Kenya

Date of foundation of the YMCA: 1910 Full/Associate/Related Membership in the World Alliance of YMCAs: Full Member Full member of the World Alliance of YMCAs since: 1961 Number of local Associations Number of total members and participants (all over the country): 500,000 Men: 275,000 Women: 225,000 Under 30: 300,000

Descriptions

Mission Statement
Kenya YMCA is a charitable organisation committed to the improvement of the quality of life of all people both in rural and urban areas. It is voluntary, non-denominational and non-profit organisation. YMCA attracts members from every religion, race, and background, be they men or women young or old, recognising the brotherhood of the human race and the richness of the experience of coming together to share experiences, resources and information for mutual benefit. Drawn from the Paris Basis and the Kampala Principles, the mission of Kenya YMCA is “to unite those young people who, regarding Jesus Christ as their God and saviour according to the Holy scriptures, desire to be His disciples in their faith and in their life and to associate their efforts for the extension of His kingdom amongst young people.” The purpose of the Kenya YMCA is to attract, bring together and develop members who will spearhead the rendering of Christian service to youth and the community to enable them achieve their foremost needs. In line with the mission of the worldwide movement, Kenya YMCA seeks to develop people in the three dimensions of body, soul and spirit. It provides opportunities to develop their resources of body, soul and spirit helping them to reach their full potential and encouraging them to render service to the community. YMCA is committed to pursuing economic and social justice for all with a greater emphasis on youth women and children. It seeks to do this through the provision of training opportunities and support of community development projects as a way of enhancing the chances of economic survival for marginalised and vulnerable groups in society. We seek to avail to as many people as possible the opportunity to realise their full potential and enjoy a full life believing that this is the core of our Christian mission. We encourage the local communities to come together and identify their common needs and suggest how the same can be met. It is then that YMCA moves in as a facilitator to support and enable them meet these needs. This ensures that the projects we are involved in remain projects of the local communities hence continuous grassroots support is guaranteed. Through their participation in our programmes local communities are able to achieve economic development and better living standards. It is this involvement of the local people that makes Kenya YMCA a unique organisation. Through participating in our programmes, young and old people alike are able to acquire different skills, greater awareness, improved social standards and development of personal resources of mind body and spirit. YMCA believes in working together with all others, who seek through their efforts and programmes to improve the living conditions of our society and who share our commitment to social and economic justice for all people everywhere.
History
The YMCA was first established in Nairobi in 1910 as a provincial council of the British YMCA but was discontinued in 1932 due to lack of funds and leadership. The government took over the building; property assets were sold and proceeds held by the government against the re-establishment of the YMCA. It was not until 1943 that work was done again in the name of YMCA. Through the War Prisoners’ Aid of the World Alliance, the YMCA began work among the Italian prisoners of war in some 58 camps in Kenya. In 1947 the Government provided an excellent site for a new building which was dedicated in 1950, providing hostel accommodation for 130 young people. The Nairobi centre was enlarged in 1961 and the National council of Kenya YMCA was launched. In 1964 a National council building and a prayer house were erected. Today, the Nairobi Central Branch stands in the same grounds. Since its inauguration, the National Movement has grown and expanded to many parts of the country. It has centres in all the provinces except one, hence acquiring a real national outlook. It consists of 31 local branches, which operate under the direction of the National General Secretary and the National Executive Committee. The Shauri Moyo centre started as boys’ club in the early 1950’s has grown tremendously. It now consists of a hostel with a capacity of 100 beds, a gymnasium, our largest vocational training centre and a public library. The centre is one of the most active around the country with a membership exceeding 1000. On a 20-acre plot of land near Lake Naivasha donated to the YMCA in 1960, stands a campsite with excellent accommodation and recreational facilities. Known as the Naivasha YMCA camp, it is a popular resort in the area, attracting both local and foreign tourists. Trips to the nearby Hell’s Gate, Lake Nakuru and other tourist sites in the region can be arranged from this camp. The Limuru Farm Training School which opened in 1962 to train young Africans in modern farming methods has developed to an Agricultural Training Centre for both boys and girls from all over the country. The centre, known as Limuru Agricultural Youth Centre offers a two-year course and caters for 96 youths at any one time, taken from poor families throughout Kenya. The Kenya YMCA is committed to providing this training to needy youth as a way of liberating the individuals and their families economically. The graduates are able to obtain employment in the agricultural sector where their training and capability is well recognised. Other Vocational Training Centres have been established in most of our branches making vocational training one of our major programmes today. The courses have diversified to include computers (Information Technology) secretarial studies and accounting. The YMCA has received considerable support from the government and local authorities. This has enabled us acquire plots on which we have set up centres throughout the country. Most of these centres are fully operational offering different services and facilities to the community and are manned by full time staff. The rest, which also offer different programmes in line with our mission are managed by volunteers. Kenya YMCA over the years made an invaluable contribution to the lives of many young people in Kenya. Many of the youth who received assistance through the children sponsorship programme in the 1970s and 1980s are now working in various fields and are active members of this organisation.
