Imani Marianists - Chaminade Training Centre was established in 1987 in Eastleigh, Nairobi. Its initial focus was to help distressed women, often pregnant and abandoned receive both personal counseling and vocational skills training. Over the years it has grown and developed new activities that empower especially needy women.
IMANI is a Marianists Ministry which serves over 300 young people every year by offering them vocational and technical skills training. It also offers psychosocial and spiritual support, entrepreneurship training, job creation and job placement as well as microenterprise support. Through its three programs; Maria Training Centre, Chaminade Training Centre and Job Creation Programme IMANI has been able to reach many needy young men and women and uplifted their lives.
IMANI MARIANISTS was founded in 1986 following a personal experience of a Marianists Missionary who was confounded when he came across a foetus abandoned on the banks of Ngong River in Kiambiyu slums. He discerned a lot about why one would be forced to terminate a life in her womb. After inquiring from some women around he attributed the women's cruel action to poverty.
He invited ten pregnant women from Kiambiyu slums to the Marianists Mission House at Makadara where they meditated on the pregnancies of Mary and Elizabeth. These two women of the bible had become pregnant very unexpectedly and yet they decided to carry their pregnancies to term. The women expressed the desire to acquire trade skills which would lead them to having a decent earning and thus be able to fend for themselves.
The name I.M.A.N.I. was crafted as an acronym which means Incentive from the Marianists to Assist the Needy to be Independent. The name IMANI also means "FAITH" in Kiswahili. The Society of Mary (Marianists) is a Catholic religious order who have been in Kenya since early sixties. They draw their inspiration from Mary the Mother of Jesus. Mary in Hebrew means "hope of change". Through the I.M.A.N.I project the Marianists saw "hope of change" in the lives of the poor women who were hopeless.
I.M.A.N.I exists as an expression of concern by the Marianists for the position of the poor and powerless in the society which is reflected in the Marianists Rule of Life in articles, 27-2.11, 2.17, and 2.20. This concern flows from the Marianists alliance with Mary and their Marian mission. The Marianists are committed to respecting and enhancing the God given life and dignity of every person and especially the poor and more so women.
IMANI is one of the Marianist ministries in Kenya. It was established in 1986 initially as a rescue centre for women in difficult circumstances. Through its programs, IMANI provides appropriate education and skills to the needy in the society with the primary objective of alleviating poverty and improving lives through family life education, gospel living, business education, pre-primary child education combined with self realization education and skills aimed at income generation.
The first program of IMANI was started in 1987 in Eastleigh and named Maria House which is a place of "hope of change" for most of the clients who visit there. Various skills such as Dressmaking, bookbinding, and knitting were offered to destitute clients.
In 1989 another program to offer trade skills for the youth and poor women was started in Mukuru Kwa Njenga. The centre was named Chaminade Training Centre after the founder of the Society of Mary who had a lot of passion for enhancing the quality of life of poor youths. Later on, a third program was started, the Job Creation program which was mandated to link the trained youths and women to the job market.