Kenya

Catholic Relief Services, with partners Lumos and Maestral International, are beginning work in Kenya with the government, civil society, and other non-governmental organizations to begin the process of changing the culture of orphanages throughout the country.

Government Policy Update

Kenya has a strong legal and policy foundation, accompanied by critical stakeholders from government, civil society, and recently established advocacy experts, who are driving care reform in a positive direction.

The Kenyan government has already implemented strong legal and policy changes that support family strengthening that will prevent the separation of families. The plan includes strong regulations and guidelines that encourage family based care, however, orphanages and other residential institutions are still a fall back for children in need of alternative care.

In Kenyan culture, there is already a strong culture of child care that includes the wider extended family. In recent years, the government and civil society has made steps to discourage orphanage care, although not in a coordinated fashion.

With the establishment of the Association for Family Based Care and government technical working groups, care reform within Kenya is getting traction and greater collaboration.

In addition there is a strong network of care leavers – people who grew up in orphanages and are now adults – in Kenya who are strong advocates of care reform. They bring a unique and personal perspective to the issue.

Read more about the current situation in Kenya:

Residential Child and Youth Care in a Developing World: Global Perspectives – Institutional Care for Children in Kenya

UNICEF: Taking Child Protection to the Next Level in Kenya

Models of care for orphaned and separated children and upholding children’s rights: cross-sectional evidence from western Kenya

UNICEF: Guidelines for the Alternative Family Care of Children in Kenya

Advocacy Efforts Propel Family-Based Care in Kenya

Alternative Care Alliance – Kenya

 

Kenya
48.4M

About 40% of the population is under age 14

2.4 million children are orphans, 47% are AIDS orphans

Approximately 30-45% of these orphans end up in charitable children’s institutions (CCIs), like orphanages.

Future

Teacher

Other Ways to Get Involved

Every child deserves a family and together we can Change the Way We Care by getting involved in any way that our time and resources allow. It doesn’t take much and there are so many small ways to make a difference!

Build-A-Bear

In collaboration with Build-A-Bear, you can support this global movement. Build-A-Bear developed a special “Hugs N’ Hope” bear, available exclusively at Build-A-Bear Workshops in conjunction with a Build-A-Bear Party experience.

Build-A-Bear