The Republic of Kenya is located in East Africa and has a population of over 48 million. With its abundant wildlife and scenic landscapes, the tourism industry has become an important source of income for the country and it has experienced economic growth over the years.
Nevertheless, poverty is still a reality for many people. Millions of Kenyans are undernourished as floods and droughts make it difficult to get food. Furthermore, HIV/AIDS and other diseases continues to be a major challenge for the country.
SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Kenya since 1971.
Kenya has made significant progress in reducing stunting - a condition with devastating effects, including diminished brain and physical development.
However, getting enough food remains a major challenge, especially for communities affected by recurring drought and poverty. In fact, 26% of children under five experience growth issues due to undernourishment.
Kenya’s HIV prevalence has reduced to under 5% over the years. Nevertheless, the virus remains an issue. Women in the country are disproportionately affected and around 11 in 100 babies born to mothers living with HIV are infected. Currently, over 100 000 children under 15 are infected. Many others have lost, or are at risk of losing, their parents to the disease. These children are particularly vulnerable to poverty and lack of education and often struggle to eat regular healthy meals.
Kenya has taken significant steps towards increasing access to education, due to free primary and day secondary education. Despite the overall progress, many children from marginalized groups do not go to school. The hardest to reach include children with disabilities, children living in nomadic communities and in urban informal settlements.
Girls are also disadvantaged when it comes to education. In total, around 1.2 million primary-school-aged children do not attend school.