COVID in Kenia – Ein Bericht

COVID in Kenia

Emi­ly Wan­ji­ku Mwangi

15 Juli 2020

Save a Soul Child­ren Cent­re Pro­gress Report – 15th July 2020 



Des­pi­te child­ren not been the face of this pan­de­mic, they risk being the big­gest vic­tims. It’s a uni­ver­sal cri­sis and for some child­ren it will be felt for life long. Nega­ti­ve effects will be more dama­ging for child­ren in the poo­rest coun­tries and in the poo­rest neigh­bor­hoods and for tho­se in alrea­dy dis­ad­van­ta­ged vul­nerable situations.

More house­holds are being pushed to pover­ty. Child­ren that initi­al­ly had a sup­por­ti­ve insti­tu­ti­on, like Save a Soul Children’s Cen­ter have been for­ced to seek refu­ge in alrea­dy impo­ve­ris­hed homes. Vul­nerable fami­lies can­not afford some basics like food, water, health-care, and they risk of vio­lence, sexu­al abu­se and exploitation.

In Kenya, all schools are clo­sed, child­ren are encou­ra­ged to learn from home through tuto­ri­als, distance lear­ning devol­ved through radio and tele­vi­si­on and inter­net, but the fun­da­men­tal ques­ti­on is can child­ren from pover­ty stri­cken fami­lies afford or have access to the same? The ans­wer is NO. This lea­ves the child­ren qui­te vul­nerable with lack of lear­ned basic sur­vi­val skills pro­vi­ded by the teachers.


Save a Soul Manage­ment in Kenya has put all efforts to reach to all child­ren under the SAS Orga­niz­a­ti­on Care Pro­gram­me. Efforts to reach to all indi­vi­du­al child­ren poses a gre­at chal­len­ge espe­cial­ly becau­se there’s ces­sa­ti­on of move­ment in some are­as in Kenya whe­re Covid-19 has great­ly affec­ted the popu­la­ti­on. Majo­ri­ty of the kids are acces­sed through pho­ne calls and funds trans­fer. All child­ren in SAS Care Pro­gram are nee­dy. But clo­se moni­to­ring has shown that some are more vul­nerable than others.
Workers are regu­lar­ly visi­t­ing homes espe­cial­ly in Limu­ru area.
Some nota­ble con­cerns are high­ligh­ted here below.


SAS Child­ren Cent­re has 12 teena­ge girls. Accord­ing to a recent report by UNFPA (United Nati­ons Funds for Popu­la­ti­on Acti­vi­ties), sta­tes that, with the low – inco­me house­holds, some child­ren may be for­ced into inco­me – genera­ting acti­vi­ties to sup­port the fami­lies’ sur­vi­val. School clo­sure has stop­ped the pro­vi­si­on of school meals and sani­ta­ry towels which child­ren from dis­ad­van­ta­ged fami­lies depend on. This caries the risk of young girls enga­ging in tran­si­tio­nal sex, in-order to gain not only access to essen­ti­al needs but also to sup­port their families.

The­re is evi­dence that links pover­ty, lack of fami­ly sup­port and tran­si­tio­nal sex. Sexu­al vio­lence too is on an incre­a­se, pro­jec­ted during the Pandemic.

With this awa­reness, SAS care­gi­vers are reaching out to all our teena­ge girls to find out how best they are taking care and instil­ling life skills through per­so­na­li­zed pho­ne calls. This ser­ves as a remin­der of the life skills they learnt over time on disci­pli­ne and self-awareness.

The SAS girls too are sent funds to purcha­se sani­ta­ry towels. Most guar­di­ans have pro­mi­sed enhan­ced care for the girls. Most of our girls are enga­ged in home based acti­vi­ties, coo­king, clea­ning and taking care of their sib­lings. Tho­se from the rural are­as are enga­ged in far­ming and accom­pany­ing their par­ents to the farm.

