Kenya

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Hello from Kenya! My name is Nicholas Nzivo Kimatu, and I have been serving as the OneChild Country Director here since April 2008. Your loving care for the children of Kenya is such a blessing. Thank you!

While the COVID-19 pandemic persisted, we brought the OneChild program into children’s homes and, when safe, were able to schedule short visits to some of the Hope Centers for small groups of kids. Our Child Champions adapted to this Home-Based Programming and worked tirelessly to ensure that children had age-appropriate learning materials and spiritual engagement and that their entire families were blessed with food and other much-needed domestic supplies. This special attention not only meant the world to our children but also engaged their caregivers and showed how much we care. This outreach opportunity made such a difference!

What really impressed us during these difficult times was how important our children’s faith has been to them coping and adapting well. Their trust in God brings them hope, makes them bold in the face of life’s issues, and helps them grow in their capacity to give love and advocate for justice. During the ongoing global crisis, the children became more prayerful than ever before and, in many cases, shifted their priorities for the future to pursue more vocational and technical training options so that they could better meet their communities’ needs.

child-in-kenya-strongEven though our Child Champions did all they could to serve kids in their homes and encourage their spiritual growth, our children were eager to return and be among their friends and teachers. Hope Centers are a safe place where kids can enjoy a nutritious meal, partake in group activities, and receive guidance and counseling. A place where they are able to speak into their own experience and are taught their rights. A place where hands-on skills, socio-emotional development, and the celebration of achievements prepare them for adulthood and give them the tools to succeed.

Just as important, Hope Centers create a space where family members and caregivers can take an active part in the program. Their participation in activities and experience with the sponsorship model have led to a pro-child mindset, promoted actions toward youth advocacy throughout the whole community, and provided exposure to new and different perspectives. This is the kind of change that can make a better world for generations to come. But we could not do it without the dedication and support of our sponsors and donors.

The children in Kenya are born with the God-given potential to improve upon what came before them — to become the leaders of tomorrow and advocates for the Kingdom. If anyone you know would like to walk alongside a child and help them thrive, please encourage them to sponsor a child from Kenya today.

For His glory,

Nicholas Nzivo Kimatu

Country Director, Kenya

 

About Kenya

Child Champions in Kenya tell us about their country.

Kenya is located in eastern Africa and is the world’s 48th largest country by area and the 29th most populous, with more than 54.7 million people. It is a land of white-sand beaches and wildlife parks and home to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Great Wildebeest Migration. But it is also a place where hospitable and hardworking people suffer the effects of forces outside their control.

A lone tree in KenyaPoverty wears many faces in Kenya. It can be seen in a child who goes to bed each night with an empty, rumbling stomach; in a patient whose only treatment comes in the form of an herbal concoction that can cause more harm than good; in a generation of children wearing tattered uniforms and walking long distances to a school where they are crammed into small rooms and must share desks and the attention of their teacher with 60 other students. Poverty can be seen in a crowded and crumbling house where life happens with no regard for age-appropriateness and where only the strong survive. It lurks in the place where children are exposed to endless trauma from social strife within the home and in danger from hostile ethnic relations outside; in a future where the best one can hope for is less than $2 per day, in an economy that suffers ongoing hyperinflation and insecurity.

Out in the rural areas, problems stem from scarcity due to harsh environments, retrogressive ideas that place a female’s worth as being equal to that of livestock, and dangerous ways to earn a dishonest living, which lead to many children becoming orphaned. For instance, in Turkana, one of the most remote parts of the country, there are no easy roads leading into or out of the area, educational and health care facilities are nonexistent, and children are chosen to carry the Turkana culture into the next generation. This reality means young boys are training to herd and raid cattle as young girls are preparing to be their wives and possible widows.

The urban places face their own challenges such as high crime, moral depravity, gang activity, and overcrowding. Frequent droughts and endless raids between tribes wipe out herds and flocks, leaving citizens with barely enough to sustain themselves.

Thankfully, OneChild is able to address these issues by providing holistic support including income-generating training and activities, community enrichment projects, personal hygiene practices, educational opportunities, computer skills, and medical screening and intervention. With the deliberate and calculated adaptation of programming, Hope Centers operate in ways that leverage local resources and expertise. OneChild’s prayer for Kenya is that every child registered in the program embraces hope and is instilled with confidence to move toward the purpose designed for them by their Maker.

Our Work in Kenya

Through ongoing support, children are empowered to stay afloat even when the ground around them is sinking. An opportunity to attend school because OneChild is covering the fees gives children the chance for a better life. With Bible studies led by Child Champions, they will no longer be lost to spiritual uncertainty and religious confusion. OneChild embraces the role of children in their own development and sees them as a key part of informing the interventions made on their behalf. When children’s voices are heard and their input is used to influence policy (despite living in a cultural environment that doesn’t reinforce this), it allows them to shape their own lives — and that is powerful!

Kenya’s future is in the hands of its children. It should be a country where leaders acknowledge their own finiteness and work with the next generation’s best interests in mind; a country led by those who are building a kingdom for God and stand for social justice. Kenya can become a place where every child has the opportunity to explore their potential – a place that has HOPE.

We are accountable to the children we serve AND to our donors.

Our accountability to our donors is one of our highest priorities. Our goal is to use the funds entrusted to us as wise stewards. To do this requires continued monitoring of our fund distribution. OneChild is also a member in good standing with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA)