Latest update

Poverty is acute in Kenya, and ongoing drought and vast inequality are major contributors. A staggering two in three Kenyan people lack access to basic sanitation facilities like toilets. A growing concern for our local church partners is the way the global food crisis is impacting local children and their families in poverty.

Food prices for staple ingredients like beans and maize have soared up to 63 per cent above average. At least 4.1 million Kenyans are now acutely food insecure, and over 26 per cent of this figure are children under 5 and pregnant or lactating mothers.

The local church in Kenya is well positioned to help, with decades of established trust and relationships within their own communities. With your support, our partners are mobilising resources to offer short and long-term solutions to fight hunger.

Watch the video update below from our local partners in Kenya to learn more.

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Country update

How is Compassion currently operating in Kenya?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    The majority of child development centres in Kenya have now resumed their usual programming after periods of lockdown during COVID-19.

  • Are children receiving letters?

    Letters are currently being delivered as normal in Kenya. We encourage you to keep writing to your sponsored child, as your words of hope bring joy, connection and lasting impact in a child's life. Thank you for your ministry!

  • Are gifts being delivered?

    Gifts continue to be distributed in Kenya. Local workers will meet with the child and family to determine the best use of the gift and ensure it meets their greatest need.

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for the children, families and local church partners we serve in Kenya.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Pray for protection over women and girls who are vulnerable to hunger and its devastating ripple effects.
  • Pray for the provision of mosquito nets for families to help prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.
  • Pray for rain for local farmers, especially those in the Laikipia and Kajiado counties.
  • Pray that Kenyan youth will be empowered and inspired to live their lives in ways that honour God.
  • Pray for Kenyan families who are affected by the global food crisis. Pray for God’s provision of their daily needs during this challenging time.
  • Pray for God’s comfort and peace for children who are grieving the loss of a caregiver or parent.
  • Pray for peace and stability for the nation of Kenya.
Using mobile technology in Kenya

Using mobile technology in Kenya

After a stampede during a food distribution—that was not Compassion-related—claimed the lives of two people in Nairobi’s Kibera slum, the Kenyan government banned the direct distribution of aid and food from non-government organisations. This restriction, alongside social distancing quarantine measures, has greatly affected families living in poverty who depend on casual labour for their livelihood.   Read more open_in_new


Please note: Kenya is one of nine Compassion partner countries that are severely affected by the current global food crisis. Our local church partners are responding with both short-term relief and long-term solutions to fight hunger.

A snapshot of Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program in Kenya

Compassion’s program is contextualised across countries and communities, as well as age groups.

  • Children aged 1 to 3 receive home-based care.
  • Children aged 3 to 5 visit the Compassion centre for eight hours on Saturday.
  • Children aged 6 to 11 attend for four to six hours a week.
  • Students aged 12 and older attend for four hours a week. Centres are open for extended weekend hours during school holidays.

Compassion Program Activities in Kenya

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Compassion assisted children in Kenya typically attend program activities at their local child development centre on Saturdays. Here is an example of what a typical program day looks like for children in Kenya.

9:00am - A time of prayer and devotion.

9:30am - Spiritual lessons, in which children sing songs and learn Bible stories.

10:30am - Break time, when children can play in a safe environment and develop friendships. A typical snack consists of a cup of porridge, bread and fruit, and an egg.

11:00am - Social-emotional lessons ranging from conflict resolution to developing healthy self-esteem and developing a godly character. Children often come from challenging home environments and are taught social and personal skills.

12:00pm - Lunch time. The meal usually consists of rice or ugali, beef stew, bean stew or legumes, and green leafy vegetables such as kale or cabbage. Children who are HIV-positive are given nutritional supplements to boost their immunity. During times of food scarcity, children come to the centre with their siblings just for a meal as it’s the only place they are able to eat.

1:00pm - Health lessons, in which children learn practical health and hygiene tips. Example topics include how to prevent malaria and HIV transmission.

2:00pm - Letter writing and career planning. Older children work with local staff to identify their strengths and interests and set goals for their future.

Children are encouraged to join in a variety of extracurricular activities including annual football competitions, teen camps held during the holidays and talent days where children perform music, drama or poems. When they reach the age of 12, youth can elect vocational training skills, such as computer training, carpentry, motor vehicle repair, dressmaking, cooking, hairdressing, driving and life skills.

The greatest needs impacting children living in poverty in Kenya


mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births

Kenya is in East Africa and encompasses wild safaris, lakes, mountain highlands and the dramatic Great Rift Valley. The nomadic Maasai community live in rural Southern Kenya and are easily recognised by their incredible red clothing and beaded jewellery. In urban areas, Kenya is a leader in technology and innovation in Africa.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the onset of the global food crisis, Kenya's poverty rate was steadily falling. But most communities depend on small-scale agriculture for their livelihoods, meaning drought, rising food costs and other serious weather events can quickly plunge millions back into poverty.

A lack of adequate medical care still affects many rural areas, and families are often forced to walk long distances to receive help. The spread of HIV/AIDS is a major concern; currently 1.5 million people in Kenya are living with HIV/AIDS—the fourth-largest epidemic in the word—and 28,000 die every year as a result of the disease.

Additionally, over one-quarter of women between the ages of 15 and 49 have been subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM)—again, these figures are among the highest in the world—though the practice has significantly declined in recent years.

In the past decade, Kenya’s relationship with neighbouring Somalia has been fraught. In October 2011, Kenya’s military crossed the border to curb the threat of al-Shabaab, a Somali-based Islamist extremist group. However, the violence has spilled back across Kenya’s borders, as al-Shabaab launched reprisal attacks, including suicide bombings.

In September 2013, terrorists laid siege to a Nairobi shopping mall. The attack was one of the worst in Kenya’s history, with at least 67 civilians and soldiers killed and more than 200 wounded. To this day, tension between the two countries continues to simmer.

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Stories from Compassion around the world

14 Apr, 2016

What Happens When A Child Goes Missing?

On his way back home from the Compassion centre, nine-year-old Osama Washika was kidnapped by an unknown assailant. Two months went by before he was seen again... Read more

14 Mar, 2018

Why Do My Sponsored Child's Letters Sound the Same?

It can be disappointing if your sponsored child hasn’t responded to your questions or even mentioned the letter you sent them. Here’s why this could be happening, plus handy tips to prevent it. .. Read more

13 Oct, 2017

10 of the Bravest Girls You'll Meet

Ten courageous girls living in Kenyan slum communities talk openly about their lives and the joys and struggles facing girls everywhere. .. Read more