Kenya

We’ve been working in Kenya since 1974. We support the most vulnerable groups including women and girls, street children and people with disabilities.

We train women’s groups to take up cases of violence against women by working proactively with the police, health workers, courts and women lawyers. Our work with women’s groups, girls’ clubs and rescue centres is helping to stamp out forced child marriage and harmful traditional practices such as FGM.

We’ve set up hundreds of local farmers’ groups and trained them in modern farming methods. We help communities grow drought-tolerant crops and share their knowledge so they don’t have to go hungry.

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During times of drought we support the poorest communities through feeding programmes, and our innovative farming and water harvesting projects help families build long-term resilience to drought.

Why we work in Kenya

Kenya is the largest and most advanced economy in east and central Africa. Yet nearly half of the population live below the poverty line. Recent droughts left millions of people in need of food aid and flooding in the Rift Valley is common, displacing thousands of people and destroying crops.

The big issues in Kenya

KE
  • 43
    43% of people live below the poverty line.
  • 98
    In highly traditional areas, 98% of girls could be at risk of FGM.
  • 26
    26% of girls are married before their 18th birthday.

Women in Kenya do not enjoy the same rights as men. They’re frequently denied an education and the right to own land, and are subjected to harmful and painful practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM). Although FGM is illegal in Kenya, in highly traditional areas up to 98% of girls could be at risk.

Many children in Kenya are malnourished due to the effects of living in extreme poverty, and sadly many children die before their fifth birthday.

How we’re changing lives for good in Kenya

Through ActionAid girls’ clubs and rescue centres, 6,000 women and girls have been reached directly and 60,000 indirectly.

Helping girls like Everlyne stay in school

When Everlyne was just 14, her parents wanted to take her out of school as they felt they couldn't afford it and there were discussions about her getting married. Thanks to ActionAid’s work in the community, she knew her right to stay in school and that she could go to her head teacher for help. He threatened to report Everlyne’s parents and convinced them to let her continue. They were regretful and are now supportive of her studies. Everlyne is now one of three girls in her village that have gone on to secondary school. She says: “My favourite subject is biology. If I do well, I’ll have a better life.”

Donate to our work to help keep girls in school

Working to stop FGM with Rose

Rose, 16, was 13 when her father and some uncles tricked her and forcibly took her to be cut. “I felt so bad I cried. I didn’t want what was happening.” Immediately after the ceremony, she found out she was to be married, so she ran away to her uncle, who helped her get back into school, and threatened to report her father. Her mother, who is against FGM, is supporting her schooling now. Since then Rose has joined an ActionAid supported girls' forum, where they advocate against FGM. She says: “Now I tell girls about the cut, that they shouldn’t go through it.”

Find out more about how we fight for girls' rights

Helping women like Josephine earn their own income

An innovative beekeeping project supported by ActionAid is benefitting 4,200 people in Kuria. Designed to provide women with an independent source of income, the project is run by a local community organisation and 20% of the profits go back into running the business. The scheme has made a big difference to women's lives, giving them their own money so they can put food on the table.

Josephine, who has been helped by the project, says: “Fifteen litres in one hive is a good harvest; sometimes in the dry season you get less. I sell some of my harvest, but keep some to eat because it is very nutritious. I have four hives from ActionAid.”

Find out more about our work on ending hunger