Category Archives: Family

Sepp Hasslberger: UN & WHO Sterilizing Women in Kenya, Covertly, Via Tetanus Vaccines

from: cynthia lee
from ; octimotor

According to LifeSiteNews, a Catholic publication, the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association is charging UNICEF and WHO with sterilizing millions of girls and women under cover of an anti-tetanus vaccination program sponsored by the Kenyan government. The Kenyan government denies there is anything wrong with the vaccine, and says it is perfectly safe.

Follow the link to

Heterosexuals, lgbt community and the battle over interpretation of the law and terminology

I have a suggestion that I think if the the glbt community took, would save us a great deal of unnecessary agony in this period when this community have had their lifestyle recognized by the US government, and different faiths are trying to figure out how to deal with this new situation.

I want to suggest that the lgbt community embrace their new status by identifying their lifestyle with new words that do not encroach on heterosexuals established lifestyle terminologies.

For instance, we have grown used to the word “marriage” being used to mean a union between a heterosexual man and heterosexual woman. This word has become a bone of contention when the lgbt community also insist on their union being referred to as a “marriage”.
I do not want to be judgmental about the lgbt lifestyle. Just like I believe pope Francis said, “who am I to judge?”. But for the sake of peace, I want to suggest that a union between  gay couples be called “gmarriage”, between lesbians be “lmarriage”, between bi-sexuals be “bmarriage” and between transsexuals be “tmarriage”. So a marriage licence (heterosexual) would be lmarriage licence (lesbians), gmarriage licence (gays), bmarriage license (bi-sexual), tmarriage license (transgender).
And while at it, other words that heterosexuals consider their domain could also be modified to avoid unnecessary friction. So let love (heterosexual)  be llove (lesbians), glove (gays), blove (bi-sexual), and tlove (transgender) respectively. Sex (heterosexual) to be lsex (lesbians), gsex (gays), bsex (bi-sexual) , and tsex (transgender). Husband (heterosexual) to be lhusband (lesbian), ghusband (gays), bhusband (bi-sexual), thusband (transsexual). And so on……….
 Your comments?
Odundo jaKarateng’

Tanzania: What’s wrong with Shikamoo?

From: Fakhi Karume

Youth in Tanzania face challenges because they are not taught to question, criticize and create. We have learnt from Richard Mabala that our education system is not functioning. Youth need to fight and advocate for their rights. We see social movement and the general youth taking different stances these days than past generation.

There is need to empower youth to take risks and fight the exploitation in the community, youth need to demand their local leader present information to them. Start a village/community discussion or newspaper.

image; Me caught on camera insists on something…

This can only be achieved if we change the nature of relationship between children/youth Vs adults/parents as it is well stipulated by Rakesh Rajani on one of his papers “What’s wrong with Shikamoo”- 1995 unpublished paper. Rakesh challenges among other things the way we salute our adults in Tanzania, usually young would say “Shikamoo” which means I am on your knee and the elder will respond by “Marahaba” that means “alright”. The salutation was brought by Arab Sultans during slavery in East Africa in 17th century to undermine our elders creating inferiority complex by making our elders feel small or be on their knees towards Arabs. Hence it was not an appropriate salutation for people with equal relationship unlike for the one who is a master and the other one as a slave.

This goes far, when a pupil/student “’Shikamoo” their teachers it means they surrender their equal participation/engagement in learning that’s why mostly when students challenge or ask questions most teachers get irritated and respond to their engagements by canning students.

Check the paper by Rakesh on the link: What’s wrong with Shikamoo?
<a href=”http://http//″>http://http//</a>

I was privileged to work with one of Rakesh’s initiative Hivos Twaweza in 2012-2013 I have learnt so much about education sector in Tanzania among other things and from himself as the head and thought leader in International Development will always impact my professional life. It is a relief to know that being persistence, challenging or asking questions doesn’t mean one is a naughty person.

It’s encouraging to have people such as Rakesh Rajani who encourages the culture of questioning, challenge and encourage citizen agency in making things happen. Tanzania would improve tremendously; empowered citizens develop the country through their agency. Imagine the teacher who encourage his/her students questioning, challenge and motivate them to imagine, imagine a teacher who don’t hold a stick while teaching? Imagine citizens who questions development plan of the local/central government that affect their life?

Stop listening and start doing… stop “Shikamoo”, create mutual relationship between young and adult

<a href=””></a>

Africa: U.S. Orders Departure of Eligible Family Members from Liberia; Sending Additional Disease Specialists to Assist

From: U.S. Department of State
Press Statement
Marie Harf
Deputy Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
August 7, 2014

At the recommendation of the U.S. Embassy in Liberia, the State Department today ordered the departure from Monrovia of all eligible family members (EFMs) not employed by post in the coming days. The Embassy recommended this step out of an abundance of caution, following the determination by the Department’s Medical Office that there is a lack of options for routine health care services at major medical facilities due to the Ebola outbreak. We are reconfiguring the Embassy staff to be more responsive to the current situation. Our entire effort is currently focused on assisting U.S. citizens in the country, the Government of Liberia, international health organizations, local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the Liberian people to deal with this unprecedented Ebola outbreak.

We remain deeply committed to supporting Liberia and regional and international efforts to strengthen the capacity of the Liberian health care infrastructure and system – specifically, their capacity to contain and control the transmission of the Ebola virus, and deliver health care. Additional staff from various government agencies including 12 disease prevention specialists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a 13-member Disaster Assistance Response Team from USAID are deploying to Liberia to assist the Liberian Government in addressing the Ebola outbreak.

The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.
External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

Stay connected with the State Department:


From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

A widow who does not want her name revealed writes: “Fr Omolo Beste I am a young catholic widow aged 37. I read your article on dealing with the loneliness as one the most challenging problems faced by widowed mothers with great interest.

While I agree with you that the inheritors are there only to exploit the widows, mainly for cheap sex and not interested in taking care of the children they produce with these poor women, at the same time I don’t agree with catholic doctrine that widows should remain single.

I really long to read that book by Fr Joseph Okech- I am not sure how much he has treated this issue of widows in his book. Surely Fr Beste, how can I remain single at my age? Give me a break bwana!”

Thank you for your openness. In fact Catholic Doctrine does not bar widows from getting remarried provided that this is done according to the Catholic teaching. You can get a single man to marry in church. This can happen in your husband’s home according to African tradition.

Many African traditions and culture don’t allow widows to leave her husband’s home because of the dowries. Once an African husband dies his wife cannot leave his home to be remarried in another man’s home because of this dowry condition.

As I said earlier I have not read Fr Okech’s book so I cannot say exactly how much he has dealt with this issue of widow and inheritors. Among the Luo of Kenya for example, widows have traditionally been inherited to a local clansman who has his wife and children. This type of remarriage is what the Catholic Church does not allow, in that, this man is married with children and again inherit a widow.

