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Trócaire’s work in Kenya develops sustainable livelihoods, supports victims of gender based violence, promotes democracy and peaceful co-existence, and helps communities prepare for and respond to natural disasters.

Teresina Karini (45) farms her drought-prone land in Tharaka Nithi, Kenya

Teresina Karini on her drought-prone land in Tharaka Nithi, Kenya.

Key Facts

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Trócaire started working in Kenya in mid 1970s, and set up our Nairobi office in 1994

Health & other benefits


Benefitted from Trócaire's programmes in Kenya in the last year

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Justice and Human Rights, Food and Resource Rights, Women's Empowerment, Humanitarian Response

Trócaire's Work in Kenya

Trócaire started working in Kenya in mid 1970s, and set up our Nairobi office in 1994.

Since our initial work, we have expanded our programme activities into the informal slum areas of Nairobi and Nakuru, as well as working in the arid lands of Turkana and East Pokot in Baringo County.

We also work in the semi-arid areas of Embu, Kitui and Tharaka Nithi supporting families to sustain themselves in the face of climate change and recurring droughts.

We have relationships with over twenty local partner organisations across all levels of Kenyan society thus ensuring that our work addresses not only the symptoms of poverty and marginalisation but also addresses the underlying causes of such poverty.

Trócaire works across four programme areas in Kenya: 

1. Human Rights and Democratic Space

In the context of current devolution reforms underway as a result of a new constitution (2010), our work in this area promotes more accountable and responsive governance.

It seeks to improve the protection of human rights and access to social services for marginalised groups especially youth, women and children.

We also support conflict resolution work for communities adversely affected by political and ethnic violence.

2. Food and Resource Rights

This programme provides knowledge, training and support for more sustainable livelihoods in some of the most precarious climate change-affected arid regions of Kenya.

Our partners help families and communities at risk of drought and famine to be more food secure as well as working to improve their resilience in the face of such risks.

We also work with local communities and those in power to address the growing abuse of fragile natural resources which is having a devastating affect on the ability of communities to sustain themselves.

3. Women's Empowerment

Our Integrated Gender and HIV (IGH) work seeks to challenge gender inequality and primarily focuses on the empowerment and protection of women and girls at risk of violence, abuse and HIV infection.

We support several clinics in city slum areas which provide treatment and care to poor communities. We work on raising awareness and knowledge about women’s rights in communities as well as promoting the enactment and implementation of laws and policies that support gender equality. Men and boys are also targeted as agents of change in order to address some of the gender norms that can be barriers to changing attitudes and behaviour.

4. Humanitarian Response

Drought has badly affected parts of northern Kenya.  

5.6 million people in Kenya have been affected by the drought, 3.4 million people of whom are food insecure. 2.6 million people are now facing severe food insecurity, amongst them 500,000 of whom are facing life threatening ‘emergency’ levels of food insecurity.

A total of 369,277 children in the arid and semi-arid counties of Kenya now require urgent lifesaving treatment for acute malnutrition. 

Trócaire's response is concentrated in particularly hard-hit areas including Baringo and Turkana, as well as semi-arid areas of eastern Kenya.

With Trócaire's support nearly 14,000 households are receiving food rations and other support. 4,800 of the most affected and vulnerable households in the northern region are also being targeted with cash transfers to support their households.

8,000 children at risk of malnutrition have already been reached with high energy nutritional food distributed through health facilities.

Elsewhere with Trócaire support, the Diocese of Meru is undertaking vaccination of 10,000 livestock, to try to keep animals healthy and protect pastoralist livelihoods.

Kenya Resources

Updates from Kenya

Kenya Videos

WATCH: 'We are Kenya' this film looks at Trócaire's peace building work in Kenya to reduce the conflict between tribes which has broken out in recent years around the country's general election.

WATCH: Report on situation in Kenya and Trócaire’s response, May 2017.

WATCH: 'Nurtured with Love' a Trócaire-funded video about the work of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa in the Love and Hope Centre in Nakuru in Kenya.

Kenya: Country Context

Kenya has the biggest economy in East Africa, and was a relatively peaceful country until the elections of 2007. The results of this vote were disputed, leading to conflict and political unrest. Over 1,500 people were killed and another 500,000 left their homes to escape the violence.

Although a new constitution was introduced in 2010, ethnic and political tensions over resources and boundaries still exist particularly in the north of Kenya and the country is vulnerable to attack from radical Islamist groups.

More than 43% of the population live in poverty on less than $2 per day, with many very reliant on subsistence farming to feed themselves. Poverty rates are far higher in arid and semi-arid regions, where over 60% of people live on less than $1 a day.

In addition, over 6% of Kenyan adults live with HIV and that number is over 12% in urban slums.

Rural migration to cities, often driven by the effects of climate change and severe poverty, is a growing concern as many are forced to live in the country’s growing urban slum areas. This exposes millions of people, particularly women, to extreme poverty, abuse and violence.