Kenya – Supporting Orphans and Vulnerable Children

Read about Safari, Miriam and Boaz, three of AMURT’s success stories from Kenya

To contribute towards the care of an estimated 1.6 million fully or partially orphaned children in Kenya, AMURT has enlisted the help of local organizations, community members and businesses to care for 3,000 children age 5-14 living in Nyanza, Coast and Central provinces.   From the moment they enter our program, children are assigned a community volunteer who lives in their vicinity to ensure they benefit from the many aspects of the program.

The volunteers conduct monthly home visits to provide psychosocial counseling, moral and spiritual support, and referrals for medical care and legal protection. They also visit the children’s schools to check on their attendance and give moral support. Following the distribution of uniforms and scholastic materials to 2,504 children between January and March 2010,  school attendance has improved.  “Now they have uniforms, the children are no longer embarrassed,” said one of the volunteers, commenting on the daunting stigma that can affect a child if he or she attends school without a uniform.

Every month, AMURT hosts a “fun day” in each program location, where children gather for a day of diverse activities. The children love the fun days as they get to meet and play with new friends. In Coast province, for example, the children renamed the activity “safari” as it is the day they travel from their home to the fun day site, and this makes them quite excited.  In addition to the fun, the children receive basic HIV education in small groups, medical check-ups (including deworming medicine) and psychosocial counselling.  Fun days have had a 99% attendance rate, and have successfully united AMURT’s youth with the children, with the youth providing HIV education using entertaining song, dance and theater.

AMURT nurse and orphans

AMURT's nurse providing deworming medicine to 550 children during the Saturday gathering for orphans and vulnerable children.


Emmanuel, one of AMURT's field volunteers, patiently digs jiggers out of a child's foot. If left untouched, the jiggers would slowly eat away the child's toes.


AMURT has established five child’s rights clubs in Coast Province and 15 in Nyanza Province, using primary schools as a meeting location. This was an initiative formed at the recommendation of the local volunteers with a goal of educating children about their rights, including the right to have access to food, medicine and education, the right of association and the right of lawful inheritance. The children are taught what actions to take if those rights are violated. So far, 375 children have been reached on a regular basis, and 9 cases of abuse have been acted upon with perpetrators being arrested and punished with the help of local authorities.Recently in Mahaya in Nyanza Province the youth club, which is also supported by AMURT, provided the “edutainment,” which was a skit about child rights. The young actors focused on the issue of child marriage, advising the girls to avoid any advances from older men. “Finish your education, don’t be lured into a trap,” was the message. AMURT is cooperating closely with the District Children’s Officer (DCO) in Rarieda District to eradicate child marriage. Our staff have already saved a 14 year old girl who was being forced into marriage by a man who had been providing her with small amounts of money (the legal age of marriage in Kenya is 18). With the help of the DCO we brought the case to the attention of the police and are looking for a safer place for the girl to live and continue her schooling.  

Manera Primary School children

Children from the AMURT-sponsored child rights club at Manera Primary School in Nyanza Province expressing their rights during a public program.

Achievements Reported in 2010

  • 3,000 children enrolled in the program receive visits and support from community volunteers
  • 2,504 children received uniforms and school supplies
  • 20 child’s rights clubs established with 9 cases of abuse discovered and halted.


Enrolling in the program provides the children not only educational, medical and psychological support, and positive adult role models; but also affords them the hope, determination, and better chance to succeed.

Peer educators sit down with children to talk during a day of activities and edutainment.