Their interest actually is not in a widow’s welfare but simply cheap sex. That is why they don’t support widows socially and financially. They are not able to take care of medical, education, food, and clothings of the children they produce. Instead a widow is to work extra time to get enough money to feed the man. This is what I referred to my article as the exploitation of the high class.

At 37 I can understand how you feel. Paul speaks directly of your situation, too. “A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If the husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. But in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is” (1 Cor. 7:39-40).

Although remarriage is clearly permissible, yet some widows find it very difficult to remain single as Paul suggests. In fact some widows don’t feel “happier”, that is why they opt for inheritance.

Pope Pius XII observes concerning the widowed “…others after the death of their spouse, have consecrated to God their remaining years in the unmarried state . . . have chosen to lead a life of perfect chastity . . . for love of God to abstain for the rest of their lives from sexual pleasure, in order to devote themselves more freely to the meditation of divine things and better experience the elevations of the spiritual life.”

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste

Africa: Husbands & Wives

from: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Woman as Mother and Wife in the African Context of the Family in the Light of John Paul II’s Anthropological and Theological Foundation: The Case reflected within the Bantu and Nilotic Tribes of Kenya is a book written by Rev Fr Joseph Okech Adhunga, a member of the Apostles of Jesus Missionaries.

This study examines the theological and anthropological foundations of the understanding of the dignity and vocation of woman as a mother and wife, gifts given by God that expresses the riches of the African concept of family.

There are two approaches to inculturation theology in Africa, namely, that which attempts to construct African theology by starting from the biblical ecclesial teachings and find from them what features of African culture are relevant to the Christian theological and anthropological values, and the other one which takes the African cultural background as the point of departure.

The first section examines the cultural concept of woman as a mother and wife in the African context of the family, focusing mainly on the Bantu and Nilotic tribes of Kenya. This presentation examines African creation myths, oral stories, some key concepts, namely life, family, clan and community, the views of African theologians and bishops, focusing mainly on the “the Church as Family.”

The second section examines the theological anthropology of John Paul II focusing mainly on his Theology of the Body and Mulieris Dignitatem. The third section presents the theology of inculturation, examines the African theological anthropological values and compares the Pope’s teachings in understanding the woman as mother and wife within the African family and draws a conclusion and a synthesis.

According to John Paul II, the dignity and vocation of woman is “something more universal, based on the very fact of her being a woman within all the interpersonal relationships, which, in the most varied ways, shape society and structure the interaction between all persons,” (Mulieris Dignitatem no. 29).

This “concerns each and every woman, independent of the cultural context in which she lives and independently of her spiritual, psychological and physical characteristics, as for example, age, education, health, work, and whether she is married or single,” (Mulieris Dignitatem, no. 29).

The theology of inculturation as presented in this dissertation opens the way for the integration of the theological anthropological teachings of John Paul II in understanding African woman as mother and wife.

The book can be bought online at $51.80


From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Clare from Nairobi writes: “Fr Beste it looks this book by Fr Joseph Okech Adhunga is a nice piece to read. Is there anyway it will reach bookshops in Kenya very soon because many of us in the villages do not understand buying a book online.

Secondly, can you compare this book with the new document signed November 19, 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI during a visit to Benin on the equal dignity of women with men? I also read the piece written by Dr Margaret Ogolla and found it nice too.”

Thank you for the question Clare. I am not sure whether Fr Okech’s book will reach Kenya bookshops any soon. Here is his email you can write to him directly to answer the question- I have also not read the book other than abstract so I can’t say whether it captures Pope Benedict’s document.

Pope Benedict’s equal dignity of women with men new document was signed November 19, 2011 during his visit to West African nation of Benin and I managed to run the story on my news blog shortly he signed it.

The Pope emphasized the fact that recognition of the God-given dignity of both women and men in Africa ought to influence the lives of married couples and their families in important ways, urging husbands in today’s Africa to express love and respect for their wives.

The Pope wants men to realize that their witness to the “dignity of every human person will serve as an effective antidote to traditional practices that are contrary to the Gospel and oppressive to women in particular.”

Husbands he says in the document should not be afraid “to demonstrate tangibly that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for those one loves, that is to say, first and foremost, for one’s wife and children.

The new document acknowledges the progress made in some African nations “toward the advancement of women and their education.” But “it remains the case,” Pope Benedict writes, “that overall, women’s dignity and rights, as well as their essential contribution to the family and to society, have not been fully acknowledged or appreciated.”

This papal document, known as an apostolic exhortation, is titled “The Commitment of Africa.” It presents the pope’s reflections on the recommendations made to him by the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops held in Rome during October 2009.

Due to the wide range of concerns addressed in the synod recommendations, the apostolic exhortation’s scope is necessarily broad. It devotes attention to matters as diverse as governmental neglect and violence, education, poverty and social justice, the necessity of interreligious dialogue, the plight of migrants, abuses of the environment and the church’s sacramental life.

The 2009 synod condemned “all acts of violence against women,” such as “the battering of wives, the disinheritance of daughters, the oppression of widows in the name of tradition, forced marriages, female genital mutilation, trafficking in women” and “other abuses such as sex slavery and sex tourism.”

Women’s contributions, “not only in the home as wife and mother, but also in the social sphere, should be more generally acknowledged and promoted and also giving women opportunities to make their voice heard and to express their talents through initiatives that reinforce their worth, their self-esteem and their uniqueness would enable them to occupy a place in society equal to that of men — without confusing or conflating the specific character of each — since both men and women are the ‘image’ of the Creator.”

I also managed to read Dr Margaret Ogola’s piece on dignity of the African woman as well. This actually is not a book but her keynote address to women empowerment symposium in Beijing for the Fourth World Women’s Conference.

Her emphasis was based on the fact that the woman is the heart of the family, and the family is the corner stone of society. Conflict between men and women is therefore unnecessary because a woman brings an equal and powerful complementarity to the common human condition.

Equality she said must not be seen to deny anyone of their rightful due. Indeed equality would be self defeating if it were based on injustice. Injustice cannot be corrected by another injustice. This is particularly on widows.

In Africa, parenting challenges are still facing widows. Widows bringing up a baby have to play the role of both mother and father. In such a situation, the personalities of the individuals and also the circumstances in which the child is being brought up affect the upbringing and also the smooth functioning of the house.

Most of the time, a widowed mother not only has to deal with the challenge of raising a child all on her own, but also has to cope with the loss of a spouse. There is always someone to turn to in a two-parent family but for widowed mothers, this option does not exist.

Dealing with the loneliness is one the most challenging problems faced by widowed mothers. There is always the prospect of the mother finding someone new to share her life with but this happens only rarely. The inheritances are there only to exploit the women, mainly for cheap sex. They don’t even take care of the children they produce with these poor women.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste


From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Gerald from Nairobi writes: Fr Beste I agree with nominated senator Sejenyi that school children should be given contraceptives. I am sure you read yesterday in one of the daily newspapers how the Principal of Butula School decrying the increasing number of unwanted pregnancies and procurement of abortion among female students at his school.

