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Home to mesmerizing natural wonders and incredible people, Kenya displays a great concentration of biological and cultural diversity. During the post-colonial era, the country struggled with rampant political corruption, leading to the present situation where nearly 30 percent of the population lives on less than $1 per day. Poverty has been steadily increasing throughout Kenya since 1980, immobilizing development in education, gender equality, HIV/AIDS reduction, environmental stewardship, basic infrastructure, and maternal health. Although Kenya is seen as an economic engine and anchor of stability in East Africa, due to a strong private sector, infrastructure, and financial services, it has experienced devastating internal instability due to the disputed 2007 elections. The post-election violence particularly impacted the educational system, as schools were destroyed or turned into camps for internally displaced persons.
Mombasa (pop. 900,000) is the second largest city in the country and is known for its cultural diversity, breathtaking white sand beaches, and international trade. Mombasa is challenged with a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, and also deals with severe issues of water pollution, waste management, slums, malaria, unemployment, and thousands of orphaned children due to the AIDS epidemic.
In contrast to the swirl of African, Indian, and Arab cultures of the Kenyan coast, Kakamega town (pop. 60,000) offers a more authentic representation of East African village life. Situated in the western part of the country near Lake Victoria, the region features a world-renowned rainforest and many other spectacular attractions for adventurers. Despite the tourism trade, two-thirds of the region's population falls below the poverty line and has minimal access to resources.
FSD invests in Kenyan grassroots partners who are working on the frontlines 365 days a year to end the cycle of poverty in their communities. We provide our partners with grants and key training to ensure their goals are practical, sustainable, and minimize external aid dependency.
We also work with students, professionals, and donors from the US and other western nations to share knowledge on ethical approaches to international development, which respect and preserve the voice, knowledge, and culture of the communities we serve.