The present world is largely characterized by people who live in two opposite extremes; the extremely poor and the extremely rich. The challenge of poverty remains a major concern to governments and non-governmental organizations alike. Faith communities respond to poverty by looking to the teachings of Scripture to establish structures and actions that can liberate and empower the poor. The Roman Catholic Church’s commitment to empowering the poor is expressed in its social teaching and practices. Social amenities offered by the church range from provision of food, clothing, shelter, medical care and affordable quality education. Despite such initiatives on the part of the church, poverty is rife. Therefore, based on a study conducted in Uasin-Gishu County in Kenya, this paper examines the activities of the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret in the realization of preferential option for poor students in secondary schools. The study adopted descriptive mixed methods cross-sectional design comprising qualitative and quantitative methodologies. The target population comprised pupils in all the fourteen Catholic-sponsored schools in the Diocese, their head teachers, as well as teachers offering guidance and counselling. A sample of 351 students, 9 head teachers, and 28 teachers were drawn from those schools. Purposive sampling was employed in selecting 24 key informants, 12 from Catholic Diocesan secretariat, 4 priests, 4 officials from the Ministry of Education in the County and 4 members of the management at Catholic University of Eastern Africa (Gaba Campus). Schools were selected using simple random sampling technique while teachers and diocesan education officials were purposively sampled. Kathuri and Pals formula was employed in sampling student population. Questionnaire and interview schedule were the main tools of data collection. Analysed data was presented using cumulative frequency tables, percentages and pie charts. The study established that there are activities that are organised from within the church. The Catholic Diocese of Eldoret manages five key programmes that support poor children in its sponsored schools. Most of them are donor-funded although efforts have been initiated to involve parishes in raising money to sustain them. Based on the findings, it was recommended that the Diocese should explore ways through which continuity is seen in terms of funding. The study found that some projects that were supported by missionaries experience great challenges when the same donors leave. The findings of the study highlight practical strategies that the Catholic Church uses to assist poor children get education.
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