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2012 21 Apr Plans were announced that the Universal House of Justice was entering into consultations with respective National Spiritual Assemblies regarding the erection of the first local Houses of Worship in each of the following clusters: Battambang, Cambodia; Bihar Sharif, India; Matunda Soy, Kenya; Norte del Cauca, Colombia; and Tanna, Vanuatu. [Riḍván 2012 To the Bahá’ís of the World] Matunda; Haifa; Israel; Battambang; Cambodia; Bihar Sharif; India; Matunda Soy; Kenya; Norte del Cauca; Colombia; Tanna; Vanuatu Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Local; - Basic timeline, Expanded
2018 15 Apr The design for the local Bahá'í House of Worship was unveiled at a gathering in Matunda Soy, Kenya attended by about 1,000 people. The temple will accommodate about 250 people and the design incorporated the diamond-shaped pattern, a motif commonly found in Kenyan culture. It will be built of construction materials found locally; the roof will be made of local state and the walls from from stone quarried nearby. The Temple’s architect, Neda Samimi, was the first female architect whose design for a Baha’i House of Worship was selected. [BWNS1251]
  • Concept Drawing.
  • Matunda; Matunda Soy; Kenya Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Local; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kenya; Architecture; Architects; Women; Firsts, Other; BWNS
    2019. 23 Mar A gathering of about 1,200 people attended the groundbreaking of the first local Bahá'í House of Worship in Africa located about 4 kilometers west of the town of Matunda in the Matunda Soy district of Kenya.
  •       Ruth Vuyiya, a much-loved Bahá'í known affectionately as "Mama Ruth", set the temple’s cornerstone on the red soil. Ms. Vuyiya was joined by her daughter, members of the National Spiritual Assembly of Kenya, construction contractors and the temple’s architect Neda Samimi. After the ceremonial groundbreaking, attendees celebrated the moment in song and ululations.
  •      The groundbreaking took place almost one year after its elegant and simple design, inspired by the region’s traditional huts, was unveiled at the same site. The design incorporated an intricate and expressive pattern that used the diamond shape, a familiar motif in Kenyan culture. Exposed roof beams punctuating the nine sides of the edifice will be drawn together at an apex skylight. Inside, the skylight will sit atop a Greatest Name symbol, and 250 people can be seated. The temple will be built from local materials. [BWNS 1317]
  • Concept Drawing.
  • Progress Report dated October 23rd: The foundation of the central edifice had been laid and work on other structural elements was advancing. [BWNS1363]
  • Matunda; Matunda Soy; Kenya BWNS; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Local; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kenya; Foundation stones and groundbreaking
    2019. 22 Oct The Bahá'í World News Service provided an update on the progress of the construction of the local Bahá'í House of Worship in Matunda, Kenya. Located just west of the town of Matunda, the site of the Bahá'í Temple is in a region that is home to some of Kenya’s earliest Bahá'í communities, where patterns of worship and service to humanity have been fostered over decades.
  • The foundation of the central edifice has been laid and work on other structural elements of the building was advancing. The 1.5-meter central mound on which the 18-meter-tall Temple will stand had been completed. Work on columns had begun and construction of its auxiliary structures, such as a visitor’s center, was well underway. [BWNS1363]
  • Matunda; Kenya BWNS; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Local; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kenya
    2020. 12 Jun The Bahá'í World News Service provided a progress report on the construction of the first local Mashriqul-Adhkar in Africa located in Matunda, Kenya. The foundations for the central edifice have been laid and the nine walls have been raised. In addition, the supports for the roof had been put into place.
  • The Temple had already become a point of adoration. Prior to the global health crisis, people were gathering on the grounds to pray and take part in community education programs, consulting about how they can develop their capacity to offer service to their society. [BWNS1434]
  • Matunda; Kenya BWNS; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Local; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kenya
    2021. 28 Feb The Bahá'í World News Service provided an update on the construction of the Local Temple in Matunda Soy. [BWNS1493]
  • The project was entering the final stages of construction. The exterior of the temple was nearly complete, as were auxiliary structures on the grounds.
  • Skylights have been installed on all nine sides of the roof of the temple, and roof tiles are being placed, creating a diamond motif familiar to Kenyan culture.
  • The interior and exterior of the temple’s nine doorways were being decorated with wood and paster.
  • Construction of the reception center and other facilities on the site are nearly complete,
  • Residents of the area were assisting to prepare the gardens around the temple, carrying out tasks with reverence as they regularly gather on the grounds for prayers.
  • Matunda Soy; Kenya BWNS; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Local; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Kenya
    2021. 23 May The dedication of the first local Bahá’í House of Worship in Africa in Matunda Soy, Kenya. The project had been completed in under three years in difficult circumstances.

    The ceremony was attended by some one hundred people including government officials, village and district chiefs, local dignitaries, representatives of local and national Bahá’í institutions, and other representatives of the construction team including Neda Samimi, the architect. The Universal House of Justice was represented by Townshend Lihanda, a member of the Continental Board of Counsellors in Africa.

    The previous day a small ornamental case containing dust from one of the Holy Shrines at the Bahá’í World Centre was placed within the structure of the House of Worship symbolizing the profound connection between the temple and the spiritual center of the Bahá’í Faith. [BWNS1511]

  • Photos.
    Specifics
      Location: Matunda Soy district in Kenya
      Foundation Stone: 23 March 2019
      Construction Period:
      Site Dedication: 23 May 2021
      Architect: Neda Samimi
      Architectural firm:
      Seating: 250
      Dimensions:
      Cost:
      Dependencies: Existing buildings will be repurposed as educational facilities and as offices for the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
      References:
  • Matunda Soy; Kenya Local Mashriqu’l-Adhkar; Neda Samimi; Townshend Lihanda
     
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