St Romano’s Tingolo mixed secondary school in Butula constituency of Busia County has this year had six female students drop out of school due to pregnancy related issues. Some of the pregnancies have been caused by the teachers at the school, while others are student to student.

This is not the first time that this school has been affected by cases of unwanted pregnancies. In previous years, form four students were highly affected but this year they have had students from form one to four being affected at an alarming rate.

This is just one case. You have heard of many cases where Primary pupils even as earlier as 13 years old getting pregnant. Fr Beste let us not pretend. Time has come that we must help our girls by providing them with contraceptives, including condoms.

This is just for curiosity Beste. Is it true that ongoing polio vaccination is aimed at reducing population as catholic bishops have alleged? If it is true, do you think the government of Kenya is aware of this, and if they are how can they allow something like that? Thank you.”

Thank you for being sincere Gerald. I don’t agree with you that giving school children contraceptives, including condoms will help curb school pregnancies. Even in United Kingdom where contraception services are free, including for people under 16 years old, school pregnancies still take place.

According to the UK law the doctor or nurse won’t tell your parents, or anyone else, as long as they believe that you’re mature enough to understand the information and decisions involved in using the contraceptives. Sex education and how to use contraceptives are taught in schools.

They are taught that latex condoms used consistently and correctly do not only prevent pregnancy but also reduce your risk of becoming infected with HIV infections. Latex condoms are free to any UK student and are available in the health educator’s office, University Health Services.

Your second question is very difficult justify, even though time immemorial, vaccination drives are met with suspicion and protests driven by arguments that they are a way to control population or affect sex drives.

One of the latest of such protests include the recent move by the Catholic bishops demanding answers about a national tetanus vaccine programme they claim is a ‘secret’ government move to introduce birth control.

The catholic bishops claim the government is using a birth control agent covertly mixed in the vaccine. The church went ahead and advised their members — expectant women — not to go for the jab.

The clergy claimed their fears were based on ‘stories’ from other countries. “Information in the public domain which indicates that Tetanus Toxoid vaccine (TT) laced with Beta human chorionic gonadotropin (b-HCG) sub unit which has been used in Philippines, Nicaragua and Mexico to vaccinate women against future pregnancy. Beta HCG sub unit is a hormone necessary for pregnancy.

It is not only in Kenya where such suspicions of vaccinations have been going on. In 2004 false rumors and allegations spread throughout the Northern Nigerian state of Kano that the polio vaccine contained birth control drugs as part of a secret western plot to reduce population growth in the Muslim world.

Another misconception is that the jabs are a family planning method that will ultimately stop the children from giving birth when they want to. But all these are very difficult to verify. Government of Kenya cannot stop the exercise based on speculations and rumors.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste

USA: On Father’s Day:

From: President Barack Obama
The White House, Washington

Hi, everyone —

Today, I’m thinking about all the dads across the country, spending time with family and loved ones — and especially those fathers serving our country overseas, who can’t be home with their kids today.

But I’m also thinking about all the young people out there who don’t have a dad in their lives at all — or who don’t always enjoy the opportunities and support that come with having strong role models.

It reminds me why we started the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative in the first place: because we need to do more to help young people go as far as their dreams and hard work will take them, no matter what they look like or where they grow up.

I know I’m only here because people took a chance on me, and believed in me when I didn’t always believe in myself. And I want to give more kids that chance. It’s an all-hands-on-deck effort, from the folks on my staff — to you.

You can invest in our young people, and help them be successful. You can commit to doing it right now.

Make a pledge to mentor a young person in your community here.

For me, this is personal.

And for millions of young Americans around the country, it just might be life-changing.

Thank you — and Happy Father’s Day.

President Barack Obama

This email was sent to
Unsubscribe | Privacy Policy
Please do not reply to this email. Contact the White House

The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111


From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste
TUESDAY, MAY 6, 2014

Rachel from Nyali, Mombasa writes: “Fr Beste you really shocked me. Since when did Catholic Church receive married Anglicans or other Protestants clergy to return to the full communion of the Catholic Church as priests? If this is the case then the Pope should just waive celibacy as a condition to become a priest or religious.

In fact I have a boy in form two who wants to become a priest after he completes school. I am afraid if I tell him about married Protestant clergy who return to catholic priests I am sure he will also be shocked. Otherwise I liked the way you answered Jerry. With his high sexual urges which he cannot be able to control better not to become a priest. My advice to him is that he should just forget about it and let him focus on other things.”

Thank you for this important question Rachel. Since according to long-standing Church discipline, Roman Catholic priests and religious are chosen from those who pledge to remain celibate, it is not a grantee that since married Anglicans become Catholic priests the Pope Francis should waive celibacy as a condition to priesthood.

I am of the opinion that you should just tell your son about it. This will help him make a mature decision. The Code of Canon Law reads: “Clerics are obliged to observe perfect and perpetual continence for the sake of the kingdom of heaven and therefore are bound to celibacy which is a special gift of God by which sacred ministers can adhere more easily to Christ with an undivided heart and are able to dedicate themselves more freely to the service of God and humanity” (Canon 277).

According to this Canon, permanent deacons can be either celibate or married. The decision must be made prior to ordination. In Kenya and many parts of Africa we don’t have permanent deacons as yet.

What you should also know Rachel is that priestly celibacy isn’t a tradition in the major sense of a dogmatic teaching, but rather an ancient and honored discipline which can be changed. You should also be aware that just because the issue may become a topic of discussion within the Vatican does not mean change will happen anytime soon.

For any change in the Catholic Church it must be gradual and very carefully considered. If a change happens, it will be the result of careful deliberation, pastoral and prayerful contemplation. This may not occur during the tenure of Pope Francis as reformed catholic priests would wish. To their surprise it is unlikely to happen so soon.

Another point you should also know is that Pope Francis has not himself said there is possibility of waiving celibacy. This is just the mainstream media, which is all atwitter made by Pope Francis’s incoming secretary of state, Archbishop Pietro Parolin, who is set to replace Cardinal Tarciscio Berone as the head of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State about the possibility of eliminating clerical celibacy.

He said this in Caracas, Venezuela, where he has been serving as papal nuncio (ambassador) to Venezuela. Apparently, it was an interview in anticipation of his leaving his role as the apostolic nuncio and going back to Rome to become Secretary of State.

In his discussion with the interviewer, following exchange occurred- Archbishop Pietro Parolin was quoted to have said: “Aren’t there two types of dogmas? Aren’t there unmovable dogmas that were instituted by Jesus and then there are those that came afterwards, during the course of the church’s history, created by men and therefore susceptible to change”?

In other words, it is not a church dogma and it can be discussed because it is a church tradition. According to Archbishop Pietro Parolin therefore, the work the church did to institute ecclesiastical celibacy must be considered.

This is a great challenge for the pope, because before he decides he must weigh the attitude of Catholic faithful, majority I believe would love to see priests and religious remain celibate. This is because pope is the one with the ministry of unity and all of those decisions must be made thinking of the unity of the church and not to divide it.

