Maasai

Maasai

Maasai are one of seven primary ethnic groups - and one of the most well-known of the African ethnic groups - that populate Kenya, along with the Kikuyu, Luo, Luhya, Kalenjin, Kamba, and Mijikenda. The nomadic Maasai people in the arid south region of Kenya make their homes out of stick frames covered in cow dung - materials that are locally available.

Kenya

Rural Region

  • Kenya's rural landscapes offer breathtaking views, but poor infrastructure forces children to walk long distances. Kenya's rural landscapes offer breathtaking views, but poor infrastructure forces children to walk long distances.
  • Children in the Compassion program have the opportunity to grow in every way: mind, body, heart and spirit. Children in the Compassion program have the opportunity to grow in every way: mind, body, heart and spirit.
  • Singing is part of the devotional activities at Compassion-assisted child development centers. Singing is part of the devotional activities at Compassion-assisted child development centers.
  • Sponsored children regularly write to their sponsors. And they are so encouraged when they receive letters back from their sponsors. Sponsored children regularly write to their sponsors. And they are so encouraged when they  receive letters back from their sponsors.
  • Houses in rural areas of Kenya are typically made of semi-permanent material such sticks and mud, with grass-thatched roofs. Houses in rural areas of Kenya are typically made of semi-permanent material such sticks and mud, with grass-thatched roofs.
  • Access to clean drinking water remains one of the biggest challenges to rural residents. Access to clean drinking water remains one of the biggest challenges to rural residents.
  • Group games at the center encourage children's social and emotional development. Group games at the center encourage children's social and emotional development.
 
KENYA OVERVIEW

Population

45,010,056

Religion

Christian

Weather

 
A Glimpse of Poverty in Rural Kenya Kenya Overview
  • Kenya has one of the highest rural population growth rates, with the population having tripled in the past 35 years.
  • Climate change, including severe droughts in 2010 and 2011, has undermined food security.
  • Inadequate food supplies have caused stunted growth and impaired intellectual development among children, leading to poor school attendance and performance and high dropout rates.
  • Deforestation has degraded the land and reduced soil fertility, and soil erosion has led to poorer agricultural yields and diminishing water catchment areas.
  • Rural residents spend a lot of time fetching water. Community water points are often contaminated, which lead to waterborne diseases such as cholera and malaria, a leading cause of child deaths in Kenya.
  • Few health facilities exist in rural areas.
  • The prevalence of HIV and AIDS, lack of family planning, and unskilled birth attendants add to the high maternal mortality rate, which is about 400 deaths per 100,000 live births.
COMMUNITY
Kenya Community
Issues and Concerns
  • Most rural residents leave school by the eighth grade for a variety of reasons. Some can’t afford the required school fees.
  • Many girls drop out of school due to teen pregnancy, which is on the rise in the rural areas, along with early marriage.
  • The number of children orphaned by AIDS is another issue. Particularly in the hard-hit Lake Victoria and nomadic plains regions, many destitute children have lost one or both parents to the disease.
  • Politically motivated violence is also common, especially around election times. And often violence among the country’s various tribes claims lives and property.
  • More than half of the families in rural areas lack access to two items critical to the health and well-being of children: abundant clean water and adequate sanitation.
  • Young lives are susceptible to such diseases as cholera and bacterial diarrhea, which can be fatal.
  • Climate extremes also plague poor rural families, who depend on subsistence farming and cattle herding. From periods of flooding to prolonged drought, families frequently face circumstances that threaten their livelihood and food security.
Local Needs and Challenges

Health obstacles

Malnutrition and lack of access to safe water and adequate sanitation frequently lead to life-threatening illnesses. However, parents can’t afford medical help when their children are sick.

Harmful traditions

Rural groups also practice cultural traditions harmful to children, such as early marriage.

HIV/AIDS

This deadly disease continues to devastate families.  

EDUCATION
Kenya education
Schools and Education
  • In the Kenyan system, primary school lasts eight years, and secondary school is another four years.
  • The government’s recent provision of universal primary education means that more children than ever before are attending school in Kenya.
  • However, it also has resulted in overcrowded classrooms (80 children per teacher) and a poor quality of education.
  • Impoverished parents are unable to pay the required fees for books, supplies and uniforms.

Compassion Kenya works to ensure that every registered child is able to attend school, and we provide additional support, including tutoring, at the child development centers.

At the Compassion Child Development Center

At Compassion-assisted centers in Kenya’s rural region, children are receiving the help and learning opportunities they need to reach their full potential in Christ.

Along with nutritious meals for physical development, they also receive medical assistance and hygiene training to stay healthy.

Tutoring helps to make up for any school deficiencies, and most important, they learn about the love of their heavenly Father.

What Compassion Sponsorship Provides

In partnership with local churches, Compassion is bringing help and hope to rural Kenya’s children in need, providing:  

  • regular nutritious meals and snacks
  • health checkups and medical care as needed
  • the support needed to attend school
  • better farming methods by introducing drought-resistant crops in dry areas and greenhouse farming to increase agricultural yields
  • alternative income-generation and nutrition options for families, including raising small animals such as hybrid goats and rabbits
  • community initiatives, such as tree-planting and environmental cleanup days to sensitize residents on the need for environmental conservation
  • water borehole wells, water pans, and distribution of water tanks and filters, enabling families to access clean drinking water in their homes and minimize waterborne infections
  • for women, prenatal care, nutritious foods, access to family planning methods and safe delivery in a hospital through the Child Survival Program