Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Somalia and Tanzania
slightly more than twice the size of Nevada
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2007 est.)
varies from tropical along coast to arid in interior
Kikuyu 22%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 12%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 6%, other African 15%, non-African (Asian, European, and Arab) 1%
English (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous languages
Protestant 45%, Roman Catholic 33%, Muslim 10%, indigenous beliefs 10%, other 2%
note: a large majority of Kenyans are Christian, but estimates for the percentage of the population that adheres to Islam or indigenous beliefs vary widely
40% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
50% (2000 est.)
Economy (Agriculture & Industry):
Economy: tea, coffee, corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruit, vegetables; dairy products, beef, pork, poultry, eggs small-scale consumer goods (plastic, furniture, batteries, textiles, clothing, soap, cigarettes, flour), agricultural products, horticulture, oil refining; aluminum, steel, lead; cement, commercial ship repair, tourism
Currency: Kenyan shilling
Family life In Kenya, ethnic identity is more important than national identity. Loyalty to the family is important to all groups. Whereas in American people are often concerned with the rights of individuals, in Kenya family members give up their individual rights in favor of the wishes of the group. The benefits of this social value are that the sick are cared for and elders remain part of the community. In the countryside, families live in homesteads with more than one house. There are usually four to six children per family. Sometimes a man will have two or more wives. Parents, young children and girls live in the main house, while the older boys and grandparents have their own hut. Women are always the busiest in the homestead. They cook, clean, collect firewood and water, care for children, farm and build their own homes. These homes are usually built with earth-brick walls, thatched roofs and a cement floor. Additional huts will be used as a kitchen and storeroom. There is an outside bathroom, which is shared by everyone. Oil is used for lighting lamps and cooking is done on open hearths. Many villagers listen to a radio to catch up on news or soccer scores. Televisions are expensive and electricity can be difficult to obtain. People like to meet in market places, at bars, at places of worship, at the water hole, or at the local chief's house.
Food: Kenyan food is a meeting of different cultures.
• A popular meal might be a meat dish, usually served as a stew, accompanied by potatoes, rice
• Ugali is a steamed corn meal, similar in texture to dough.
• The national drink is tea, or chai. Chai is prepared like a soup. Sugar, tea, ginger, and milk are added to cold water and the mixture is brought to a boil and served piping hot.
• Kenya's warm climate provides a delicious assortment of tropical fruits. Mangoes, known as maembe, paipai or papaya, pasheni or passion fruit, ndizi or bananas and stafeli or custard apples are widely available.
• Track and field athletes from Kenya have competed at Olympic levels with great success and are especially known for distance running.
• Soccer, called football, is the sport of choice for Kenyans.
Arts: The arts are often described as the soul of a country, and this is as true in Kenya as anywhere. Music is one of the most popular art forms. Songs often tell stories of family history, cultural events, wars, weddings and daily life.
Many Kenyans make beautiful crafts that they sell in the cities and to tourists. Woodcarvings are popular, either as small objects or as small pieces of furniture. Carvings in ebony, called makonde and in soapstone are also popular. Jewellery is made from seashells, brass, beads and gold.
Public holidays are a time to sing, dance and feast.
• Christmas on December 25,
• New Years Day on January 1 are celebrated with friends and relatives.
• Boxing Day : December 26
• Labour Day: May 1.
• Madaraka Day :June 1,
• October 10: Moi Day, named after their president
• October 20 : Kenyatta Day, named for the first president after independence.
• Jamhuri Day: December 12, anniversary of Kenya's independence
Orphans and at-risk children
There are over 2.3 million orphans in Kenya with 1.1 million orphans due to AIDS/HIV.
• Kenya ranks third highest in AIDS orphans in the world.
• 11% of Kenya’s child population has lost one or both parents.
• 9 out of 10 children living in poverty fail to complete basic education.
• About 40% of children ages 6-15 are part of the labor force in Kenya.
• Between 10,000 and 30,000 children have been victims of commercial sex trade.
• An estimated 60,000 street children live in Nairobi alone.
• 22% of children in Kenya are malnourished.
Buckner in Kenya
In 2001, Buckner was presented with the opportunity to assist with the mounting problems of orphans and needy families within the country. The first Bucker mission teams to Kenya arrived in 2002.
Buckner services and country support include:
• Operation of the Baptist Children’s Center in Nairobi (BCC) which comprises residential care, a school and a medical clinic.
• The medical clinic at the BCC serves people through HIV/AIDS and malaria treatments.
• A Foster Care program serving over 100 children.
• Financial assistance for each foster family caring for a child in Busia and Nairobi. The assistance is for food, medical care and school scholarships.
• Operation of a Child Development Center in Busia which comprises a school, humanitarian aid assistance, a water well and a medical clinic
• On-going humanitarian aid through volunteers that traveling to Kenya on mission trips.
The aid includes supplying shoes, school supplies and medicine.