Kenya

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

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.

Climate change resulted in low food production and droughts in some areas of Kenya, especially the north.

The World Food Program estimates that in 2010, over 1 million people still needed food aid.

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 2013.

  • Trained community groups on topics such as preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV and AIDS, supporting those in the community with HIV and AIDS, and making sure HIV and AIDS patients continue to take their medications.

  • Trained community health workers on topics such as: reducing childhood malnutrition, managing childhood illnesses, treating malaria, and preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV and AIDS.

  • Trained community health workers and caregivers on children’s nutrition, including breastfeeding for the first six months.

  • Constructed rain collection systems in schools to increase the supply of safe drinking water.

  • Increased access to clean water by drilling borehole wells, constructing pipelines, and restoring old water systems.

  • Partnered with communities to build latrines in schools and communities to improve sanitation and health waste management.

  • Partnered with communities to improve schools and education by constructing new classrooms and dormitories.

  • Equipped preschools, primary schools, and vocational schools with new desks and educational materials, improving the quality of education for students.

  • Provided school fees and uniforms so that vulnerable children could attend and stay in school.

  • Provided farmers with drought-resistant crops, and trained farmers on seed selection, greenhouse production, and post-harvest management, to increase their productivity and crop yields.

  • Provided goats and oxen to families, trained farmers on marketing livestock products, and led a livestock vaccination campaign, enabling them to improve household incomes.

  • Trained individuals and community groups on business skills such as entrepreneurship, marketing, and financial management to grow their businesses and increase their incomes.

  • Provided families with training in financial management and supported the community’s participation in village savings and loan activities.

  • Helped improve disaster preparedness plans and provided training for adults and children on reducing disaster risk in communities.

  • Trained community members on protecting children’s rights, preventing child abuse, and providing birth certificates for all children, helping more boys and girls live in a safe environment.

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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.

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    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.

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    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.

    History

    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.

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    Prayer Requests for Kenya

    • For parents to understand the value of keeping their children in school.
    • For continued efforts on HIV and AIDS prevention and education.
    • For the millions of Kenyans still in need of food assistance.
    • For stability to prevail in northern Kenya so humanitarian efforts can continue safely.