OCMC has long supported local priests through its Support a Mission Priest (SAMP) program, and now new support is being offered to dioceses so that income-generating projects can provide sustainable sources of income for local clergy.
St. Augustine, FL. (December 8, 2023) – For a Church to grow and multiply, it must be able to sustain itself. This is the driving belief behind a new project in Kenya, as well as other projects in Uganda and Kenya, that are being made possible by investments from Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) donors. With the blessing of His Grace MARCOS, Bishop of Kisumu and Western Kenya, sisters at the Monastery of Panaghia Triherousa in the Diocese of Kisumu are now managing three apiaries that will eventually each have 50 hives, producing a high-grade honey which is in high demand in Kenya.
“What is so impactful,” states OCMC Projects and Grants Manager Santhe Loizos, “is that when the honey is ready, it will be sold to the public, and the revenues will generate sustainable support for the expenses of the Diocese, including the salaries of the priests, operation of the schools sponsored by the Diocese, and charity work..”
One of the locations is close to the Panaghia Triherousa Monastery in the village of Chavogere. The second is housed on the land of the late Bishop ATHANASIOS (Akunda), which his father offered in his son’s memory. The third hive location is situated in Buhili. The land at this location was donated by a Muslim member of Parliament because he admired and appreciated the work of the Orthodox Church in the area.
With startup funding from the faithful in the United States, the majority of the initial 60 hives have been fully colonized and are expected to produce honey soon. Initiatives like this are needed so that local churches can generate funding streams that are sustainable and not dependent on outside sources once they are built and fully functioning.
OCMC also is supporting projects in Uganda that will be generating sustainable income to help pay local clergy, made possible in part by grants from OCMC. One is a pharmacy that the church runs, with future proceeds going to help the needs of the Ugandan Orthodox Church, including support for clergy. The other is an apartment building that the church will own and rent out space to tenants. Construction on the building will commence soon. The proceeds from this will also go to support diocesan needs and local clergy.
Fr. Martin Ritsi, OCMC Executive Director, was recently in East Africa with OCMC Projects and Grants Manager Santhe Loizos to check on current projects and discuss more possibilities for income-generating projects that will support the local Church and the needs of their clergy.