Kenya Families Programme


Assisting very vulnerable families in Kakamega County, western Kenya, as well as some other areas in Kenya


Medium-term support with food, education, shelter, toilets and hygiene, training/business support, clothing and medical 

Why Kakamega, Kenya

We were shocked at the level of poverty and the living conditions of the people there when we went to first visit some poor families there in 2017 and felt compelled to help the people there.

– Kakamega  is one of the poorest counties in Kenya, whilst having a very high population density.

– Almost HALF of the population lives below the poverty line.

– Almost half of the population is younger than 15 years old.

– Approximately 1 in 5 have no formal education and less than that are in formal employment.

– There are high levels of addiction, family breakdown and absentee parents, with ageing grandparents looking after grandchildren without support.

– There are not many NGO’s or charities operating in this area of Kenya, far from the capital in the centre.

*Statistics from a 2013 Report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and Society for International Development (SID) and also extracted from an article by The Povertist, 7 December 2014

Introduction and Aims

We provide medium-term support to very vulnerable families referred to us by schools, other charities and our contacts. We assess them carefully. Most are headed by grandparents, disabled persons or abused / abandoned women.

We have two qualified social workers on the ground in Kakamega who work full time to help the families and carry out the services, as well as some volunteers in other areas of Kenya.

Our aim is to improve their quality of life, empower them, prevent the children ending up on the streets and instead help them to become valuable and independent members of society.

As families become independent of us, we wean them off and take on new families. We are currently helping more than 60 families. 100% of donations are spent directly on the field as our very minimal operating costs are covered by trustee donations.

How We Help and Our Impact

Monthly Food and Hygiene Supplies, Farming Help

Education and Vocational Training

Monthly Food and Hygiene Supplies, Farming Help

Every month the families are given maize flour (unga), rice, beans, soap, sugar, salt, oil, toothpaste and tea-leaves. These are bought wholesale. Beans and tea-leaves are bought from the market and distributed during regular home visits to check on the health and well-being of the families. This ensures that our families are healthy and have good hygiene.

We help the families grow traditional greens to ensure a nutritious diet. We also provide maize seeds and fertiliser to enable them to grow their own maize, a staple food, which is also used to make ugali.

We used to provide disposable pads, but in 2021 we switched to reusable PadMad pad kits that last for 5 years.

Education and Vocational Training

As of early 2021, we are supporting 75 children in 18 schools. We pay for school fees and school lunches. We also provide school uniforms, shoes, books, stationery, exam equipment and school bags. One disabled child is in a special boarding school and others will be enrolled soon.

We currently have 2 people in formal vocational training courses– for masonary and tailoring. These cost around £120 to £135 for a year’s fees, uniform, stationery and some equipment. Both have had a hard life and are doing very well with a bright future.

Another two are doing apprenticeship training through a local electrician with a good business, who has promised them work after they graduate in mid 2021. Our first trainee has already graduated as a hair stylist.


Shelter and Light


We have seen some cr@p toilets, and what is even worse, none at all!! We also take toilets seriously and have built new pit latrine toilets (with a bathing room) for most of the families we support in Kakamega and are still going.

They are always delighted and say to us that this is one thing that they could never have afforded even after many years of hard work. The impact on health and hygiene cannot be underestimated. Toilets, combined with clean water and good hygiene, form a strong defence against Covid and future disease outbreaks.

Shelter and Light

We have built new homes, and repaired or extended existing homes for some of our families and are still going. The homes are made of mud walls and iron sheet roofs, with a separate kitchen so that the smoke from cooking doesn’t damage the main house roof. Iron sheets rust over time and a lot of them are in urgent need of replacement as they leak in rainy weather.

A cement floor is a real luxury for our families but one that is so necessary to prevent jiggers which are unfortunately very common. We are slowly putting these in place, starting with the families most in need first.

We have also provided all our families with solar lamps due to a very successful appeal in 2020 and some very generous donations.

Medical Assistance

Clothing, Bedding, Toys, Books and Micro-Businesses

Medical Assistance

We have arranged hospital visits to treat epilepsy, nephrotic syndrome, elephantiasis, orthopaedics, dental issues, diabetes, urinary tract infections, cataracts, injuries, hip fractures, high blood pressure amongst other things. Once we have a diagnosis, we pay for treatment and any follow-up that is required.

We also supply monthly medicine where needed and treat jiggers ourselves (small insects that burrow into feet, lay eggs that hatch, cause intense itching and rot away feet- nasty!).

Some cases are easy to solve and others need long-term dedication such as with Grandma R who had a hip fracture and very sadly passed away despite all our efforts, and Fred (name changed), a sweet 6 year-old boy with nephrotic syndrome, a kidney condition that causes severe bodily swelling when it flares up (see middle photo). You can read more about him in our Impact Stories section.

Clothing, Bedding, Toys, Books and Micro-Businesses

We buy all our families clothing and shoes as most of them are dressed in very poor and torn clothing when we find them, with no shoes. Wearing shoes is very important to prevent worms and jiggers, and really makes a big improvement on the health of the family. We collected baby clothes for 3 new babies, and were supported by very generous donations.

We also provide them with mattresses, blankets and mosquito nets as they usually have worn-out and dirty bedding when we start supporting them. This also makes a huge impact on health due to the prevalence of malaria in the region, which the nets help prevent.

We have collected toy and book donations, and also bought toys for the children as they had nothing to do during the long break from school due to the Covid pandemic in 2020. They were so grateful!

We also support the families with micro-businesses so that they can earn their own living where possible. This is not straightforward as a lot of the older generation has not had proper schooling but we are trying our best to assist them towards self-sufficiency.