Why Kenya?

The Umoja team is frequently asked why we choose to help children in Kenya and not in Australia.

We feel that Australia shares a collective responsibility in assisting the developing world
Umoja advocates for social justice in its many forms and acknowledge the many worthy children’s charities already operating in Australia that you may wish to support, including Variety, Make-A-Wish, Barnardos, and Save the Children Australia.The Australian Government also provide a lot of assistance to disadvantaged families and individuals through Centrelink. While the Kenyan Government are trying to provide financial support to orphaned and vulnerable children through the cash transfer program, the scale of poverty means they can do very little. Non-profit organisations therefore provide the majority of care and support to OVCs in Kenya.

As a first-world country we are in the position to provide support to one of the world’s poorest regions.

The magnitude of the poverty crisis cannot be ignored

The Kenyan Government estimates that there are over 2 million orphaned and vulnerable children living in Kenya. In the past, orphaned children were taken in by extended family members; however, the current socio-economic climate has made this difficult, resulting in many children being abandoned. Here are some facts about Kenya:

  • HIV represents one of the greatest challenges facing Kenyan people.(NACC)
  • More than 1 million people have lost one or both parents to HIV or AIDS (World Vision
  • Over half the population live below the poverty line (World Vision)

In 2010 Cathy Booth, founder of Umoja, witnessed poverty in Kenya on a scale that you would never see in Australia. She saw children scavenging for food like dogs instead of eating three meals a day. She saw children lying in the dirt on coconut husks instead of beds. She saw children begging instead of playing.

After Cathy returned to Australia she was unable to forget the horrible scenes she saw, so she made a commitment to help.

Early intervention can help break the cycle of poverty

It is easy to ignore the problems in Kenya and say they are too big for us to make a difference. Cathy has volunteered in children’s homes in Kenya and has seen the difference that organisations such as ours can make. By helping vulnerable children we can stop them from becoming orphans. By hiring staff from the local community we can help them support their families and provide for their own children. And by helping orphans we can give children a second chance at life and at reaching their full potential.

To make such a difference we rely on the support of individuals, small groups, and businesses. Together we can achieve the extraordinary.

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Member of Rotary

Umoja Orphanage Kenya is a Project of the Sunrise Rotary Club Bundaberg 
RAWCS Project Number 51/2011-12
Umoja's founder Cathy is a member of Fitzroy Rotary Club District 9570

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