The Digo are a community of 360,000 people found in the coast province of Kenya, from Mombasa all the way down to Tanga in Tanzania. They are the second largest of nine coastal tribes known as the Mijikenda and the only one that is almost 99.9% of the population that is non-Christian. African Traditional Religion still has a strong influence and although Islam has failed to change many traditional beliefs it has increased the antagonism to Christianity.
The Digo speak chidigo, which is a Bantu language closely related to both Swahili and the other Mijikenda languages. Even though many are bilingual in Swahili because of the education system they do not use it when discussing fundamental or emotional issues. In particular in rural areas Digo is used in the home almost exclusively. Traditionally the Digo believed in a high God named "Mlungu" and a variety of evil spirits. They often made offerings to the spirits in times of sickness. Much of this belief in spirits and ancestor worship is still present today but covered by a veneer of Islam. Witch doctors are still active and in demand.
BTL began the work of translation in this community in 1987. The Digo New Testament was completed and launched in December 2007. About 300 believers’ in house churches are making use of the New Testament but the cry is also to have the Old Testament Scriptures’. So far with the help of well-wishers the team has drafted 23 books of the Old Testament and developed and printed numerous literacy materials, including Bible portions, storybooks, and health books, amongst others.Future Needs of the Project:
Completed Old Testament Translation
Refuge Centre for people who have converted from the predominant religion
TOGETHER WE CAN SUPPORT THE DIGO TRANSLATION
Ksh. 70,000 will support a Scripture review workshop session with the community
Ksh. 50,000 per month will support the salary of a translator
Ksh. 100,000 will support the purchase of a hardy laptop and translation software
Children stories and primers cost Ksh. 200 per primer
Ksh. 120,000 per year will provide 200 children with three sets of literacy primers