There are plenty of children who find themselves in the unfortunate circumstances of not having people to love, provide, and take care of them. Some of these children are orphaned and get mistreated by their guardians. Some simply become burdens on their parents or guardians who are too poor to look after them so they are forced to strike out on their own. Whatever these circumstances are, these children are in need of love and care.

Children who never get to be children grow up to have tumultuous lives – and they have it extremely hard in a place like Africa, which can be harsh for any Westerner to live in…much more to a lone child. Most of them will never get to play on a swing that was painstakingly chosen by schools or by government agencies to be the best choice for kids.

Kenya is no stranger to the plight of the hundreds of thousands of children who grow up abandoned and alone in a world that can be very extremely harsh at times. Fortunately, many non-governmental organisations have stepped in to lend a hand to these children. They include, but are not limited to the following.

1. Undugu Society of Kenya

USK is an NGO working in Kenya to provide shelter and rehabilitation for homeless and street children. It was started in 1973 by a Dutch priest called Fr. Andy Grol who was working in Nairobi. USK opened other offices in western and eastern Kenya. USK’s focal point has been rehabilitating street children and children protection.

2. Kenya Community Development Foundation

KCDF was formed in 1997 as an organisation to help communities initiate setup and dive their development agenda through different livelihood and capacity building projects. One of their focal points is children education and youth development. KCDF supports projects aimed at uplifting the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children. This includes improving the livelihoods of their guardians so that they are able to get better care.

3. Childline Kenya

Childline Kenya is an NGO that was formed by collaborating interests of SOS children’s villages, Plan International and Kenya Alliance for the Advancement of Children. It was formed as a response to the inadequate protection of vulnerable children.

The focal point of Childline Kenya is offering prompt assistance to children in dire and distressing situations. This is done through a helpline with the toll free number 0800 221 0800. The organisation follows up reported cases and puts the child in protective care with one of their partners. Childline runs a referral network for this purpose.

4. Child Rescue Kenya

CRK is an NGO operating in Rift valley and Western regions of Kenya. This NGO was registered as a chapter of the international NGO International Childcare Trust. locally it became Njia Panda ya Tumaini and finally Child Rescue Kenya. This NGO focuses on reuniting children who have ran away from their homes with their families.

5. Save the Children (Kenya)

This is the Kenyan chapter of the international NGO Save the Children. This NGO works in humanitarian crisis situations coming to the aid of children who cannot access nutrition and healthcare. In Kenya, Save the Children works in refugee camps providing shelter, food and other basic needs to refugee children.

That’s 5 of the leading NGOs in Kenya for children – we’ll take a look at more in the future.