|Who are the people?|
Forty-one percent of Kenya’s population lives in cities. Rural Kenyans generally live with their extended family in a cluster of huts, which provides shelter and symbolizes the closeness of the people living there. In a spirit of cooperation, family members share work responsibilities and resources as they support themselves through farming.
One in two Kenyans lives below the poverty line. Many families are nomadic cow and goat herders. They spend the dry season, December to March, searching for lush pastures. They return for the rainy season, April to November, when their own land can provide adequate food for the animals.
Since most babies are delivered at home, official birth certificates are often not available. Instead of birth dates, parents recall that a child was born during a particular season or special event.
Families often want to have many children because they are considered a valuable resource. A large family means more hands to help on the farm and ensures parents will be taken care of in their old age.
Although the Kenyan government provides schooling for children up to age eight, approximately 1.7 million children do not attend school because of failing economic and social systems.
What is it like to live there?
Kenya was colonized by the British, with settlers also arriving from South Africa, Australia, and Canada. Kenya gained independence from Great Britain in 1963.
|Now a republic of East Africa, Kenya is home to more than 40 different ethnic groups, which represent many languages and cultures. While once able to feed its people and sell surplus food to its neighbors, Kenya has suffered the strains of rapid population growth, particularly in rural areas.|
Soil and weather conditions, including drought, can also threaten the food supply. Only 17 percent of Kenya’s land is suitable for farming. The rest is arid and subject to frequent dry spells. The majority of sponsored children in Kenya come from these regions.
The equator divides the country almost in half. More than 240 miles of coastline on the Indian Ocean are lined with coconut, mangrove, and palm trees. Kenya also is home to one of the world’s highest mountains, Mt. Kenya. In spite of its location along the equator, Mt. Kenya remains snow-capped throughout the year.
Wild animals such as lions, giraffes, buffalos, elephants, zebras, leopards, and flamingos are found in the country’s numerous game parks.
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