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 and registered charity, addressing the needs of poor and sick children and young adults in Kenya. Our Kenyan Kids focuses its efforts mostly in the slums, in the Westlands district of Nairobi, the districts of Embu & Mwingi, and the district bordering the Kibera slum in Kawangware.
Kenya faces a severe HIV/AIDS epidemic that continues to have a devastating impact on all sectors of society. According to the UNAIDS 2013 data, the number of people in Kenya living with HIV is 1,600,000; which includes 820,000 women and 190,000 children under the age of 14. Also in 2013 there were 58,000 deaths and 1,100,000 orphans due to AIDS.
It is easily determined that the most vulnerable victims in all of this are the children and youth of Kenya. 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.