It is just the way you have been shocked that married Anglican clergy can cross to Catholic and become a priest in the Catholic Church with his family. This asserts what the archbishop stated that clerical celibacy is not a dogma but a matter of discipline- otherwise married Anglicans clergy would have not allowed crossing over to the Catholic.

Even though in the book Pope Francis: Conversations with Jorge Bergoglio (an interview book done before he was pope), Cardinal Bergoglio said: Let’s see . . . I’ll begin with the last question: whether or not the Church is ever going to change its position with regard to celibacy, we cannot rush to the conclusion that this is what he meant exactly.

Conversation continues: “First, let me say I don’t like to play mind-reader. But assuming that the Church did change its position, I don’t believe it would be because of a lack of priests. Nor do I think celibacy would be a requirement for all who wanted to embrace priesthood.

If it did, hypothetically, do so, it would be for cultural reasons, as is the case in the East, where married men can be ordained. There, at a particular time and in that particular culture, it was so, and it continues to be so today.

I can’t stress enough that if the Church were to change its position at some point, it would be to confront a cultural problem in a particular place; it would not be a global issue or an issue of personal choice. That is my belief. . . .Right now I stand by Benedict XVI, who said that celibacy should be maintained.

Now, what kind of effect will this have on the number of those called to the priesthood? I am not convinced that eliminating celibacy would cause such an increase in those called to the priesthood as to make up for the shortage”.

The Eastern Catholic Church, like the Orthodox Church, has allowed either married or celibate men to be considered for ordination to either the diaconate in Christ or priesthood. Celibacy or marriage as a state in life is determined before the first ordination to the Diaconate. Bishops are chosen from the ranks of the celibate clergy.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste

Africa: Ethiopia’s Investments in Family Planning

From: U.S. Department of State Remarks
Anne C. Richard
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
Center for Strategic and International Studies
Washington, DC
April 23, 2014

Let me start by thanking you for organizing this event.

And thank you for preparing this video. It is inspiring to see how enlightened family planning policies can transform the lives of women like Mihret who was a child bride and young mother and is now proudly helping others make their own choices about when to bear children.

I would also like to thank CSIS and Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer for producing this excellent report. The fact that it grew out of a bipartisan trip is encouraging. So is your astute analysis of what Ethiopia is attempting to do in the area of reproductive health, the strategies that have worked, the obstacles to be overcome, and what donors and governments, including our own can do to help.

And finally I would like to thank many of you in the audience who have dedicated your careers and lives to bringing family planning services to women who desperately need them. As Assistant Secretary, I have had the chance to witness first-hand how important this work is, and what it means to those who benefit from it. This past fall I attended the Third International Family Conference in Addis. On this trip, I toured our implementing partners’ facilities, including projects run by Pathfinder and Marie Stopes International.

I visited the home of a family involved in Pathfinder’s “model families” effort. In this program, families are encouraged to adopt 16 measures to improve the overall health of the household, such as using family planning, vaccinating children, sleeping under mosquito bed nets and building hygienic latrines. These families are then celebrated as “trendsetters” for the community so that others will copy their behavior. I also visited a Marie Stopes “Blue Star” franchise effort where pharmacists receive special training in the use of long-term contraception and sexual and reproductive health services. They then agree to provide high quality longer-term family planning methods like implants and IUDs at affordable prices, and they get to use the Blue Star logo on their clinic or pharmacy. This brings customers to them who end up also using their other services.

Ethiopia’s enlightened health policies and quest for sustainable development are incredibly important – not just for Ethiopia but as an example to other nations grappling with similar problems.

Today, we share the planet with seven billion people. We added a billion in just the past twelve years. And by 2050 there could be nine or even ten billion of us. Virtually all of this growth will occur in developing countries. Birthrates elsewhere have plummeted, but in some of the world’s poorest nations they are rising.

It would be one thing if women were simply choosing to have large families. But we know that many become pregnant as early and as often as they do because they have no means to prevent it. Globally, surveys indicate that hundreds of millions of women want to avoid getting pregnant but have no access to modern methods of contraception. The gap between what is needed and what is available is widest in sub-Saharan Africa, where according to the Guttmacher Institute, 28 percent of married women aged 15 to 49 lack access to modern and effective forms of birth control.

Young girls face the most acute unmet need. Like Mihret in the video we’ve seen, many are expected, even compelled to marry and bear children when they are still in their teens. Every year, more than 60 million girls get married before they turn 19. Throughout the developing world, less than one-third of married adolescents are using modern contraceptives, although many more want to avoid or delay pregnancy. More than two thirds of the married adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa aged 15-19 want modern contraception and do not have it.

And, I find this particularly shocking –around the world two million girls aged 10-14 give birth every year, and over 90% of these girls are married. These marriages and pregnancies can have devastating, life-long consequences. We see them as a form of gender based violence and an abuse of these girls’ human rights.

But adult women who cannot access modern contraceptives or adequate healthcare also can experience life-threatening problems. One in 22 women in sub-Saharan Africa dies during pregnancy or childbirth. That’s compared to roughly one in 6000 in wealthy countries. Babies face heightened risk as well. When mothers have babies spaced closely together, survival rates fall. These are preventable deaths.

In addition to saving lives, sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights can promote human rights, gender equality and health, economic empowerment and prosperity. Ethiopian government and health officials spoke forcefully and eloquently about this in the video. And we in the U.S. Government could not agree more.

The evidence is overwhelming. Women’s equality, empowerment, and human rights are inexorably tied to their ability to control when they bear children. And empowering women to make these decisions is one of the best ways to fight poverty. Girls who can delay pregnancies can become educated, productive, healthy adults, and raise more educated, productive, healthy children. This virtuous cycle can propel families and whole nations out of poverty. Research has provided compelling, concrete examples of how family planning unleashes economic growth. Falling fertility rates in parts of East Asia and Latin America have raised the share of the population in the workforce, driven up output, and created a so-called “demographic dividend.” A UN study has also documented the opposite: when early pregnancy truncates girls’ educations, it derails their careers, reduces their lifelong earnings and hampers their ability to invest in their children. The researchers estimate that the United States loses one percent of GDP due to adolescent pregnancy. Uganda loses 30 percent. The countries that pay the steepest price for these early pregnancies are the countries that can least afford it.

Finally, I was recently surprised to learn that simply providing family planning services to all women who want them would cut global carbon emissions by between 8 and 15 percent. That is the same reduction we would achieve by stopping all deforestation or by multiplying the world’s use of wind power by forty fold…more proof that voluntary family planning can fuel sustainable development.

