Last Updated: 07/04/2021

As of March 3, Kenya reported 17,747 active cases of COVID-19 and a total of 1,863 related deaths. On the previous day, the country received its first shipment of vaccines, 1 million doses, from the World Health Organisation.  Scientific researchers say two-thirds of people surveyed in Kenya have experienced economic hardship due to the pandemic, and the number living with food insecurity increased by 38%. Many families rely on day-to-day employment and are struggling to feed themselves. About three-quarters of the child development centers have resumed limited meetings; these are commonly small groups of children in homes and/or small groups of youths at the centers. The rest of the centers remain closed for safety, and staff members there continue to make home visits and phone calls to check on families. 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 more than 223,700 food packs and 50,500 hygiene kits and have provided medical support to over 62,000 individuals.

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 all children and their families are being checked in on regularly by staff, either in person or by phone, even if the Compassion center is not open for programming.

Are Compassion Centers Open?

The majority of centers in Kenya have restarted programming, welcoming small groups of children and youths for classes and activities either in homes or at the centers. Staff members also continue to make phone calls and conduct home visits. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute nearly 223,700 food packs and 50,500 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 that God will protect the health of Kenyan students who have returned to crowded schools.

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