About US

Why Kutoka?

Kutoka Network was started as a movement in the year 2002 and acquired its legal identity in the year 2009 when it was registered as Kutoka Urban Slums Initiative which became its legal name while Kutoka Network  remains its operating name. The founders of the organization were Comboni Missionaries who were working  in parishes which were either in self-organized settlements or were neighboring the settlements. The main  objective of forming Kutoka Network is to empower people living in self-organized settlements to be change  agents in transforming their lives through advocating for governance structures which engage the people in  development. While the initial membership of Kutoka Network was mainly drawn from Catholic Parishes and  organizations working in the self-organized settlements, these have since grown into partnerships with civil  society organizations beyond the Catholic institutions.  

Since its inception, Kutoka has successfully organized many activities on governance and human rights. Most  of these activities have been funded by different partners such as Misereor, Catholic Agency for Overseas  Development (CAFOD), Concern Worldwide, and National Government through the Office of Prime Minister,  Cordaid, and United Nations through the Safer Cities Programme among others. Kutoka Network believes in  the values of Equity, Justice and Dignity.  

The aim of the Initiative is to address difficult realities which affect slum people living in urban slums, share  their experiences, and reflect together on pastoral approaches which answer to their needs, plan common  initiatives and actions which contribute towards dignifying their lives and to highlight positive aspects of the  slum realities. Most of our actions lobby the government and other stakeholders to find together with the  slums dwellers the solutions to the problems affecting their communities2


Vision statement: A dignified life for people living in self-organized settlements.  

Mission: Empowering people living in self-organized settlements towards economic and social  transformation to live a dignified life. 

Interfaith Mandate 

In spite of its strong foundation of the Catholic Faith and principles of Catholic Justice and Peace Commission,  Kutoka Urban Slums Initiative has a strong inter-faith tradition. Previously, it has worked effectively with  Muslim, Evangelical, Hindu and indigenous Christian faiths in advocating for the rights of the people as  enshrined in the Bill of Rights (Chapter 4), Constitution of Kenya (2010). The main areas where inter-faith  relationship worked very well were: Debt repudiation campaign which Kutoka spearheaded together with  Kenya Debt Relief Network, Chemi Chemi ya Ukweli, several civil society organizations and leaders of a  number of religious organizations; Inter-religious platform on Dandora Dumpsite; Inter-religious platform on  the World Social Forum; and Peace building and reconciliation initiatives after 2007/2008 Post election  violence among others. 

Core Values 

a) Participation: People have a right to be heard on matters that affect their well-being – so we are morally  obligated to listen, and help others raise their voices. We are committed to ensuring that the community  has a voice in development and policy initiatives that affect them. 

b) Inclusivity, Diversity and Non-discrimination: As an organization, we respect and embrace diversity  in all its forms, and we wish to create an inclusive culture where everyone thrives. As a national  organization, we firmly believe that diversity enhances our ability to innovate and improve our stakeholder  engagement and performance.

c) Dignity and Integrity: Dignity creates respect and Integrity creates trust. As an organization, collectively,  it’s our most valuable asset. Individually, it’s the constant choice to infuse every action with honesty,  fairness, and respect for clients and colleagues alike. 

d) Solidarity: We believe it is possible to create change at scale when we act in solidarity with the people  experiencing poverty and injustice.  

e) Accountability and Transparency: Power and resources must be used with integrity and responsibility. It is only through accountable governance that human rights can be protected and enjoyed by all. Our  own accountability to communities and other allies nationally and internationally, including donors, is key  to the success of our work 

f) Social Justice: As Kutoka Network, we will work to advocate with the oppressed, the marginalized, and  anyone who needs his/her voice amplified. We aim to provide information, collaboration opportunities,  and other resources within our means to people and organizations seeking equality, justice and dignity.  

g) Team work: The strength of our team does not only lie in our combined experience and expertise but  also our ability to trust each other, no matter what the circumstances. We know that our best work is not  produced by individuals but by groups of individuals and communities working in solidarity and building  synergies with each other.