Our Story

Our Vision: An empowered, independent and resourceful society.
Our Mission: To instill the highest values for independence and self-reliance for comfortable and decent living.



 “It began with a visit to a community living along a railway line. What started out as a handful of people pulling together to help people living in poverty, grew into something much more. This is our story.”

September 2009

In September 2009 a group of five international volunteers and a local Kenyan mother visited an informal settlement of 6,000 people and starting thinking about how they could work together to create change. The group visited homes, talked to families, listened to stories and asked the community about their greatest needs.

The causes of poverty ran deep and the effects were even greater. Problems included food and nutrition, education, health, family planning, unemployment and sanitation. Each need was intertwined with the next. So where do you start? An idea began to take shape: to focus on vulnerable children. The group decided to join hands and start a new project called Kitendo Children’s Charity (KCC).

KCC began simply: feeding 100 children a healthy porridge, locally called uji, in an open field. Three Kenyan volunteers from the KCC informal settlement offered to help cook and teach, and a register of children aged 2-13 years was taken. Within the first two weeks plans to start a school were in place. Funds became one of the main challenges. The first classroom was built with donations from one of the founding volunteers and another from a volunteer’s mum in Australia, who shared the vision with her friends and raised support.

Initial project costs were all funded through individual donations. Volunteers covered food expenses (such as porridge, flour and sugar), as well as learning charts, school supplies and resources. Additionally, a London businessman helped KCC purchase and install a 1,000 litre water tank, as well as exercise books, pencils, chalk and dusters.

In October donations from a UK fundraiser enabled the building of a second classroom. By November desks were built, as well as a 35-feet-deep toilet hole. By the end of the year the toilets and a store were complete and two future classrooms were marked out for construction.

The first few months of Kitendo Children’s Charity were equally rewarding and challenging. Resources were limited and KCC volunteers were thanked with food parcels. Funding was not the only challenge. Other questions arose, such as how do children aged 3-13 sit and learn when they have never attended school? And with 700 children living in the KCC community, who gets to attend school? These questions were not easy, but they constantly drove the project forward, with the aim of growing a sustainable and capable community.


2010 was a busy year. Six of our oldest children were enrolled in a local government primary school, with KCC sponsoring all fees and supplies. The excitement amongst this first group of primary school scholars was immeasurable. Our Early Childhood Development (ECD) school grew as we brought on two more teachers and a full-time cook to deliver education and meals five days a week. Also, children’s malnutrition in the informal settlement prompted a new initiative: the supply of a spoonful of liquid multivitamins for every child in the morning. The results were amazing. Our kids experienced less sickness, higher red blood cell count, and they began to get better, faster.

Seeing that children were sitting on the ground at school, a local carpenter built desks and benches for our classrooms. This was a major upgrade that boosted student performance. We also launched our first child sponsorship programme, allowing us to expand the food to include rice, beans and vegetables. Sadly, in April 2010 the informal settlement suffered a fire that consumed 600 homes. Many of our children and families were affected.

Also in 2010, a new women’s empowerment programme was launched to help mothers generate income to feed their children. The group began to make paper bead jewellery from recycled magazines, with profits returning to the families, as well as to the ECD school.

Creating awareness was one of the key barriers to fundraising. A graphic designer offered their services to design KCC a logo. This gave KCC a visual identity and, combined with a growing online presence, helped increase fundraising. By the end of the year we were able to invest in one acre of land.


At the start of 2011 we enrolled twenty-five more children into a local government primary school. We had a new vision to build our own primary school and began fundraising towards this goal. We commissioned an architect to draw up plans for an eight-class school with a library, computer room, dining hall, kitchen, dorms and staff housing. Our ambitions for the future of KCC Programme continued to grow.

Two medical camps, in partnership with the local Ministry of Health, were sponsored that year, providing 700 patients with free health care. A new health education schools programme was launched in a local primary school, tackling reproductive health, drug and alcohol abuse, safe sex, nutrition, hygiene and life skills. Also, in 2011 KCC Programme was certified as an NGO (non-governmental organisation). We were also fortunate enough to be able to sponsor three of our ECD teachers to receive Early Childhood Development training at the certificate level.

With such ambitious dreams and goals, funding is always a challenge. In 2011 we launched our first t-shirt fundraising campaign; “This Shirt Feeds Kids In Kenya”. 60% of proceeds is invested directly back into the feeding and education programme.


The year began with 22 more children starting primary school and an increase in ECD enrolment. fire consumed 3,000 people’s homes. It was one the most significant disasters the community had experienced. By June most of the informal settlement had been rebuilt, with a small section of the community moving away for fear of future fires. Fire is unfortunately an all too familiar face in these poor, overpopulated communities.

A new garden was planted to produce vegetables for our feeding programme, increasing its long-term sustainability. Plans for the development of the one-acre plot were approved and construction began with the completion of a security wall, toilets, washrooms and a matron house.

Late in the year three New Zealand athletes spent a number of weeks volunteering with Kitendo Children’s Charity. World champions and Olympic rowing bronze medallists, Rebecca Scown and Juliette Haigh joined former All Black Norm Maxwell at Kitendo Children’s Charity, volunteering their time and advancing our efforts.


In 2013 we are looking to implement long-term sustainability mechanisms into Kitendo Children’s Charity activities so we can continue to run our programmes. One such initiative is investment in farming, with the goal of growing local crops to sell in the local marketplace. Other focuses this year include upgrading all the current ECD buildings, strategic planning, policy writing and strengthening the organisation, both on the field and back in the office.

Though rooted in an informal settlement in Naivasha, Kenya, KCC Programme would not be thriving without the support of friends, fathers and mothers, cooks and teachers, students, children, brothers and sisters, athletes, and complete strangers. Our diverse support both locally and internationally is a big part of our story. So thank you.