A land of varied landscapes and wildlife, Kenya lies along the equator in eastern Africa. Coconut, mangrove, and palm trees line its more than 300 miles of coastline along the Indian Ocean. The interior features low plains and highlands and Africa’s second-highest peak, Mount Kenya.

  • Population: 43,178,100
  • Life Expectancy: 61 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 61%
  • School Enrollment: 84%
  • Land Mass: 224,080 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 72%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 73/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 840

Facts about Kenya

Food & Agriculture

Reports indicate about 10-15 million people in Kenya suffer from chronic food insecurity, while some 7.5 million people live in extreme poverty. Approximately 30 percent of Kenyan children are classified as undernourished with widespread micro-nutrient deficiencies. Additionally, climate change has resulted in low food production and droughts in some areas of Kenya, especially the north.


One in every 19 children born in Kenya dies before his or her first birthday, while one in every 14 does not survive to age 5 due to preventable causes such as malaria, pneumonia, measles, diarrhea, and HIV.

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Progress in Kenya

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. World Vision was able to work alongside communities to accomplish the following in 2014.

  • World Vision protected children in Kenya by raising awareness on child rights and equipping communities to identify and respond to cases of child abuse.

  • Children learned about decision making and becoming agents of change for their communities through special opportunities like speaking to their nation's parliament and attending workshops at the Day of the African Child. The Day of the African Child is an annual event at which children across the continent learn more about their rights, especially their right to an education.

  • We offered entrepreneurial education classes that empowered community members to find ways to start businesses and create more income for their families.

  • Children attended school in newly-constructed, fully-furnished classrooms that we provided to improve their learning environments. Kids also received new textbooks to help them succeed in their education.

  • Together with the Ministry of Education and parents, we worked to identify and assess children with special needs and to ensure that they were placed in the most appropriate classrooms.

  • We participated in government health campaigns that provided mothers and children with immunizations, vitamin supplements, and nutrition education.

  • We partnered with faith leaders to spread messages that reduce the stigma against people living with HIV and educate their communities about HIV and AIDS prevention, testing, and treatment.

  • Children received spiritual nurture through the participation of faith leaders and a community-based organization named Children in Christ. These partners help us share the Good News of Jesus at primary and secondary schools.

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    World Vision in Kenya Today

    World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Kenya to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. World Vision’s child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 42,000 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Kenya. Highlights include:

    • Providing emergency food relief to drought-affected households.
    • Supporting 2,924 schools to improve access and quality of education.
    • Improving access to quality healthcare.
    • Locating sources of clean, safe water for drinking and cooking.

    World Vision History in Kenya

    World Vision’s early assistance to Kenya includes a 1965 grant to World Gospel Mission; an office was opened in 1974 in response to severe drought and famine. Since then, some of World Vision’s major accomplishments have included:

    • Improving healthcare, education, and water systems and offering literacy and vocational training during the 1980s.
    • Assisting flood-affected communities by providing medicines, food, seeds, livestock, and shelter during the 1990s.
    • Building shelters and classrooms for children in refugee camps and providing medical supplies, blankets, food, and other necessities to people affected by floods in the 21st century.

    Geography & People

    Geography and people

    A land of varied landscapes and wildlife, Kenya lies along the equator in eastern Africa. Coconut, mangrove, and palm trees line its more than 300 miles of coastline along the Indian Ocean. The interior features low plains and highlands and Africa’s second-highest peak, Mount Kenya.

    The climate ranges from the tropical coast to an arid interior. Kenya’s game parks have lions, giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, zebras, and other wild animals. Natural resources include limestone, salt, gypsum, gemstones, zinc, and hydropower.

    English and Swahili are the official languages, but dozens of indigenous languages also are spoken throughout the country. More than 40 ethnic groups populate Kenya.

    Because most babies are delivered at home, they often do not receive official birth certificates. Instead of birth dates, parents recall that a child was born during a particular season or special event. Kenyans value children, since a large family means more help on the farm and helps to ensure care for parents in their old age.


    Kenya gained independence from Britain in 1963 after over 40 years as a colony. The resulting government formed by the Kenya African National Union (KANU), however, started a 40-year corrupt rule. During the 1990s, Kenya’s infrastructure began disintegrating, violence increased, and a series of natural disasters occurred.

    KANU’s term ended when Mwai Kibaki was elected president in 2002, promising government reform. Kibaki initiated a number of judicial reforms to crack down on corruption and promised to revise the constitution, but Kenyans were disappointed with the lack of progress halfway through his term.

    Violent protests broke out over the outcome of the December 2007 presidential election, and, after two months of ethnic brutality, more than 1,000 people had died. With the help of national talks, the Kenyan government finally reached a power-sharing agreement.

    Prayer Requests for Kenya

    • Please pray for safety for World Vision staff members as they serve in challenging contexts.
    • Pray also for the 42 percent of Kenyans who are unemployed, over half of whom are youth.