“Umoja” means unity in Kiswahili and we build our programs upon a foundation of people who have come together from different faith communities and different cultures to respond to the urgent needs of some of the most vulnerable children in the world.
Our partnership extends beyond an exchange of goods and services and now includes strong relationships established among youth and young adults, as well as women’s groups, in Kenya and Indiana.
In our project area, socioeconomic and demographic factors create needs for children different than what we experience in most areas of the United States.
- At least 20% of the school-aged children have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS and other diseases. When the Umoja Project started, it was reported that up to 50% of the student population were orphans.
- Most of the families we serve are involved in subsistence farming, which can be severely impacted by weather and environmental conditions such as drought, flooding, locusts and other infestations.
- The average income is $1.50 USD a day, earned by doing “casual jobs” that are not continuous employment: digging a garden, helping harvest, breaking rocks for gravel, digging sand. Families often struggle to obtain basic necessities.
- Access to education up to secondary school (what we call high school in the US) is just now becoming a goal of the Kenyan government; however, many children are unable to continue their education past primary school because they must help earn so that the family members can eat.
- Access to healthcare is rising in importance in Kenya; however, our students and their families have limited ability to access proper healthcare.
Kenya Statistics: WHO Accessed June 22, 2020
Total Population of Kenya
As of 2016
Gross national annual income per capita
PPP International dollars, as of 2013
64 – men
69 – women
Average life expectancy
As of 2016
Probability of death before age 5
Live Births, as of 2018
25.6% for men
18.4% for women
Probability of death between ages 15-60 years old
As of 2016
Total expenditure on health per capita
International dollars, as of 2014