Programmes
As the country has continued to change both socially and economically, YMCA has continued to review its programmes in order to remain relevant to the community and to meet their most urgent needs. Projects are initiated, implemented and managed by the local branches in conjunction with the local community while the National secretariat assumes the role of guidance, co-ordination, facilitation and supervision. By organising the projects at the branch level Kenya YMCA ensures that the projects are people driven and that they serve the specific needs of the local communities which are as varied as the diversity of the communities we serve. Kenya YMCA is involved in food security and income generating programmes in agriculture, bee-keeping and fish farming in rural Kenya in order to ensure that the local communities are self sufficient in food production. They are encouraged to produce a surplus, which can earn them some income. We also run water projects and environmental conservation in different parts of the country. YMCA is also involved in the provision of early childhood education especially in the low-income slums of the major cities and towns. This programme also includes a feeding programme for these children most of whom can hardly afford the basic necessities of life. The need in this area continues to be greater than we can meet owing to the increasing levels of poverty. In addition, we run rehabilitation centres and feeding programmes for street children and many destitute children who include Aids orphans. Kenya YMCA continues to offer vocational training in different trades to the youth and has expanded the programme to cover more than half of our branch network. The course content has also been revised to include accounting and Information Technology, which are on high demand in the current economic environment. We continue to provide different recreational facilities in the form of indoor and out door games as well as adventurous camping opportunities all over Kenya for the youth. Our Hostels provide quality and affordable accommodations for students, low cost tourists and young people in general. There are also conference facilities and outside catering services. On the problem of Aids which has been declared a national disaster in Kenya, the YMCA runs an Anti-Aids campaign though drama, puppetry seminars and workshops. YMCA also runs community primary health care programmes and clinics in a number of our Branches. The need for affordable medical services has increased tremendously owing to the exorbitant fee charged in government and private hospitals. Our youths continue to enjoy international exchange programmes in different parts of the world. These programmes have proved to be a major attraction to the youth as they provide memorable experiences for those that participate, which they are able to share with others on return. YMCA also offers programmes for spiritual nourishment in the form of Bible study, prayer meetings and devotions. The purpose of the Kenya YMCA is to attract, bring together and develop members who will spearhead the rendering of Christian service to youth and the community to enable them achieve their foremost needs. In line with the mission of the worldwide movement, Kenya YMCA seeks to develop people in the three dimensions of body, soul and spirit. It provides opportunities to develop their resources of body, soul and spirit helping them to reach their full potential and encouraging them to render service to the community. YMCA is committed to pursuing economic and social justice for all with a greater emphasis on youth women and children. It seeks to do this through the provision of training opportunities and support of community development projects as a way of enhancing the chances of economic survival for marginalised and vulnerable groups in society. We seek to avail to as many people as possible the opportunity to realise their full potential and enjoy a full life believing that this is the core of our Christian mission. We encourage the local communities to come together and identify their common needs and suggest how the same can be met. It is then that YMCA moves in as a facilitator to support and enable them meet these needs. This ensures that the projects we are involved in remain projects of the local communities hence continuous grassroots support is guaranteed. Through their participation in our programmes local communities are able to achieve economic development and better living standards. It is this involvement of the local people that makes Kenya YMCA a unique organisation. Through participating in our programmes, young and old people alike are able to acquire different skills, greater awareness, improved social standards and development of personal resources of mind body and spirit. YMCA believes in working together with all others, who seek through their efforts and programmes to improve the living conditions of our society and who share our commitment to social and economic justice for all people everywhere.
