The Duruma predominantly live on the semi-arid plains, one mountain range inland from the sea coast of eastern Kenya in Kwale County. They are one of the communities that make up the Mijikenda. They are Chiduruma speakers though most of them are bilingual in Swahili. They number to approximately 396, 667 according to the 2009 Kenya Population and Housing Census. The Duruma are very close in language and culture to the Rabai, another of the Mijikenda peoples living west of Mombasa.
The Duruma are mostly a self-sufficient farming group with certain members becoming active traders with the outside world. They are also subsistence farming people growing maize for their own consumption. They also herd cattle and raise tobacco as a cash crop. They live in about 100 villages.
Most children go to school but many older people are illiterate. They have maintained their own ethnic and language identity for several centuries since the early Bantu settlement. The Duruma and Rabai differ from other Mijikenda by maintaining a dual descent system: both matrilineal and patrilineal.
The first Christian church established in Kenya was started by Ludwig Krapf of the Christian Missionary Society (Anglican) among the Rabai, neighbors of the Duruma. In the comity agreement during colonial rule, the Duruma area was assigned to the Methodists, who still maintain a visible presence, but welcome other Christian groups. The Duruma are mainly Christians with the key denominations being the Anglicans, Methodists, Baptists and Pentecostals. The Duruma are very hospitable and are very receptive of the gospel.
BTL began the work of translation in this community in 1987. The Duruma New Testament was completed and launched on 12th August 2000. Work on the Old Testament is progressing well. The projected completion date is 2019.
Future Needs of the Project:
Completed Old Testament Translation
TOGETHER WE CAN SUPPORT THE DURUMA 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