Last Updated: 24/09/2020

The spread of COVID-19 has slowed in Kenya, with most positive cases reported in Nairobi. Scientific researchers say two-thirds of people surveyed in Kenya experienced economic hardship due to the pandemic, and the number living with food insecurity increased by 38%. Teachers have been told to return to schools on Sept. 28 to prepare classrooms for the return of students, possibly in October. Final-year science students have been allowed back to universities to do their practicals in order to be ready for graduation at the end of the year.

Compassion centers in Kenya have not reopened, but staff members are doing a blend of virtual, center-based and home-based programming, depending on the region and the risk of local transmission of the virus. At the centers, small groups gather while obeying local guidelines. Church partners are working to provide psychological support to help the children and families who are experiencing anxiety caused by the pandemic. We are grateful to report that staff members have distributed 84,156 food packs and 9,953 hygiene kits and have provided medical support to 10,310 individuals.

A Message From Compassion Kenya’s National Director

Hear from Joel Macharia, National Director of Compassion Kenya, as he shares an update on how COVID-19 is affecting Compassion’s ministry in Kenya.

Updated: 20/08/2020

How is Compassion Currently Operating in Kenya?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Kenya, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that even if centers are closed and letters and gifts are not being delivered, your child and his or her family are being checked in on regularly by staff. We all look forward to the day we will all be able to gather together again!

Are Compassion Centers Open?

At this point, all centers in Kenya are closed in order to abide by local guidelines, though some have permitted small groups to gather in regions where numbers are declining. Staff members are still calling and checking in on families, and in some communities they are able to visit children while obeying social distancing guidelines. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute 84,156 food packs and 9,953 hygiene kits to children and their families!

Are Children Receiving Letters?

The majority of letters are delayed in Kenya, which means it may take longer for you to receive letters from your child. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope. What a joyful day it will be when those letters are delivered!

Are Gifts Being Delivered?

Gifts continue to be distributed in Kenya, although they are currently delayed. In some communities, staff members have needed to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will be notified whether a gift has been designated as a child gift or family gift. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognizing that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

Story From the Field

Sharon was anxious when, in her final year of high school, learning activities were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sharon became one of two million students in Kenya waiting to take the exam for the Certificate of Secondary Education, without which she cannot go to university to pursue a degree in law, a dream she has worked so hard to achieve.

“I felt bitter when we were asked to go home because we hadn’t covered the syllabus. The lockdown has affected our education because we cannot interact with our teachers and other students,” says Sharon.

Sharon and her fellow candidates only knew of one place to go for a solution: their Compassion center.

“When the schools were closed, most of the students, especially those in boarding schools, came to the center,” says Sandra, the director of the child development center Sharon attends. “We have a library and a computer lab for the students to access. We also printed and distributed revision (review) papers and also shared some of the materials via mobile phone.”

Sharon was able to share the study materials she received from the Compassion center with her friends, and they have formed a study group to keep each other accountable. And anytime Sharon feels discouraged, she knows what to do.

“I call teacher Sandra,” she says. “She is always there for us.”

How can I pray for Kenya?

Pray for the millions of people in Kenya who are dealing with a locust plague on top of increasing coronavirus cases. Pray especially for farmers, who could lose the majority of their crops.

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