Kenya is located in East Africa. Its terrain rises from a low coastal plain on the Indian Ocean to mountains and plateaus at its centre. Kenya has a population of over 55.8 million people with 40% the population aged under 15. The country has a diverse population that includes many of Africa’s major ethnic racial and linguistic groups with the largest native ethnic group being the Kikuyu (CIA World Fact Book). Kenya is famous for its beautiful landscapes and variety of wild animals. The country gained independence in 1963 and is currently ruled by President William Ruto.
Although the Kenyan coastline has a tropical climate, much of the country is characterised by arid lands. This is problematic for the high proportion of rural families relying on subsistence farming. An accelerated cycle of drought in recent years has contributed to food insecurity. With limited access to education and vocational skills, rural families suffer very directly from crop failure.
With an increasingly young population, there is great movement from rural areas to cities upon the optimism of a better standard of living. As a result, Nairobi has more than 100 informal settlements, including Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. These crowded settlements occupy only 5% of the total residential area in the city, and more than 4 million people (65% of Nairobi’s population) call these slums home (SAGE Journals, 2020). Kibera, with its estimated 250,000 in habitants, is the one of the biggest informal settlements in the world. Access to basic life necessities in this area is desperate, and opportunities to improve lives for families is severely limited.
International Needs Kenya (IN Kenya) is working to reach and support families both in rural areas and within Kibera slums in Nairobi. The partnership model with IN Kenya is different from our other partnerships within the IN network as projects are largely delivered through local grassroots organisations in Kenya. IN Kenya has been working since 2016 to help vulnerable individuals and families in Kenya to improve their quality of life and invest in their futures.
IN UK partners with Grace Empowerment Organisation headed by Pastor Joshua Karani. This ministry focuses on Nairobi’s street boys and youth who have been rescued, rehabilitated and re-integrated in the Nairobi Westlands and Kawangware urban slum area.
Jocelyn Muraya is the Executive Director of International Needs Kenya. She has worked in the development sector in Kenya for over 35 years in various roles. Jocelyn also serves in her local church as a Bible study leader. She is married with one child.