The East Pokot people in Northwestern Kenya are pastoral nomads facing numerous challenges. They practice animism and have limited access to education. Women, in particular, experience forced marriages, polygamy, and sexual abuse. Harsh living conditions, lack of basic amenities like water and electricity, violent cattle raiding, malnutrition, and frequent droughts contribute to their neglected state.
George, an All Nations’ Kenyan fieldworker, has been actively working among the East Pokot since 2016. His family owns a successful barber shop in Marigat, providing financial support and facilitating their engagement with the locals. George’s vision is to train the East Pokot people to share the Gospel and make disciples in their own communities. A group of young pastoralists has recently come to Christ, promoting peace and discouraging cattle theft by transitioning to beekeeping and honey sales.
Project East Pokot Kenya aims to address the challenges faced by this unreached people group. The East Pokots are predominantly pastoralists, relying on livestock for their livelihood. Water scarcity and droughts make it difficult for them to find sufficient resources for their animals and grow crops. The Pokots’ identity and wealth are closely tied to cattle ownership, despite often facing food shortages. Conflicts arise when they enter other tribes’ territories in search of water and pasture, resulting in disputes and cattle theft.
Despite previous missionary efforts, the East Pokots are still considered unreached with the Gospel. George, with the support of Hassan and his wife Joyce, former bandits turned believers, has established 9 churches with approximately 300 followers. Hassan has been instrumental in reaching out to troubled young men, leading to 80 of them embracing faith and becoming known as the Reform Warriors. Their transformation has resulted in a decrease in cattle theft as they shifted to beekeeping, creating a more peaceful environment.
Positive changes are gradually taking place in the community, including the construction of more wells and the establishment of a school. George, Hassan, and Patrick (leader of East Pokot) have participated in Pioneer Business Planting training, highlighting the focus on sustainable development and empowering the local population.
The East Pokot plan involves George’s activities in the East Pokot region, where he visits the region once a month for a week. He currently lives in Marigat, which is 100 km away from the East Pokot region. Here is a summary of his planned activities:
- Bible Teaching: Providing Bible teaching to existing believers in house churches, including distributing a minimum of 20 Bibles and 20 audio Bibles in the local language.
- Pioneer Business Planting Consultations: Facilitating five-day consultations to support individuals interested in starting their own businesses.
- Coaching and Follow-Up: Providing coaching and follow-up support for the Pioneer Business Planting initiatives.
- Screening of the Jesus Film: Organizing screenings of the Jesus Film to share the message of Christianity with the local community.
- Leadership Training: Conducting leadership training sessions to equip individuals with necessary skills.
- Starting New House Churches: Establishing new house churches to expand the reach of the faith in the region.
- Sports Outreach: Engaging in outreach activities through sports to connect with and share beliefs with others.
- FaithFund: Initiating a FaithFund with €5000 to start various businesses, including forming a board, creating loan criteria, opening a bank account, setting up bookkeeping systems, and starting a minimum of three businesses.
- Local Trainer and Coach Training: Training three local individuals as trainers and coaches for Pioneer Business Planting initiatives.
- Ongoing Coaching and Advice: Providing continuous coaching and advice through online platforms and local support.
Overall, George’s plan focuses on Bible teaching, business development, leadership training, outreach activities, and the establishment of a FaithFund to support local businesses.