Nairobi

Nairobi

Nairobi is the capital and largest city in Kenya. "Nairobi" is a name derived from a Maasai phrase meaning "The Place of Cool Waters". 


With a population of more than 3.5 million people, Nairobi sits more than 5,500 feet above sea level and is located in the central highlands. There are usually two rainy seasons per year in Nairobi, and the temperatures are moderate.

Kenya

Urban Region

  • Children freely play along these paths in urban slums, in spite of dangers that stem from poverty and overcrowding. Children freely play along these paths in urban slums, in spite of dangers that stem from poverty and overcrowding.
  • Thanks to caring sponsors and a program that is Christ-centered, children have the opportunity to experience God's love firsthand. Thanks to caring sponsors and a program that is Christ-centered, children have the opportunity to experience God's love firsthand.
  • At Compassion centers, children engage in a variety of activities, including help with schoolwork. At Compassion centers, children engage in a variety of activities, including help with schoolwork.
  • Group games such as triple jump at the Compassion center help children compete in a healthy, safe environment. Group games such as triple jump at the Compassion center help children compete in a healthy, safe environment.
  • Many families in urban areas make a living scavenging garbage heaps for metal and plastic items to sell to recycling plants. Many families in urban areas make a living scavenging garbage heaps for metal and plastic items to sell to recycling plants.
  • The Compassion development center provides an atmosphere for children to learn about God's love for them. The Compassion development center provides an atmosphere for children to learn about God's love for them.
  • Narrow alleys separate one-room houses in most urban slums. In these areas, proper sanitation often is lacking. Narrow alleys separate one-room houses in most urban slums. In these areas, proper sanitation often is lacking.
 
KENYA OVERVIEW

Population

45,010,056

Religion

Christian

Weather

 
A Glimpse of Poverty in Urban Kenya Kenya Overview
  • Impoverished urban areas in Kenya lack adequate housing and proper drainage.
  • Rural-to-urban migration has led to congestion in urban slums.
  • On average, a 10-by-10-foot home typically houses a family of five. As a result, children come into contact with open waste, resulting in illnesses such as typhoid and dysentery.
  • Lack of job opportunities has pushed many urban poor into prostitution, alcoholism and street begging.
  • Children are often left with little or no supervision. Child neglect – the most common form of abuse – accounted for 33 percent of all child abuse cases in 2013.
  • Kenya’s HIV prevalence rates dropped from 10.5 percent in 1996 to 6.1 percent in 2012,yet Kenya still has the fourth-largest epidemic in the world.
  • Regional mobility has led to the spread of HIV, with commercial sex work flourishing in major hubs.
  • HIV/AIDS and the stigma associated with it compound the effects of poverty.
LIFE
In Urban Kenya

Geography & Climate

  • Kenya’s cities are located in a variety of terrains.
  • Mombasa, on the Indian Ocean coast, is only a few feet above sea level and can experience temperatures as high as 91 degrees.
  • Nairobi and Eldoret, on the other hand, sit more than 5,500 feet above sea level in the central highlands.
  • Temperatures in the highlands are moderate, with two rainy seasons per year.
  • The highest point in Kenya is Mount Kenya, which stands a majestic 17,000 feet, while the Great Rift Valley bisects the country from north to south.

Economy

Kenya’s cities have some of the world’s largest slums. In Nairobi, the capital city, Kibera is the city’s largest, Africa’s second-largest, and the world’s third-largest slum.

The migration rate from Kenya’s countryside to the cities is at an all-time high, as people leave their poor rural homes in search of a better life.

Typically settling in slums like Kibera, these newcomers typically find a life of privation much worse than the one they left.

The unemployment rate in Kenya is more than 40 percent.

Children at Home

The homes in Kenya’s urban slums are crowded, ramshackle structures, built of whatever scrap materials can be found.

Children at home

Homes as small as 100 square feet may accommodate a family of five.

These poorly built homes provide little protection from the elements. Sometimes they are demolished and swept away during the rainy seasons.

There are no basic amenities in the city slums, and they are rife with crime and violence.

COMMUNITY
Kenya Community
Issues and Concerns
  • A vast disparity exists in Kenya’s cities between the “haves” and the “have-nots.” The richest 20 percent of the population owns approximately 80 percent of the resources.
  • Some live in lavish homes in secure suburbs, while the impoverished majority crowds into sprawling slums, living in conditions of great need.
  • Unemployment is another big problem in Kenyan cities. Each year 600,000 students complete their schooling and enter the job market. Of these, only 10 percent eventually find viable employment.
  • To survive and provide for their families, many resort to drug trafficking, prostitution, and making or selling illegal alcohol.
  • In the city slums, no basic services exist for sanitation, electricity or clean water.
  • Raw sewage runs through the narrow alleyways in the slums, where children play. Cholera outbreaks are common, and the many pools of stagnant water are breeding grounds for malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
  • Malnutrition and respiratory infections are also commonly suffered by children in Kenya’s urban slums.
Local Needs and Challenges

Lack of clean water and sanitation

This lack leads to such life-threatening illnesses as cholera and typhoid.

Malnutrition

Poverty and the lack of job opportunities in the slums mean that parents cannot adequately feed their families, and children typically are chronically malnourished.

Crime

The crime rate is high in urban slums, and children often resort to begging and stealing to get a little money.

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, this policy 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

Compassion serves children in Kenya’s urban centers through local church-based child development centers. These centers are havens of love and learning for registered children.

Here, children receive nutritious meals, hygiene training, and tutoring to attain standard academic milestones.

They are also encouraged to develop their talents and abilities.

Most important, children learn about God’s love and the gift of salvation in Christ.

What Compassion Sponsorship Provides

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

  • regular nutritious meals and snacks
  • health checkups and medical care as needed
  • the support needed to attend school
  • access to better housing through renovations of dilapidated houses and construction of new houses
  • domestic assistance to highly vulnerable children by providing food, stoves, beds, blankets and other household items
  • training for caregivers on business start-ups to improve their livelihoods
  • training for children about their rights and how to respond to abusive situations
  • training for local Compassion staff on child protection
  • HIV/AIDS prevention education for children