Imagine a life spent living on the streets, no guarantee of food or shelter, constantly threatened with physical and sexual abuse, and no access to education. Now imagine you are 10 years old.
This is the unfortunate reality for thousands of orphaned, abandoned and abused children in Kenya today. Young girls (6-12 years old) are often forced to marry older men and must work as their slaves, laboring intensively, caring for livestock, carrying wood and water, and doing their husband's bidding.
Others are orphaned at a young age by HIV and tribal conflict or forced to run away from abusive homes and female genital mutilation – a practice that is still popular in some areas of the country. These children are targeted and sexually abused by both their older husbands and strangers who take advantage of their situation.
Unlike the government funded programs in other developed nations, there are very few, if any, places children can turn to for help in Kenya. Without the fundamentals to survive and the struggles and threats of everyday living, many live in a constant state of stress and fear. Their situation is dire.
Organizations like Friends of Kenyan Orphans provide the means for them to have a chance at a childhood, a life. We've experienced firsthand the impact a helping, loving hand has on the life of these children. The laughter, singing and fun of being a child returns once they feel safe, cared for and are given a chance at a future.
These children are strong and brave, but they can't realize their dreams without your help! You can provide support through a general donation or by sponsoring a child.