Our Kenyan Kids was founded by Douglas A. Warren (at the time a Minister at Wall Street United Church in Brockville, Ontario) following a vacation to Kenya in January of 2004. A member of the Wall Street congregation had sent $200 with him, to be used for helping children as he saw fit.
After meeting some local individuals and making some inquiries, Doug was introduced to Gladwell Ngunjiri at the Nairobi Children’s Home.
He asked her what she felt they needed most. Without hesitation, Gladwell answered, “We need more people to love the children.” So, with the donated seed money, and a top up from Doug and his cousin, the first sponsored volunteer at NCH was hired.
Since then, Our Kenyan Kids has grown into its own corporation, becoming a registered charity in 2008. Our Kenyan Kids continues to address the needs of children and youth affected by poverty and/or HIV/Aids in Kenya. Many of the young children we support are orphaned or abandoned children living in rescue homes. Our work is focused in the Kawangware and Westlands districts of Nairobi, the districts of Embu and Nakuru, Kiambu County and the district of Turkana in northeastern Kenya.
Kenya faced a severe HIV/AIDS epidemic that continues to have a devastating impact on all sectors of society, even today. An estimated 1.5 million Kenyans are living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya. Another estimated 1.5 million have died from AIDS since 1984. More than 1.6 million children younger than 15 years of age (3.7% of the total population) have been orphaned through the death of their parent(s). Over 100,000 people continue to die from AIDS annually.When extended family members are unable to care for parentless children, they end up in children’s homes, orphanages, or trying to fend for themselves on the streets.
It would be easy to become overwhelmed by the great need of children in Kenya, but Our Kenyan Kids is inspired by the story of the starfish. We believe in making a difference one child at a time.