The Commission for Development and Social Services was established in 1973 as arm of the Kenya Episcopal Conference currently Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops whose purpose is to enhance holistic development of the human person as mandated by the Gospel of Christ and the Social Teachings of the Church in promoting the Word of God to His people while working with them for realization and sustenance of the pastoral and social economic needs.

The establishment of the Commission saw the implementation of the Development Education Programme (DEP). The focus of DEP was on the Christian concept of transformation and effective involvement of laity in response to the challenges of Vatican II. By end of 1970 decade, most of the Diocesan Development offices established themselves along the projects of DEP: Adult literacy, youth, women in and the Bible, WINDOW, Savings and credit, agriculture, small homes for the physically handicapped, water, CBHC, soil conservation and Development Education leadership Teams in Action (DELTA),

The proposal to set up Caritas Kenya came up during a Caritas International is Meeting in Rome in 1999. It was recognized that the Commission for Development, social Services and cultural heritage’s activities were in the same line as those of Caritas. Thus it was proposed that Caritas desk be established within the Commission. After a series of Consultations with the stakeholders including the development coordinators and partner Agencies representatives, Caritas Kenya was launched in 2000 hence Development and Social Services Commission /Caritas Kenya.

Advances have been made in revitalizing capacity for effective development programming and maintaining unity of purpose. However with the rampant poverty, declining agricultural yields and consequent food shortage, climate change and environmental degradation and frequent disaster occurrences, diminishing water resources, increasing inequalities across regions, gender, and classes, and HIV/Aids Pandemic, the Commission is challenged to facilitate necessary efforts in addressing the affore- mentioned challenges in order to make contribution towards poverty reduction.

Click on for more information Caritas Kenya.