The Challenge

Life is terribly difficult in Kiang’ombe, located within Thika, Kenya. Nearly a quarter of the population lives on less than $1 per day. Unemployment is staggeringly high, generational poverty is a chronic reality, and disease is rampant.

Years of drought have had a serious impact on the well-being of Kenya’s children, increasing malnutrition rates, morbidity and mortality. Most days, mothers in the community search for work, leaving children alone all day. If lucky, a mom returns home with a dollar or two to cover the basic needs of her family.

The Ameena Project - The Challenge


Only about one-quarter of Kenyan women and men have completed primary school.


1 in 20 Kenyan children dies before their fifth birthday.


Over one-quarter of Kenyan children under five experience stunted growth because they don't have enough to eat.

Issues facing children in Kenya

  • Just over one-third (36%) of Kenyan households have electricity: 68% of urban households and 13% of rural households. Seven in ten households have an improved source of drinking water.
  • Less than one-quarter of Kenyan households have an improved, and not shared, toilet facility. An additional 30% have a shared toilet facility, while almost half (47%) have a non-improved facility or no facility at all.
  • About one-quarter of women and men have completed primary school, while 16% of women and 19% of men have completed secondary school.
  • Childhood mortality continues to decline in Kenya. Still, 1 in 20 children dies before their fifth birthday. In fact, life expectancy in Kenya is over eleven years shorter than that of the global average.
  • While Kiambu county, where Kiang’ombe is located, boasts a 95% basic vaccination rate for children 2 years and under, children of mothers lacking an education (as is common in Kiang’ombe) only have a 57% basic vaccination rate.
  • In Kenya, just over one-quarter of children under five are stunted, or too short for their age. This is a sign of chronic undernutrition.
  • Young children and pregnant women are at particular risk of malaria infection. Kiang’ombe is geographically located in a malaria zone. Only half of all young children and women sleep under an insecticide treated net.
  • In Kenya, 21% of women age 15-49 have been circumcised, but only 3% of girls who are currently under age 15 have been circumcised, indicating a decline of the practice.

Source: National Bureau of Statistics-Kenya and ICF International. 2015. 2014 KDHS Key Findings. Rockville, Maryland, USA: KNBS and ICF International.