Islamic Relief in Kenya

Islamic Relief has been working in Kenya since 1993, when it initiated an orphan sponsorship programme to provide many of Kenya’s children with opportunities for a brighter future.

Currently we have projects which focus on the needs of the most vulnerable: children under five, pregnant women and nursing mothers. Our Orphan sponsorship programme has been the difference between life and death for many poverty-stricken children. In response to the food crisis in Kenya and the Horn of Africa, we provided clean water, healthcare and food and nutrition. Additionally, livelihood and education programmes were also implemented.

Current project:

Kenyans know that droughts are happening more and more often – they cannot continue to rely on emergency relief, which helps to save lives, but doesn’t protect them against the next impending crisis. Islamic Relief is helping families build lives and livelihoods which can survive a lack of water, offering a long-term solution to hunger in the face of drought:

New crops – most farmers are pastoralists, relying on animals, which cannot survive without water. We will help them to plant crops and vegetables which can survive droughts, and help them irrigate their land with water to start growing them.

New greenhouses – greenhouses are perfect for growing vegetables in areas without rivers, where water comes from wells and can be transported to the greenhouse. Not only will this help feed Kenyan families, but the surplus vegetables can be sold at the market as a source of income.

Protecting livestock from disease – we will vaccinate 360,000 animals against diseases which break out when drought or floods weaken their immune systems, helping them survive future disasters, and help farmers monitor their livestock for illness.

New jobs – farming is not the only way to make a living in Kenya – crafts and other items can be produced to sell at the market. These businesses don’t rely on rainfall to survive, so are perfect for drought-stricken Kenya; we will train women and young people in these skills and give them financial support to kick-start their new businesses.

Cash for work – in order for the new farming techniques to work, broken water points and irrigation systems need to be fixed. We will employ local people to do this work, and the salaries we pay them will help support their families – once the work is done, the skills they gained will help them get new jobs elsewhere.

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