Against this backdrop, what Ethiopia is attempting is all the more impressive and urgent. Ethiopia is the second most populous nation in Africa, with a high birthrate and 65 percent of its population is under the age of 30. It faces the same array of challenges that many of its neighbors do: child, early, and forced marriage and maternal mortality are far too prevalent, and the vast majority of the population is rural and poor and hard to reach. Yet Ethiopia has placed family planning at the center of its development agenda, has pioneered an effective health extension program and dedicated funds to pay health extension workers. In fact, I met one of these impressive women during my visit. It is a potent combination. In the past decade years, Ethiopia has quadrupled the use of modern contraception. Today in Ethiopia contraceptive prevalence is 28.6 percent; the government aims to more than double contraceptive prevalence to 66 percent by 2015.

And in a span of five years, Ethiopia has cut the mortality rate for children under five in half. At the same time, it has nearly doubled literacy rates, approached nearly universal primary school enrollment and strengthened education for women and girls.

Together with other these measures intended to spur entrepreneurship and improve fiscal and labor policies Ethiopia has begun to reap its own “demographic dividend.”

How is Ethiopia succeeding in this regard where others have failed? As your report notes, changing attitudes toward contraception has been key. Engaging traditional and religious leaders as allies is good. I commend the government’s willingness to invest real resources, including providing contraceptive services for free. And I also credit the government’s partnerships with organizations such as those represented in the room today. The question is whether these achievements can be replicated. Will other developing countries that face daunting immediate needs make the same critical investments and choices?

We, in the U.S. Government are committed to doing what we can to help. The United States, through the US Agency for International Development, is the largest bilateral provider of family planning assistance, providing approximately $610 million in 2013. As a global leader in support of family planning and sexual and reproductive health for nearly 50 years, the United States government has provided over $3 billion in family planning assistance and support since 2009.

With expert colleagues, the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration also works in international fora to highlight the links between family planning services and development. In planning meetings that will shape the post-2015 Development Agenda, the United States is making the case that sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights are essential to empowering women, eradicating extreme poverty and fostering sustainable development.

During the recent UN Commission on Population and Development (CPD) our Population team led by Margaret Pollack called on delegates to fulfill the commitments made back in Cairo in 1994 under the ICPD Program of Action: namely universal access to quality, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information, education and services. Governments promised to promote and protect reproductive rights; reduce infant, child, and maternal mortality; and achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls so that all individuals, and all nations, have the opportunity to realize their full potential.

Our delegation pointed out that we are not there yet. We called for an end to the scourge of violence against women and girls and to practices like as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation and cutting, and for integrated, quality sexual and reproductive health services. We stated that these should include maternal health care and access to a broad range of safe and effective modern forms of contraception. We also called for services to prevent and treat sexually transmitted infections, including HIV and AIDS and provide access to safe abortion.

We also drew attention to the special needs of the largest-ever generation of adolescents and youth. The majority of these young people live in developing countries, have limited access to sexual and reproductive health services and crave information. They need it to help them make wise decisions about their health, now and in future.

Another priority for us is the plight of people affected by conflicts and crises. Reproductive health needs do not disappear when people are driven from their communities by conflicts or natural disasters. In fact the can become more acute. Displacement can heighten the need for contraception while raising barriers to access – both for women who cannot care for or protect newborns, and adolescents who may be torn away from family and social support structures and exposed to sexual violence and coercion.

Comprehensive family planning programs should begin as soon as a situation allows. This involves training staff, offering community education, establishing client follow-up, providing a wide range of methods, and maintaining a contraceptive supply chain system. We will continue to actively support the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and many other development and humanitarian organizations to respond to the challenges of providing predictable access to reproductive health services in crisis settings.

We also recognize that we have more to learn about what it is that women want and need from sexual and reproductive health services. To that end, we applaud Family Planning 2020’s research going beyond numbers and metrics so collectively we can improve our understanding of why some women stop using particular types of birth control. These efforts will help us to better provide the range of modern contraceptive methods individual women want, and empower them to understand, ask for and receive specific products that suit their needs. The objective is to enable an additional 120 million women and adolescent girls in the world’s poorest countries to access and use voluntary family planning information, contraceptives and services by 2020.

In closing, we know that being able to plan one’s family is pivotal. It can spell the difference between life and death, opportunity and helplessness, hope and despair. And, as Ethiopia’s government has recognized, it is one of the best weapons against poverty.

So keep doing what you’re doing. You make the case every day for why it is so important. It’s you and your organizations that are in the field who can tell the most compelling stories of people whose lives have been directly affected by our joint initiatives and programs. These stories remind us of why consistent U.S. government support for sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights are so vital.

Your continued support and commitment is essential to fighting for a sustainable future – one that empowers children to grow up healthy and pursue their dreams, and help their communities and nations thrive.

Thank you.

The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.
External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

Stay connected with the State Department:

Al Gore Promotes Population Control: Africans Must Have Their Fertility “Managed”

From: Fakhi Karume

Al Gore is coming under fire for promoting population control in Africa, saying that citizens of African nations must have their fertility “managed.”

Al Gore is coming under fire for promoting population control in Africa, saying that citizens of African nations must have their fertility “managed.”

Tim Graham of Neswbusters blogged on what was said:

algoreSpeaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, former vice president Al Gore asserted that it’s crucial for global philanthropists to impose “fertility management” on Africa. No one called that racist.

Gore, who apparently mismanaged his fertility by having four children, praised the “wonderful work’ of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: “Depressing the rate of child mortality, educating girls, empowering women and making fertility management ubiquitously available — so women can chose how many children and the spacing of children — is crucial to the future shape of human civilization.”

He warned, “Africa is projected to have more people than China and India by mid-century — more than China and India combined by end of the century, and this is one of the causal factors that must be addressed.”

Gore pushed population control back in 2011 as well:

Gore spoke at New York City’s “Games For Change” Festival. He addressed his same old shtick: climate control and the environment, but this time added a new twist: adding that the stabilization of the earth’s population will help curb pollution. Gore remarked:

“One of the things we could do about it is to change the technologies, to put out less of this pollution, to stabilize the population, and one of the principle ways of doing that is to empower and educate girls and women. You have to have ubiquitous availability of fertility management so women can choose how many children have, the spacing of the children… You have to educate girls and empower women. And that’s the most powerful leveraging factor, and when that happens, then the population begins to stabilize and societies begin to make better choices and more balanced choices.”

Gore is echoing the same message Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates gave in a video he posted to YouTube last year, in which he stated, “If we do a really great job on new vaccines, healthcare, reproductive health services, we could lower [the population] by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.” Thankfully, the video was removed, but it seems to have left an impression.

What I want to know is: Since when does America have a population control problem? And when did our environment become so endangered that we need to consider killing our children to fix it?

What Gore clearly doesn’t understand is that there’s a much more important issue plaguing our country. Polluted waters and climate changes are a concern sure, but the extermination of innocent children is a crime of much more concern, and one I refuse to stand for.


News Analysis By Leo Odera Omolo.

The planned burial of Zeituni Abong’o Onyango Obama, the US President Barrack Obama’s aunt has degenerated a lot of controversy following the sudden surfacing of the man who claim to be her legal husband and who was earlier reported to have died long before she moved to the US .

The 69 year old man Abell Mboya Okoko immediately launched the most scathing criticism of the Obama family for trying to sideline him over the burial of his wife.

