Situated in East Africa, Kenya has a population of around 40 million inhabitants. About 56% of the population lives in extreme poverty conditions, with less than 1,5 USD per day, according to the latest report from the UN. More than 3 million people are estimated to be currently infected with HIV/AIDS, and about 2 million have already died due to HIV-related complications, leaving more than 2 million orphaned children behind. Child mortality has significantly increased since the 90’s, as well has the number of children affected by HIV/AIDS.


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Due to the post-electoral violence of 2007, thousands of Kenyans were forced to leave their homes, as they were burned down or destroyed, and move to IDP camps. The number of Internal Displaced Persons has reached more than 300,000 people coming from the Rift Valley and the slums in Nairobi area such as Kware, according to the UN reports.

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Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, has about 7 million inhabitants. More than 4 million live in “slums”, namely Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya and one of the biggest in Africa, with a population of almost 1 million slum dwellers. Besides Kibera, there are many other slums in Nairobi such as Mathare, Kangemi, Majengo, Mukuru, etc., but because they are not as "famous" as Kibera with its chocking, and highly doubtful, numbers (some organisations claim that Kibera has more than 2,5 million people, which is very unlikely), they receive little to no help or assistance from governmental and non-governmental organisations. 


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ADDHU in Kenya

In October 2007, the President and Founder of ADDHU, Laura Vasconcellos, travelled to Kenya on her first field mission in this country, the first of many to come... During two weeks, she came in contact with the reality of Kenya, a reality tat is not shown by the itineraries of the famous safaris and touristic circuits which have turned Kenya into one of Africa’s most visited countries, a hard and cruel reality which was shown to her by Mr. Armstrong O'Brian Ongera Jr., President and Founder of the AID Kenya Foundation, a small Kenyan NGO who works in the field of democracy, human rights promotion and advocacy, which appealed to ADDHU asking for help and assistance.

In order to set priorities and establish an action plan, Laura Vasconcellos visited several regions of the country and distributed about 2,000 packs of sanitary pads generously donated by a Portuguese company (Renova), who continues to support ADDHU’s work with regular donations.

Laura’s visit started by the “slums” of Nairobi, namely Kibera, Kitui Ndogo, Kamukunji and Kware.


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In the region of Kisii, an extremely poor and remote rural area of the country, highly affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, Laura visited several villages where she talked to the local populations in order to determine their most urgent needs, such as basic sanitation systems and proper drinking water, healthcare centers, schools and orphanages, among many others as these populations live in extreme poverty conditions. Although it is forbidden by law in Kenya, 98% of young girls and women of the region of Kisii are subjected to the Female Genital Mutilation, a procedure that involves the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. This is not only a serious violation of these women and girls’ rights, but also a real threat to their health.


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The following priorities and intervention areas were established:

  1. To provide food, education and healthcare to children from Nairobi’s slums, namely orphaned children, victims of HIV/AIDS or HIV positive children;

  2. To recruit volunteers in order to assist and support orphanages, schools and healthcare centers;

  3. To implement prevention and counseling campaigns and programs regarding HIV and also against Female Genital Mutilation;

  4. To provide hygiene products to women and young girls from the slums, poor rural areas and IDP camps, raising awareness towards the importance of hygiene;

  5. To conceive and implement water projects in Kenya’s poor rural areas, promoting a sustainable development of the local populations and communities.


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See more photos

See the Portuguese TV documentary about Wanalea Children’s Home - Centre for Orphans in Nairobi