Kenya has a diverse landscape and is one of the largest countries in Africa. Kenya has endured prolonged droughts in recent years leaving millions in need of food aid. Flooding also poses a serious threat to rural communities as climate change continues to takes hold.
Political instability has also damaged Kenya’s once highly profitable tourism industry. Prices for agricultural exports such as tea and coffee have fallen in recent years. All these problems are nationwide but they affect those living in poverty the most.
In addition to our extensive emergency response work in Kenya ActionAid supports education, women’s rights in 6 regions: Kongelai, Marafa, Usigu, Wenje, Kuria and Tangulbei.
Education and child sponsorship
Mary Koikei, Ntuka Primary School, Narok. ActionAid built 8 new classrooms in Mary's school and installed a water pump. The children used to walk 2 hours a day to collect dirty water. Wild animals were using the river, the children were often very sick as a result. Mary explains
My life has been transformed, I am being educated, I am have lots of knowledge - It has changed my life. I am ActionAid!
The main focus of the women’s programme is to reduce the incidence of violence against women and girls at community level, prevent early girl marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) and increase access to information and services for women living with HIV and AIDS Programme staff work closely with community groups to achieve this end.
Support for Women living with HIV and AIDS
Kenya has a high level of people living with HIV and AIDS. ActionAid campaigns for better access to antiretroviral drugs for those who cannot afford it, and helps women and children affected by HIV/AIDS to support themselves.
Judith Atieno Basil, 29, Usigu, Kenya. Judith is the secretary of the Ulusi Youth Group. Ulusi, supported by ActionAid, works to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS, early pregnancies, school drop outs, sexually transmitted diseases, domestic violence, human rights, child abuse and other social problems. Judith was 12 years old when her parents died from AIDS related illnesses in 1996.
My youngest sister was 3 months old, I had to leave school and get married. It meant my younger brothers and sisters could stay at school and one of them is now at university.
Fortunately, she was able to turn to this support group.
The group members are aged between 16-34 years, many have lost parents, brothers, sisters and friends to HIV and AIDS and some are HIV-positive themselves.
I teach young people about safer sex and condom use, They come to me for counselling and advice if they are sick. I hope that in the coming years young people will have something to do and will be free from HIV. I want my children to be educated. I want a change of ideas in my community.
Creating livelihoods for young women
Janete Adhiambo, 22, Kisumu are market stall owners and part of ActionAid's programme that provides business training and mentoring to young people so they can create secure livelihoods. During post-election violence in 2008, Janete's entire stock of grain and cereal was stolen. ActionAid trained her in book keeping, customer care and managing stock, she was assigned a local business mentor who helped her write a business plan. ActionAid helped her to buy new stock and re-start her business.