The 13 SAS teena­ge boys are busy with spe­ci­fic acti­vi­ties like mason­ry, far­ming and shop atten­dants. This is qui­te posi­ti­ve becau­se they are assis­ting their par­ents and guar­di­ans with purcha­se of basic com­mo­di­ties, kee­ping them safe from mal­prac­ti­ces that can ruin their characters.


Most homes that we have visi­ted have pro­jec­ted enough child care sup­port satis­fac­to­ri­ly. But a spe­ci­fic case is of Han­nah Wan­ji­ku (16 years) in Ole Tipis Girls Natio­nal School, Form 2, Rift Val­ley.
She comes from a fami­ly of 9,( her mother and 8 sib­lings). Her father pas­sed on and her fami­ly was cha­sed from their ori­gi­nal home in the 2007 land clas­hes in Kenya. On com­ing to Ndei­ya- Limu­ru, the mother was given a small por­ti­on of land to build only 1 mud house with two rooms to live with her Child­ren. She has lived the­re for the past 12 years in a very dila­pi­da­ted despe­ra­te home. The home is slow­ly fal­ling and par­ti­al­ly rui­ned. To make mat­ters worse they have to bor­row a toi­let. Efforts to check how SAS can build for them a toi­let was ren­de­red futi­le becau­se of lack of space. This requi­res intervention.


Ano­t­her case of con­cern is whe­re the­re is chan­ge of guar­di­anship when the ori­gi­nal care­gi­ver of the child has pas­sed on. Dealing with grief and loss for most child­ren affects the kind of inti­ma­te rela­ti­ons­hips they deve­lop. SAS Manage­ment is awa­re that this can lead to long-term emo­tio­nal pro­blems, the­re­fo­re clo­se fol­low-up of our kids that have lost their clo­se loved ones is para­mount.
In the last 2 years, five SAS child­ren have lost their parents/​guardians. SAS manage­ment has con­ti­nued to sup­port the child­ren by iden­ti­fy­ing respon­si­ble guar­di­ans and ensu­re that they get all emo­tio­nal support:

  • Peter Mulei is under the care of his uncle after the mother pas­sed on due to HIV and AIDS.
  • Rapha­el Kinuthia is under the care of a clo­se rela­ti­ve to his late guardian.
  • Patrick Mbu­g­ua is under the care of his step-bro­ther after the father died of age rela­ted ailments.
  • Den­nis Mbu­g­ua is under the care of the sis­ters after the mother suc­cum­bed to cer­vi­cal cancer.

  • Dani­el Mwan­gi was adop­ted by the sis­ter to his mother after his mother died of H.I.V and AIDS rela­ted sickness.

SAS Manage­ment is very com­for­ta­ble with the new guar­di­ans and in the event that chal­len­ges may be expe­ri­en­ced, the manage­ment will always work clo­se­ly with fami­ly mem­bers to ensu­re that the child is very comfortable.


The SAS manage­ment adop­ted a fee­ding pro­gram that bene­fits 40 child­ren from the Cen­ter. Avail­ab­le funds that would have been spent at the Cen­ter If all child­ren who were accom­mo­da­ted, are now avai­led to indi­vi­du­al fami­lies in a share of Ksh. 5,000 per mon­th. This ensu­res that all fami­lies have enough food for the ent­i­re fami­ly. Cur­r­ent­ly Covid-19 has great­ly affec­ted life­styles and what is of impor­t­ance now is basic needs (water, food, clot­hing and security).

SAS Cen­ter has dis­tri­bu­t­ed all clothes from the reser­ve to all the kids to ensu­re that the child­ren are com­for­ta­ble and well-dres­sed at home.

As adver­se effects of Covid-19 con­ti­nue to hit our socie­ty hard, the­re is:

  1. Fear that lear­ners will for­get all they had learnt espe­cial­ly lower gra­des through con­ti­nued stay at home (14 SAS child­ren are in the lower grades).
  2. Child­ren will lack basic nume­ri­cal skills becau­se of lack of for­mal lear­ning till Janu­a­ry 2021.
  3. Child­ren will risk fati­gue and being drai­ned of inte­rest in learning.


