The Republic of Kenya is in East Africa and boasts a population of nearly 44 million people. Bordered on the east by the Indian Ocean, the countryside gives way to tropical savannah grasslands as one moves westward. Kenya is a major economic force in eastern and central Africa, but this is very deceiving. On the Human Development Index of nations, Kenya is rated at 143 out of 185 countries, putting it in the lower third of all countries. Over 50% of Kenyans life in “absolute poverty” (defined as living on less than $1 (US) a day.)
In spite of the richness of scenery and wildlife for which Kenya is famous, Kenya is a struggling country with glaring problems. Drought is a huge, recurring problem. The lack of water does not allow for enough food to be grown to feed the people of Kenya; starvation is a rampant reality. HIV/AIDS is another major issue. In addition, child labor is very common in Kenya; most children work in agriculture. In 2006, UNICEF estimated that up to 30% of Kenyan girls in the coastal area are prostituted (human sex trafficking). On the medical side, there are only 7000 doctors to treat the 44 million people who live in country. Life expectancy is not increasing – it is declining, with an average life expectancy of only 55 in 2009 (a decline from age 60 in 1990). Infant mortality is appalling – 44 out of every 1000 children will die before reaching age five (compared to 6.8 in the United States). Preventable diseases like malaria, HIV/AIDS, pneumonia, diarrhea and malnutrition are the biggest burden on the poor and the major contributors to early childhood death.
In 2005, Jordan International Aid (JIA) fed a village during a drought crisis that year. In 2006, JIA brought in a team and distributed food and supported a local orphanage in Emali. In 2009, HIA helped a local school build a classroom, and provided school uniforms and supplies for the school children.
JIA is currently in the process of buying 5 acres of land in Nairobi. This land will house the Murrel Ewing children’s home that will be combined with volunteer compound that will house volunteers who will have the opportunity of serving the children’s home and serving the surrounding local communities. Will you be part of the future for Kenya?