SOS Children in Kenya
Kenya was one of the first countries in Africa where our charity started to help children. Children whose families cannot take care of them can find a loving home with one of our families in our SOS Children's Villages.
With SOS Children, you can help orphaned and abandoned children in Kenya by sponsoring a child:
Millions in Kenya face starvation as a result of frequent droughts
Economic growth in Kenya has enhanced life for some, but approximately 11 million people are malnourished. Natural disasters, such as floods and droughts, mean in some areas food supplies get affected; this is especially likely in semi-nomadic areas. In the drought-prone north, quality of life can be particularly poor as basic needs are not being met: sanitation, healthcare and running water are all limited. Extreme deprivation is faced by many in Kenya, and it is estimated 50% of the whole population live in some degree of poverty.
Diseases affect many in Kenya: typhoid, hepatitis A and diarrhoea are common, and HIV/AIDS has has a massive affect on many lives. Owing to disease and many other reasons, the life expectancy in Kenya is low, reaching only 55 years.
Children in Kenya
- Many children in Kenya are malnourished due to the effects of living in extreme poverty. The youngest children are in particular danger from poverty. The child mortality rate is high at 84 per 1,000 births.
- There are up to 130,000 street children in Kenya, as many children have lost parental care. Child-headed household numbers are on the rise, meaning that more and more children are being forced to stay at home and miss out on an education.
- The HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in Kenya is a shocking 6.3%, one of the highest figures in the world. Over a million children have been orphaned due to AIDS. By 2015, Kenya aims to eradicate mother-to-child-transmission of HIV and paediatric AIDS.
Our work in Kenya
We began our work in Kenya in 1975 when the first village was built in the Buru Buru district on the outskirts of Nairobi, the capital city. Today, the village has sixteen family houses, a house for SOS aunts (SOS mothers-in-training), a sports area, coops for chickens, beehives and vegetable gardens. Learning how to care for animals and grow food are important skills for the children. There are also youth houses at the Village. When the children reach 16 years old, they, under the care of the Youth Leaders, start to take control of their lives by managing their own time, schoolwork and money. They live here until they are ready to become fully independent, whenever this may be.
The SOS Nursery in Nairobi has three classrooms and a playground. It supports 75 little children from both the SOS Children's Village and the neighbourhood. Nearby is the SOS Primary School which and is currently attended by 240 children.
The SOS Vocational Training Centre in Nairobi, which offers home economics, tailoring, joinery, metal processing, and electronics classes, has seven workshops, four classrooms, a computer lab, a large practical kitchen and a dining room. The charity also runs an SOS Social Centre in Nairobi. Its aim is to prevent child abandonment and family break-up in households that are affected by HIV/AIDS and who are caring for orphans and vulnerable children. Based on experience, observations and information from the community, the SOS Social Centre views HIV/AIDS as the fundamental cause in the abandonment of children and the disintegration of the family structure. Attached to the Social Centre is an SOS Medical Centre.
Mombasa is a lively port town and tourist centre with around 400,000 inhabitants. Sadly, another feature are the vast slums on the periphery of the city. Construction works for the SOS Children's Village Mombasa were completed in 1979. The SOS Children's Village Mombasa sits on the northern shore of the Bay of Mombasa, 500 metres from the coast. It has twelve family houses for 130 children, and there are SOS Youth Homes in Mombasa for the older children. Each family house has a small garden in which fruits and vegetables are grown, and goats, cows and geese make a valuable contribution towards the Village's self-sufficiency. There is also an SOS Nursery School for 100 pupils and an SOS Primary School for 480 students.
SOS Children’s Village Eldoret, located two miles from the city centre, has fifteen family houses for 120 children, a village director's house, a guest house, and a house for SOS aunts. It opened in 1990. The village also has an SOS Nursery School which is attended by 75 children from both the SOS Village and the local community. There is a playground here too where the children can have fun and make friends.
For the older children there is an SOS Primary and Secondary School, which has become one of the best schools in the city. In 1991 the school had to be expanded to cope with the increasing number of pupils, and now over 600 pupils benefit from the facilities, which include classrooms, a computer lab, a library and playing fields. Poorer students are offered scholarships so they can attend.
From the age of 15, the SOS children move into one of the SOS Youth Homes in the village.
The fourth SOS Children’s Village was opened in 2005 at Meru about 175 miles north of Nairobi. The SOS Children's Village is situated on the outskirts of Meru on the road to Mount Kenya National Park. Due to its central location, Meru was considered as a perfect location for the construction of an SOS Children's Village. Meru has a fairly good infrastructure. It is easy to reach and is situated in the middle of one of the most densely populated areas in Kenya. Educational and childcare facilities, however, were lacking. The children’s village has 12 family houses which are home for 130 children. There is also a nursery school for 90 children from the local community as well as for children from the SOS Children’s Village.
SOS Children's Village Kisumu opened in early 2012 and will provide a loving home for up to 150 children in 15 family houses.
Aids Orphans in Kenya
There is also information on the Aids Orphan Projects in Kenya, Africa.
Life in SOS Children's Villages Kenya: Caroline's turnaround
When Caroline arrived at SOS Children's Village Mombasa she was four years old and her short life had been traumatic. Her mother, who was HIV positive and had been in prison, had recently died; then, along with her two older siblings, she was abandoned by her grandmother before being taken to a children's home in her home town in central Kenya. That was where the SOS Children's Village director found Caroline and her siblings.
When she came to the children's village, despite being with her siblings, Caroline used to cry so much to seek attention. She would refuse to eat and would curl up in a corner of the room and start screaming. It was not easy for her SOS mother, but her training had taught her how to deal with childhood trauma and she knew that what Caroline needed most was love.
In just three months Caroline had transformed and she is the darling of her family. Her elder SOS sisters, who are living in the village youth house, visit every night to tuck her into bed. Caroline is also now very attached to her SOS mother and is protective of her, telling off her older siblings if they are naughty. “Every morning and evening she is the joy of the family”, says her SOS mother. “When she goes to school she tells me, 'Mum, when I come back from school please please do not make me sleep. I am a big girl'''. Caroline attends the SOS Nursery School where she regularly receives stars for her efforts.
Caroline may not be a big girl yet but one thing is certain - after so much trauma in her brief little life she has found what she needed most - comfort, security and above all, love, with her new family at SOS Children's Village Mombasa.
SOS Children's Village Association KenyaP.O.Box 40653
Tel: +254/20/27 27026, +254/20/2727 061
Fax: +254 20 27 28 768