Mboya Okoko the retired employee of the City Council of Nairobi narrated how he got married to Zeituni in 1969. They lived happily as a husband and wife in a House at the Uhuru Estate in Nairobi where two of his children are still living to date.

Speaking at his rural home near Lake Simbi Nyaima in Central Karachonyo, Homa-Bay County, Okoko said he had made a frantic effort to contact his in-law in Alego Kogelo so that they could work together in organizing the burial of his wife in her matrimonial home in vain.

He disclosed that their marriage was blessed with four children – – her sons and one daughter Rukia, Felix, Pascal and Shashi. The marriage was conducted in accordance to Luo tradition. He had paid three herds of cattle and large sums of money as bride price.

What annoyed Okoko most is the news footage based on information supplied to the US based newspapers in which Musrafa Obama the half brother of President Obama who is currently living in the US was quoted as saying that the family would have loved to have the remains of Zeituni buried at her matrimonial home at Kendu-bay, but this could not be fulfilled because her husband had died.

“I am very much alive, healthy and strong like any human being.” said Okoko.

He said after Zeituni who had worked with the defunct East African Airways before the Kenya Breweries Limited as the system analysis left their home and moved to the US. He got married to a second wife with whom they had another five children.

Okoko said he was contemplating seeking legal redress through the court, and would definitely sue Mustafa Obama for having imitating his death whereas is still very much alive and active.

As this report was being written, nobody new exactly the whereabouts of the body of Zeituni which is believed to have arrived in Kenya on Thursday morning. There were strong rumors that the body has already been disposed off and buried secretly at the Kariakor Muslim cemetery in Nairobi, while other sources say it was kept at the Lee Funeral Home pending the family decision as to where it could be buried. Security has been stepped at the Obamas home in Alego Kogelo in Siaya County and not even close relatives and friends were allowed.

It has also been established that Mama Sarah Obama is not the biological mother of Zeituni as has been perceived previously, but was just a foster mother. She could have been born by one of dozens of wives of the late Hussein Onyango Obama, who is on record of having married 13 wives with the Habiba Akmu the mother of Barrack Hussein Obama Snr being the first. But he had divorced most of them.

It has also been established that ever since the death of Zeituni in US reached Kenya relatives and friends have been flocking into the home oif Okoko with condolence messages. One of the early mourners who arrived there was Asha Auma the younger sister of Barrack Obama Snr who is living near Oyugis town. The majority of those who visited Okoko’s home were the Obamas relatives from the nearby Kanyadhiang’ while another bulk were reported to have visited the family home in Alego Kogelo, though most of them were turned away owing to tight security therefore they could no access the home to pay their homage to the family.

Okoko, however, vowed that he would fight to the bitter end through the courts in order to access the body of his wife and give it proper burial.He would persue this even if it means exhuming the body from where she may be buried at the whims of his in-laws. He will follow the law to the bitter and.



From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Responding to my article where Wilfred from Mujwa, Meru, Kenya wanted to know whether Mary Magdalene was a prostitute, and whether Jesus had sexual relationship with her, John Robert writes via Facebook:

“In one of the recent sermons in church, the pastor talked of Post Modernity, that is, the tendency of the modern generation to think beyond the limits as provided in the Holy Bible and effort to try and provide certain answers to unclear and controversial circumstances.

I always think religion is all about unquestionable belief whose practicability can never be found in the modern world. It therefore my opinion that as Christians, we take everything as it is in the Bible lest the religion loses its meaning to us and we get lost into this world. Thank you Father”.

John Robert has raised a very important issue. This is the worry of some preachers today. Rev Fr Gabriel Atieno Okinyo from Homa Bay Catholic Diocese raised the concern recently during the home coming mass of Rev Fr Collins Omondi Odiero at Ng’owu sub parish, Ojolla parish.

In his homily based on holiness and holy things, Fr Okinyo said that digital era is almost over powering religious faith. He argued that in digital era people are slowly losing the meaning of Holy Mass and church in general, saying that instead of participating in mass some people are busy twiting and charting on Facebook.

What must not be denied however, is that social media is now part and parcel of everyone’s life. Social media has made people come together. Today, most young age people right form the age 12 are socializing getting away from there studies. Young generation prefer to socializing than going out to have some physical exercises.

Pollster and researcher George Barna writes that those born between 1984 and 2002 constitute the millennial generation. They are called millennials because they came of age at the beginning of the new millennium. They are “digital natives” who have always had access to cable or satellite TV and cellphones.

They have no memory of life without the Internet. A recent publication notes that “‘for Millennials, everything begins and ends with social connections’” and that “80-90 percent . . . uses social media.”

Millennials enjoy working collaboratively and 75 percent say they would like to have a mentor! They are open to new experiences and have transcended some of the barriers of previous generations. They have a great appreciation for diversity, and among them, interracial friendships, dating, and marriage are unexceptional.

The good news is that most young people still maintain their faith and like going to church. A Gallup poll in 2000 found that about one-quarter of people ages 18 through 29 read the Bible weekly — about half the rate of those 65 or older.

Over the past three years, the percentage of those who are skeptics or agnostics toward the Bible has almost doubled, up from 10 percent in 2011 to 19 percent in 2014. Skeptics are defined as those believing that the Bible is just another book of stories and teachings written by men.

From the adults who say they increased their Bible reading, 26 percent said it was because they downloaded the Bible onto their smartphone or tablet. Another 10 percent said that watching The Bible TV miniseries spurred them to read their Bibles.

Although for some the use of social media in every waking hour is considered a time waster or an ‘on the side’ business tool, for the younger generations social media has been easily adopted as a multi tasking communication time saver.

We must also accept that in history methods of communication have shifted from the quill to the biro pen, from telegram to phone calls, from letter to email. Now social media is the foundation of communication for the next generation. In order to do business with them you will need to join them.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste


By Our Reporter

A weird incident was witnessed within Nyando District in Ahero Kochogo village when the corps that was being transported home “refused” to reach home.

The incident occurred at when the bereaved family was ferrying their loved one home before a number of complications were reported.

The deceased was being transported from Nairobi to a village in Butere before the family started developing a number of difficulties that resulted into accidents.

The corps who to the family was the cause of all these “never wanted to go home” and that’s why there were a number of hiccups in the journey.

The journey that entailed the entire family and even some relatives had difficulties in commuting when most of them could not even believe the unfolding events.

The family explained that the deceased has been sending mixed signals even before the real day of the journey that the journey would be full of difficulties which they ignored.

When commenting on the incident, the driver of the van that was involved in accident said he just surprisingly saw a huge black creature before wind screen, an issue that forced him to wheel out of the road.

The family was forced to convince the corps whom they talked to using some traditional words just to allow them reach home.


From: Francis cheruiyot

I honestly have no idea why we are making a big deal about marriage bill. Will legislating marriages make it work? If we have not been able to follow clear biblical teachings, what makes us think that legislation would cut it for us.

