Kenya is the primary financial and communications hub of East Africa. It also serves as the regional headquarters for HelpAge International's work in Africa.

Despite its strategic importance, many Kenyans live in poverty and have inadequate access to education, health services and food. Kenya, like other African countries, has also struggled with the HIV and AIDS epidemic.

There are currently 1.1 million children orphaned by HIV and AIDS in the country, many of whom are cared for by their grandparents or older people in the community.

Working closely with partners, we:

  • carry out HIV and AIDS education
  • campaign on pensions and older people's rights
  • raise awareness on cataract prevention
  • educate the younger generation on the contributions older people make
  • support an older citizens monitoring program - in which older people record whether peers are getting social benefits
  • co-ordinate self-help groups through which older people can get food, blankets, medical supplies, and cash payments, or even develop skills that could earn them an income.

In recent years we have focused on:

• Contributing to the reduction of poverty in the four poorest Arid and Semi-Arid lands by increasing accountability of stakeholders (including the Kenyan government) in the delivery of HSNP (Hunger Safety Net Program) unconditional cash transfers.

• Increasing the ability of poor and marginalized Kenyans to access HSNP cash transfers.

• Contributing to the disaster risk reduction (DRR) capacity of Mandera North and Mandera County.

Our accomplishments include:

• Helping older people in drought-stricken areas by providing food and other necessary items.

• Lobbying the Kenyan government to increase the amount allocated to the Older People's Cash Transfer program to Kshs. 1 billion.

Raising awareness through the media on witchcraft accusations against older people, especially women.

What next?

• We will continue to offer grants and loans so that older people can rebuild their livelihoods and become more resilient if future natural disasters occur.

• We will build the capacity of older people's committees and encourage the formation of new ones so as to strengthen the voice of older people to challenge age discrimination.

• We will continue to work with humanitarian organizations operating in Kenya, to make sure older people's specific needs are included in emergency responses.

• We will continue to make sure that older people are included in HIV and AIDS programs, and improve the quality of health and care services for older people and those they support.

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