The Government of Kenya, through the Depart­ment of Social Ser­vices, Children’s Office, has great­ly sup­por­ted re-inte­gra­ti­on pro­grams. They have done this through com­mu­ni­ty sen­si­tiz­a­ti­on, hol­ding of trai­ning and work­shops tar­ge­ting social workers and mana­gers of cha­ri­ta­ble children’s insti­tu­ti­ons. The trai­ning and work­shops empha­si­ze the impor­t­ance of home based care for orphans and vul­nerable child­ren with rela­ti­ves. The Government’s stand is that child­ren with rela­ti­ves should not be sepa­ra­ted from tho­se rela­ti­ves or sib­lings. Inter­ven­ti­ons should be made by orga­niz­a­ti­ons and insti­tu­ti­ons hel­ping vul­nerable child­ren to offer that care while they are in the fami­ly set-up.

Almost all of SAS child­ren have rela­ti­ves that care for them during re-inte­gra­ti­on pro­gram­mes. SAS manage­ment teams will work on deve­lo­p­ment of a school pro­gram­me that will have posi­ti­ve impact.


  • Vul­nerable child­ren sup­por­ted by out-reach pro­gram­mes are able to under­stand the strug­gles faced by their par­ents and rela­ti­ves as they endea­vor to pro­vi­de care and pro­tec­tion to them and their siblings.
  • Sin­ce the vul­nerable child­ren are sup­por­ted from home, the other sib­lings and fami­ly mem­bers are also uplifted sin­ce they bene­fit from the sup­port given by the institution.
  • The­re is no dis­con­nect from fami­ly mem­bers sin­ce the vul­nerable child­ren are not taken to ano­t­her loca­ti­on in-order for care to be pro­vi­ded to them.
  • Ano­t­her advan­ta­ge of out-reach pro­gram­mes is that more vul­nerable child­ren can be sup­por­ted sin­ce the ope­ra­tio­nal cos­ts are less.
  • Based on the ope­ra­tio­nal model of the out­re­ach pro­gram­me more vul­nerable child­ren and house­holds can be iden­ti­fied and tar­ge­ted to ulti­mate­ly bene­fit from the programme.
  • Vul­nerable child­ren will not suf­fer the effects of insti­tu­tio­na­liz­a­ti­on which is cau­sed by pro­lon­ged stay in a cha­ri­ta­ble children’s insti­tu­ti­on sin­ce they are in a fami­ly based struc­tu­re of care.


Let’s keep our child­ren in pray­ers. Repor­ted cases of sexu­al, phy­si­cal and men­tal abu­se on child­ren are on the rise during this Covid-19 Pan­de­mic. Fear that lear­ners will for­get all they had learnt espe­cial­ly child­ren in lower gra­des becau­se of con­ti­nued stay at home. The child­ren lack basic nume­ri­cal skills from kee­ping away from for­mal lear­ning till Janu­a­ry 2021. Child­ren risk fati­gue and drai­ned inte­rest in lear­ning. In Kenya, we are not out of the woods yet, in-fact it’s actual­ly the begin­ning of peak climb on Covid-19 Pandemic.

May the Lord pro­tect us all.


We thank God for his ama­zing power and work in our lives, we thank you for your good­ness and for his bles­sing over us. I take this oppor­tu­ni­ty to thank all Save A Soul fami­ly. Words can­not express how gra­te­ful we are. You are a won­der­ful fami­ly, friends and part­ners. We appre­cia­te your love, kind­ness, sup­port and gene­ro­si­ty. We are incredi­b­ly for­tu­n­a­te to work with you and for you.

Pray­ing for you always.

2nd Corin­thi­ans 4:15

And out of them shall pro­ceed thanks­gi­ving and the voice of them that make mer­ry, and I will mul­ti­ply them, and they shall not be few, I will also glo­ri­fy them, and they shall not be small.

Report Writ­ten by: Emi­ly Wan­ji­ku Mwan­gi – Pro­ject Mana­ger – Save A Soul Children’s Cen­ter – Ndei­ya, Limu­ru, Kiam­bu, Kenya.

COVID in Kenia – Ein Bericht
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