Polygamy exists in three main types namely:

a) Polygyny – where a husband takes himself several women/wives.

b) Polyandry – where a woman takes herself several husbands

c) Co joint marriage – where there are several husbands and wives.

In Matt. 19:4 we are told by Jesus that God created one “male and [one] female” and joined them in marriage. Mark 10:6-8:”But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, ‘and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.

It wasn’t until sin made man fall (Gen. 4:23) that polygamy occurs. Cain was cursed; Lamech is a descendent of Cain and the first to practice polygamy. The first time polygamous relationship is found in the Bible is with a thriving rebellious society in sin; when a murderer named “Lamech [a descendant of Cain] took for himself two wives” (Gen.4:19, 23).

In the Bible we can count 15 examples of polygamy from the time of Lamech to 931 A.D. 13 of these men had enough power that no one could call into question their practice, they were unaccountable or no one dared approach them. Lamech Genesis 4:19; Abraham Genesis 16; Esau Genesis 26:34; 28:9; Jacob Genesis 29:30; Ashur 1 Chronicles 4:5; Gideon Judges 8:30; Elkanah 1 Samuel 1:2; David 1 Samuel 25:39-44; 2 Samuel 3:2-5; 5:13; 1 Chronicles 14:3; Solomon 1 Kings 11:1-8; Rehoboam 2 Chronicles 11:18-23; Abijah 2 Chronicles 13:21; Jehoram 2 Chronicles 21:14; Joash 2 Chronicles 24:3; Ahab 2 Kings 10; Jehoiachin 2 Kings 24:15; Belshazzar Daniel 5:2; 1 Chronicles 2:8; Hosea in Hosea 3:1,2.

Polygamy is mentioned in the Mosaic law and made inclusive on the basis of legislation, and continued to be practiced all down through the period of Jewish history to the Captivity, after which there is no instance of it on record (Gen.29:15-30, Jacob and his wives.)

Was Abraham, David Solomon condemned or approved for practicing polygamy?

God never condoned polygamy but like divorce he allowed it to occur and did not bring an immediate punishment for this disobedience. Deut. 17:14-17: “……Neither shall he multiply wives for himself” This is the expressed command of God, and he has never changed it.

The fact is that God never commanded polygamy or divorce. Scripture says (Bible) He only permitted it because of the hardness of their hearts (Deut. 24:1; Matt. 19:8). Matt. 5:31-32: “Furthermore it has been said, “Whoever divorces his wife let him give her a certificate of divorce. But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.” God hates divorce as well as polygamy, since it destroys the family (Mal. 2:16). Whatever the patriarchs or any Christian did wrong does not change the fact the Bible condemns it.

Multiple wives were tolerated but never with God’s approval. Jesus told the Jews, “Because of your hardness of heart, Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way” (Matthew 19:3-8). The Mosaic law aimed at mitigating, rather than removing, evils that were inseparable from the state of society in that day. Its enactments were directed to the discouragement of polygamy; to prevent the injustice frequently consequent upon the exercise of the rights of a father or a master; to bring divorce under some restriction; and to enforce purity of life during the maintenance of the matrimonial bond.

Monogamy has always been God’s standard for the human race. From the very beginning God set the pattern by creating a monogamous marriage relationship -one man and one woman, Adam and Eve (Gen. 1:27; 2:21-25).

SINGLE & SEARCHING? Your search ends here

The Perfect Partners mission is to help people find and maintain successful, loving relationships.We believe that the desire for love and companionship is basic to our nature and fundamental to our well being.

Our service is patterned after the model of an Executive Search Firm. Our personal interview takes place in your home so we can gain a better understanding of who you are, and what you?re looking for. You will meet qualified matches that share your goals, aspirations, lifestyle, activities and intellectual pursuits.

Join us on facebook here

The State of the World’s Children 2014 In Numbers: Every Child Counts

From: Yona Maro

The State of the World’s Children 2014 In Numbers: Every Child Counts highlights the critical role data and monitoring play in realizing children’s rights. Credible data, disseminated effectively and used correctly, make it possible to target interventions that help right the wrong of exclusion. Data do not, of themselves, change the world. They make change possible – by identifying needs, supporting advocacy, gauging progress and holding duty bearers to account. Making the possible real is up to decision makers.

Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA


From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste
MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014

Lucy (not her real name) writes: “Dear Father, I am married with 4 children. We are not divorced yet with my husband but separated. I filed divorce case last year when I found out that my husband was having mpango wa kando (secret women outside) and dumped me with children.

I realized this when he could not cater for our family basic needs like food, and being reluctant in paying school fees for children. I managed to find the number of one of his secret women and when I called her to find out why she is moving with my husband she abused me terribly. It is a shame Father.

I agree with your homily that with this marriage bill that a man will not consult with his wife when he wants to marry second wife will bring conflicts in many families, and believe me many families are going to break up.

Now Father what are catholic bishops saying about this, they seem to be silence on this issue. I think they should come in one voice to oppose the bill. Otherwise thank you very much your homilies are indeed enriching and down to earth. God bless your work”.

Thank you for raising this issue Lucy. I do agree with you that when bishops speak about it they can be heard and may be to change the mind of the president in signing it into law. May be they are preparing to make a statement, we are to wait see their reaction.

The amendment was moved by Justice and Legal Affairs Committee chairman Samuel Chepkong’a, saying under customary law, women or wives you have married do not need to be told when you’re coming home with a second or third wife.

The Marriage Bill seeks to combine seven laws on marriage, divorce and come-we-stay unions. It also recognises polygamy and the payment of dowry for customary marriages. It was introduced in July 2013 and is now in the final stage — the Third Reading — in the National Assembly. The Bill states that those marrying must be 18 years or older.

Even in Islam where polygamy is allowed, with the specific limitation that a man can have four wives at any one time, experience has shown that the contemporary Muslim woman is not happy to have a co-wife.

Even though the Qur’an clearly states that men who choose this route must deal with their wives justly, with high cost of life today it is almost impossible for a Muslim man to cater for his many wives and children.

A husband does not have to have permission from his first wife to marry another wife, even though many Muslim women today would like their husbands to consult them before marrying another wife.

Although traditionally it is believed that men were marrying many wives in order to have many children, according to evolution pioneer Charles Darwin men have historically practiced polygamy as a way to both please their sexual desires and maintain household dominance.

In his 1871 book The Descent of Man, Darwin stated that “Judging from the social habits of man as he now exists, and from most savages being polygamists, the most probable view is that primeval man aboriginally lived in small communities, each with as many wives as he could support and obtain, whom he would have jealously guarded against all other men”.

Most Christian theologians however, argue that Christians should not marry many wives. Theologians base their argument on Matthew 19:3-9 and Genesis 2:24 that Jesus explicitly states a man should have only one wife.

Basil of Caesarea also wrote in the 4th century of plural marriage that “such a state is no longer called marriage but polygamy or, indeed, a moderate fornication. He ordered that those who are engaged in it should be excommunicated for up to five years, and “only after they have shown some fruitful repentance were they to be allowed back into the church.

