The Chuka, are a people that are Socio-politically classified under the Meru people group which comprises of the Imenti, Tigania, Igembe, Igoji, Miutuni, Mwimbi, Muthambi and Tharaka. The Tharaka and Chuka people are sometimes classified as distinct (Fedders & Salvadori, 1989) but they refer to themselves as Meru when defining their socio-political grouping. They are found in Tharaka Nithi county, former Eastern province. They dwell on the south-eastern slopes of Mt. Kenya, and cover the area between the Thuci River in the south, and the Nithi River in the north. They were estimated to have a population of 70,000 people (SIL 1980); however, their current population is not well known because the 2009 Kenya National Population Census Report classified them under the Meru people who have a population of 1,658,108.
Given their growth since 1980, their current population should be more than 70,000.The community engages in agricultural activities as their main source of livelihood. They produce a variety of crops including; sorghum, mangoes, oranges and green grams. The wide rangelands and vegetation cover in their area are suitable for honey production, which is mainly marketed locally in raw form. The people speak Gichuka which is one of the dialects of Kimeru language.
Most of them largely practice Christianity with a small minority as Muslims and traditional religions. The Chuka People have been for many years using the Meru and Gikuyu bibles. However, from the findings of a survey carried out by BTL, those Scriptures do not adequately serve them because of semantic shift (some words used in Gikuyu are derogatory among the Chuka). The Chuka pastors and church elders interviewed also added that they do not understand some phrases and words that have been used in the Gikuyu Bible. This they argue has led to misinterpretation of Scriptures and the Chuka People not fully understanding and embracing the word of God in its entirety. The Chuka Church is also enthusiatic in having the Scriptures translated into their language. This was evident in the communities participation in the initail language development process.
BTL envisions that by the end of eight years the Chuka people will have the complete NT Scriptures in their hands. At the beginning of the New year 2017, the Chuka community will receive their first portion of Scripture in their language, the Gospel of Luke.
TOGETHER WE CAN SUPPORT THE CHUKA TRANSLATION
Ksh 50,000 per month will support the salary cost of one translator
Ksh 55,000 will support a one week consultant checking session
Ksh 70,000 will support the printing of a portion /book of the translated New Testament Scriptures
Ksh 90,000 will support community reviewers’ workshops
Ksh 60,000 will support the printing of the alphabet chart/literacy