everyone is free to express their own ideas whether from a technical point of view or a professional one. The objective is impor­tant along with the way it is obtained.

PILLAR: Dialogue;

INSTRUMENT: Communion of experience through the proposals of technicians and confrontation;

ASPECT: Light blue; the management and the organizational structure is flexible and not based on a hierarchical structure, but allows for eve­ryone to contribute.

Dilemma: The business acquired a cooperative that had already existed. Take on the ex-farmers or not?

One decides to take on the farmers (ex. Sharecroppers) who had lived there with their families for over 100 years and where there was a sort of a special relationship between both religious and non-religious or atheist people. Which difficulties will be present? Which instruments will be used?

PILLAR: trust, the choice is made on the basis of trust in the ex-farmers, that otherwise could have changed their behaviors towards the coopera­tive and worked less.

INSTRUMENT: communion of experiences.

ASPECT: Indigo, people improve not only professionally, but also per­sonally.

Dilemma: Weed killer or natural disinfestations?

The choice of disinfestations would have saved a lot of money and this would have had an enormous advantage on finances that were already small. But an option of this type would have been against the general objective of respect of human beings and the environment.

PILLAR: Dialogue

INSTRUMENT: the pact on the mission of the business and the anthro­pological vision.

ASPECT: green, one decides for the wealth of the people, whether hu­man and environmental

Dilemma: in a working community we need to consider the needs of the family and all employees?

The Loppiano Prima decides to take into consideration the family of every employee and to distribute a salary that reflects their conditions.

PILLAR: Dialogue; trust; reciprocity – people are not equal, however they are distinctive persons and you can institute a special relationship with them.

INSTRUMENT: The private talk, with the objective to understand the personal situation.

ASPECT: red- also the economic aspect has its importance.


Paul Kisolo: Executive Consultant KARDS

Millicent Agutu: Administrator KARDS

Francis Owino: Administrator REG

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