Country Profile
Founding president and liberation struggle icon Jomo KENYATTA led Kenya from independence in 1963 until his death in 1978, when President Daniel Toroitich arap MOI took power in a constitutional succession. The country was a de facto one-party state from 1969 until 1982 when the ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU) made itself the sole legal party in Kenya. MOI acceded to internal and external pressure for political liberalization in late 1991. The ethnically fractured opposition failed to dislodge KANU from power in elections in 1992 and 1997, which were marred by violence and fraud, but were viewed as having generally reflected the will of the Kenyan people. President MOI stepped down in December 2002 following fair and peaceful elections. Mwai KIBAKI, running as the candidate of the multiethnic, united opposition group, the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), defeated KANU candidate Uhuru KENYATTA and assumed the presidency following a campaign centered on an anticorruption platform. KIBAKI’s NARC coalition splintered in 2005 over the constitutional review process. Government defectors joined with KANU to form a new opposition coalition, the Orange Democratic Movement, which defeated the government’s draft constitution in a popular referendum in November 2005. KIBAKI’s reelection in December 2007 brought charges of vote rigging from ODM candidate Raila ODINGA and unleashed two months of violence in which as many as 1,500 people died. UN-sponsored talks in late February produced a powersharing accord bringing ODINGA into the government in the restored position of prime minister. Population: 39,002,772 Age Structure: 0-14 years: 42.3% (male 8,300,393/female 8,181,898) 15-64 years: 55.1% (male 10,784,119/female 10,702,999) 65 years and over: 2.6% (male 470,218/female 563,145) (2009 est.) Birth Rate: 36.64 births/1,000 population (2009 est.) Death Rate: 9.72 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.) Infant mortality Rate: total: 54.7 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 45 male: 57.56 deaths/1,000 live births female: 51.78 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.) Life Expectancy: total population: 57.86 years country comparison to the world: 189 male: 57.49 years female: 58.24 years (2009 est.) HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: 6.7% (2003 est.) HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 1.2 million (2003 est.) HIV/AIDS – deaths: 150,000 (2003 est.) Ethnic Groups: Kikuyu 22%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 12%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 6%, other African 15%, non-African (Asian, European, and Arab) 1% Religions: Protestant 45%, Roman Catholic 33%, Muslim 10%, indigenous beliefs 10%, other 2% note: a large majority of Kenyans are Christian, but estimates for the percentage of the population that adheres to Islam or indigenous beliefs vary widely Languages: English (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous languages Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 85.1% male: 90.6% female: 79.7% (2003 est.) Government Type: republic Capital: Nairobi Geographic coordinates: 1 17 S, 36 49 E Time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time) Independence: 12 December 1963 (from the UK) Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal Currency: Kenyan shillings (KES) Population below poverty line: 50% (2000 est.) Transnational Issues: Disputes – international: Kenya served as an important mediator in brokering Sudan’s north-south separation in February 2005; Kenya provides shelter to almost a quarter of a million refugees, including Ugandans who flee across the border periodically to seek protection from Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels; Kenya works hard to prevent the clan and militia fighting in Somalia from spreading across the border, which has long been open to nomadic pastoralists; the boundary that separates Kenya’s and Sudan’s sovereignty is unclear in the “Ilemi Triangle,” which Kenya has administered since colonial times Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 173,702 (Somalia); 73,004 (Sudan); 16,428 (Ethiopia) IDPs: 250,000-400,000 (2007 post-election violence; KANU attacks on opposition tribal groups in 1990s) (2007) Illicit drugs: widespread harvesting of small plots of marijuana; transit country for South Asian heroin destined for Europe and North America; Indian methaqualone also transits on way to South Africa; significant potential for money-laundering activity given the country’s status as a regional financial center; massive corruption, and relatively high levels of narcotics-associated activities **Information retreived from CIA – The World Factbook: www.cia.gov
Contact
National General Secretary: Mr Jared Musima, jmusima@yahoo.com State House Road National Council of Kenya YMCA P O Box 30330-00100 Nairobi KENYA Tel: 254 – 2 – 2724116/7 /4070/72 63 98 Fax: 254 – 2 – 2728825 Office Email: kenyaymca@wananchi.com