While Kenya is in some ways one of Africa's success stories, its economy has been struggling for some years now, and poverty is a growing problem. Kenya relies on the export of primary goods, the value of which has fallen even lower in the past year. The knock-on effects of the economic problems are that the average life expectancy is only 45 years, 1 in 9 children will die before their fifth birthday, and 43% of people do not have access to clean water.
The situation has been exacerbated in recent years by the splintering of the coalition government over disagreements about the constitutional review process. The re-election of Prime Minister Kibaki in 2007 led to claims of vote rigging that unleashed two months of violence in which 1,500 people lost their lives. Whilst the recent UN-sponsored talks have resulted in the successful and peaceful election of Prime Minister Odinga, Kenya's industry suffered greatly during the time of political unrest, and has yet to make a full-recovery.
ActionAid  is a development charity with a strong commitment to working alongside local people and organisations in order to establish better rights for the world's poorest people, and the provision of basic needs that most in the developed world take for granted. More than that, ActionAid are committed to tackling the root causes of poverty and have made education, HIV and AIDS, food, emergencies, women and girls their main priorities.
Why not sponsor a child today, through ActionAid, and support the vital work they are doing in Kenya? It is very easy and can be done very quickly by visiting their website. Click here to start sponsoring a child today .
ActionAid has been working in Kenya since 1974, and it is currently active in the lives of over one million people. Its focus in Kenya is on livelihoods, water, health and education. For example, it works with farmers to improve the strength of their crop yields, and it provides credit and savings facilities to help new business start-ups. It works with communities to install well pumps that deliver safe, clean water, which has the knock-on effect of decreasing water-borne diseases.
ActionAid trains health workers in disease prevention techniques, and it supports mobile clinics that make monthly visits to each village. It has pioneered adult learning programs, and it works with Kenya's Ministry of Education to provide a system of education that fits around the work commitments of both adults and children.
In the 37 years since its inception, ActionAid has reached many millions people in Africa, Asia and the Americas, and it has developed a wealth expertise in fighting poverty. ActionAid partners with local organisations and recognises the need to work with communities on their own terms, and not to impose solutions. By getting to know the culture intimately ActionAid workers have the best possible opportunity to affect lasting end to poverty.
Sponsoring a child in Kenya  today will cost only 50 pence per day. Your money will also go towards development efforts in the town in which the child you sponsor lives. This will ensure the most efficient and effective use of your money.
As a child sponsor you will be able arrange a personal visit your child and will be able to communicate with them. You can also look forward to receiving special letters and drawings from them, including a new photograph every two years. Additionally, you get to see where and how your money is being spent by keeping in touch with your child's local ActionAid office, and through regular editions of Common Cause, ActionAid's newsletter.