SOS Children started its work in Eldoret in 1990 and works with families living in desperate poverty to help them provide food, medical care and shelter to their children.
The region’s population depends on agriculture to survive, but the threat of drought, land erosion and food insecurity are a constant threat.
Malnutrition is a threat to Eldoret’s children
Located in western Kenya, in the Rift Valley province, the town of Eldoret is situated at an altitude of approximately 2,500 metres above sea level, and has a population of close to 300,000 inhabitants. Eldoret is Kenya's fastest growing town and is home to Moi University.
The agricultural region surrounding Eldoret is prone to drought, which seriously affects people's ability to make a living. Food insecurity is also a threat, and 35% of children living in the region suffer from stunting – not reaching their potential height – due to malnutrition.
Ethnic tensions and poverty
The towns in the Rift Valley province saw their share of terrible violence in the post-election clashes that took place for several months in 2007 and 2008. Many families, and children in particular, were directly affected by the ethnic violence against the Kikuyu people, and today there are still tensions in the area.
Education is an important tool for combating some of the social challenges faced by the people of Eldoret. Kenya implemented a free primary education policy in 2003 that has resulted in much higher enrolment at primary level. Secondary school enrolments are still very low, but particularly in rural areas.Concerns have been raised about the quality of primary education in Kenya, considering increased teacher workloads, inadequate salaries and very large class sizes.
Children from poor families in rural areas face further challenges, some travelling long distances to school without food for the day, as their parents are often unable to provide it. Being without food all day has a detrimental effect on the health and learning capacity of these children.
Our work in Eldoret
An SOS Children's Village was established in Eldoret in 1990 and has continued to grow over the past 24 years. Our social centre's primary focus is its family strengthening programme, which assists parents in dire need with feeding, clothing, educating and providing shelter for their children.
The aim is to support parents through times of extreme hardship in order to keep families together, and children in the care of their parents. The SOS Social Centre provides free medication and medical care, counselling and psychological support as well as assistance for those affected by HIV/AIDS.
A loving home for orphaned children
We have several SOS families in our Children's Village, providing stable and loving homes for children who are no longer able to live with their parents. Children are able to experience a real childhood as they grow up alongside their SOS brothers and sisters under the care of an affectionate SOS mother.
Our youngest SOS children attend the SOS Nursery in Eldoret with children from families living in the surrounding area. The nursery is a safe and happy place for children to establish friendships and make connections with others from the community from an early age. Older children are educated at the SOS Primary and Secondary school.
When children are ready to leave their SOS family home, they are supported by the SOS Youth Programme as they continue their education or vocational training. They live semi-independently with other young people with the guidance of a professional counsellor.
Eldoret can be a harsh place to grow up for a child. We offer them safety and loving care in our Children's Village. Support these vulnerable children by becoming a child sponsor today.