This was the same time in the 4th century that St Augustine wrote that the good purpose of marriage is better promoted by one husband with one wife, than by a husband with several wives. Justin Martyr, Irinaeus and Tertullian also spoke against polygamy, condemning it.

Remember that not all Christian churches have the same view in polygamy. The Nigerian Celestial Church of Christ allows clergy and laymen to keep multiple wives, and the Lutheran Church of Liberia began allowing plural marriage in the 1970s.

Several other denominations permit those already in polygamous marriages to convert and join their church without having to renounce their multiple marriages. These include the African instituted Harrist Church, started in 1913.

Even the Anglican Church made a decision at the 1988 Lambeth Conference to admit those who were polygamists at the time they converted to Christianity, subject to certain restrictions. Polygamy was first discussed during the Lambeth Conference of 1888:

“That it is the opinion of this Conference that persons living in polygamy be not admitted to baptism, but they may be accepted as candidates and kept under Christian instruction until such time as they shall be in a position to accept the law of Christ.

That the wives of polygamists may, in the opinion of this Conference, be admitted in some cases to baptism, but that it must be left to the local authorities of the Church to decide under what circumstances they may be baptized, according to resolution 5.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste
From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Father Omolo Beste’s Homily on Third Sunday of Lent

From: joachim omolo ouko
Sunday, March 23, 2014

Last week we discussed challenges facing families in Kenya today. The theme for this week is ‘Unity for Peace and Development’. The author uses the story of Mawiano Primary School to demonstrate how the Kenyan society suffers from identity formation. The first reading is taken from Exodus 17:3-7, second reading from Romans 5:1-2.5-8 and the Gospel from John 4:5-42.

One of the key drivers of conflict in Kenya as the author describes is the dimension of community identities – which is in itself closely related to the issue of land, borders and associated historical grievances – plus a challenging regional security environment and political transition.

Although the primary and key player in solving this conflict is the family by teaching children as the author recommends, the fact that most conflicts occur in our families in front of our children it is difficult for parents to teach their children about peace and conflict management.

It is also a very difficult task for Schools, Churches and other social settings to be used as a platform of educating our children and all people the need to unite at all levels and live in peaceful environment.

It is very unfortunate that most of our families today, domestic violence has become the order of the day. Children who grow up in violence family or being abused usually grow up in poor health, low self-esteem, difficulty sleeping.

Some children may indulge in drug and alcohol abuse risk, isolation, suicidal thoughts, and extreme loneliness and fear. Children are mainly affected from verbal abuse. This is where the father use aggressive actions such as name-calling the mother, blaming her, ridiculing her, disrespect, and criticism.

Whichever way, whether the father or mother using the same actions towards the father, or both. That is towards children abuse as well. Some long term effects on a child who comes from an abusive household, or have been abused themselves are guilt, anger, depression/anxiety, shyness, nightmares, disruptiveness, irritability, and problems getting along with others.

This brings us to challenging questions:

1. As parents, community and the Church how do we help our children to acquire positive values and appreciate the different ethnic communities in Kenya?

2. What can we do as a family, Small Christian Community, the Church or a community to promote unity as a national value begging with our families?

3. What are some of the actions that can be done at Small Christian Community, Parish, Dioceses and National levels to promote unity, patriotism, and peace in Kenya and our families?

Answer these questions keeping in mind that some cases of domestic violence occur due to jealousy when one partner is either suspected of being unfaithful. It can also be seen in a situation where one partner is doing better than the other. For example: the woman being more successful than the husband.

Some violence occurs when one partner has control over the other partner’s access to economic resources, preventing a spouse from resource acquisition. Some because of physical force to compel a person to engage in a sexual act against his or her will, also known as marital rape.

Another type of violence is expected to occur now that men’s tyranny of numbers in parliament has proposed amendments on marriage bill 2013. The amendment requires that a man should not ask his wife if he decides to marry another wife.

Already in Kenya women sometimes only find out at their husband’s funeral that he had secretly married a second wife and had children with her, leading to inheritance disputes. The bill provides for a certificate to be issued when such marriages take place.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste


From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Gladys from Bungoma writes: “Fr Beste thanks for your homily on Ash Wednesday. I attended mass at our church here and I saw the priest blessing the ashes and pouring on oil. I could not understand this and could not be able to find time to ask him. Please can you give me light on this?

On abstinence and fasting why do some women abstain from sex like in Kenya where women’s activist groups used it to slap their partners with a week-long sex ban in protest over the infighting plaguing the national unity in Kibaki and Raila government?”

Yuvinalis from Kisii writes: “Fr. Beste today was one of those rare occasions when I attended mass at 6.30 am with my wife. The preaching was on the same topic you have enumerated. The homily from the Father was that we are asked for two things during the lent period, to fast and abstain.

Now what about abstaining from meat for somebody who doesn’t normally take meat? You must choose something that you can abstain from during this period. How then did meat come to be a universal item from which Catholics are asked to abstain from?”

Thank you for the questions Gladys. On Ash Wednesday Palm from the previous year’s Palm Sunday are burnt. In the liturgical practice the ashes are mixed with the Oil of the Catechumens (one of the sacred oils used to anoint those about to be baptized), though some churches use ordinary oil.

Your second question is quite interesting one. It is not only women activist; some devoted Catholic couples may abstain from sexual intercourse during Lent as part of their sacrifices to give God the best of themselves.

It is not only in Kenya where women activists have abstained from sex. Togolese women abstained from sex for a week in order to urge Togo’s men to take action against President Gnassingbe. The rally was organised by a coalition which was protesting electoral reforms which they said would make it easier for Gnassingbe to win reelection in the polls set for October.

Sex abstinence has also been used in Belgium, in Pereira, Colombia, in 2006, where the girlfriends of gang members held a widely publicized “strike of crossed legs” vowing to give up sex until their partners gave up violence.

In Naples, Italy, in 2008, women formed a similar strike against the notoriously dangerous New Year fireworks displays; in 2011. A man died and 70 people were injured at the event.

Such types of fasting are often used as a tool to make a political statement, to protest, or to bring awareness to a cause. A hunger strike for example is a method of non-violent resistance in which participants fast as an act of political protest, or to provoke feelings of guilt, or to achieve a goal such as a policy change. For Muslims fasting includes abstaining from having lustful thoughts.

Yuvinalis your question is frequently asked. Vegetarians cannot abstain from something else to substitute meat since as a matter of fact they don’t eat meat. But like other Catholics they can abstain from something that is good.

Catholics abstain from meat on Fridays during lent and Good Friday in respect of Jesus Christ who was killed and buried on Friday. It’s a way of mourning and doing penance for the sins for which Christ died.

Fasting from something good is primarily a spiritual discipline designed to tame the body so that we can concentrate on higher things. And by refraining from eating, we free up food or money that we can give to those less fortunate than ourselves.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste