Africa is a continent of striking contrasts, color, texture and cultural diversity. With its broad expanse of more than 11 million square miles of sweeping plains, exotic wildlife, tremendous human resources and boundless potential for economic growth, it is a continent desperately needing to be nurtured and developed.
At the same time, the face of Africa has many disturbing images. With an explosive population of approximately 800 million people, Africans confront daily the extreme challenges of poverty, disease, famine and malnutrition. Dishonest leaders and crime are rampant throughout Africa.
Despite Africa’s tremendous problems, it is a land of great promise. Its people are strengthened by a rapidly growing Christian church, now numbering more than 50 percent of the total population. The world has much to gain from Africa’s simple but profound Christian faith, as well as the development of its extensive human and natural resources.
While Africa may be another world away, the speed of modern travel and immediacy of satellite communications connects us more closely than ever before. No longer are we a world of individual countries, but a worldwide community linked by economic necessity, Christian brotherhood and global responsibility.
Kenya is located on the equator in East Africa, just south of the Horn of Africa that juts out into the Indian Ocean. Kenya’s population of more than 30 million has suffered greatly in the past few years due to epidemics of malaria, cholera and AIDS, and to a devastating East African drought that caused mass starvation across Kenya. Over half of Kenya’s population is under the age of 15 years. Moreover, less than a quarter of Kenya’s land is arable. The inability of the land to support Kenya’s growing population is forcing people into cities in search of employment. Kenya has been ranked one of the top ten most corrupt governments in the world.
Nairobi is a modern city of more than 3 million people. Like the rest of the Africa, Nairobi is a place of contrasts. There are wealthy people in Nairobi, but they represent a very small percent of the population.
Village of Kinyago-Dandora: Two out of three people in Nairobi live in slum areas. Most of those coming into the cities have limited education and vocational skills, and are only marginally employable, so they end up in slums like Kinyago-Dandora. Families live in homes made of sticks and mud, with no windows, water, electricity or sanitation. The roofs of the better homes are made of tin from flattened cans. Others are made of cardboard or sheets of dirty plastic. Six to eight people live in a room the size of an average American dining room. There is usually only one bed. Children sleep on gunny sacks on the ground. There is no money for proper nutrition, health care or school fees (required in Kenya). Many children are forced to work long hours at hard, even dangerous jobs to help provide food for their families. The average daily income for a head of household can be anywhere from 20 to 50 Kenyan shillings…or in dollar terms, 15 to 35 cents per day.
Other social issues affecting Kenyan society today include escalating crime and disease, including HIV/AIDS, which continues to ravage the country’s population, with the latter claiming more than 700 lives everyday. Additional issues include drugs and substance abuse, increasing numbers of street families and orphaned children, and rising numbers of elderly who are also unable to provide for themselves, and affects from the post election violence of 2008. These issues are compounded by the near breakdown of governmental services and community structures.
THERE IS HOPE! Through God’s grace, Kenya Children’s Fund has been blessed with an opportunity to assist the most desperate children of Africa by meeting some of their most basic needs: Education, Nutrition and Medical care.