Safeworld Field Partners

Compassion CBO

Compassion-CBOCompassion CBO founder meeting with the members of Kabae guardian women's group, all grandmothers, taking care of orphans.

Compassion Community Based Organisation

Compassion CBO is a grassroots, not-for-profit Community Based Organisation (CBO).

The organisation operates in Nairobi Metropolitan Which occupies an area of 32,000 square kilometers (twice the size of Frankfurt metropolitan) with an estimated population of over 6.7 million people, according to the 2009 national population census.

Other areas of operation are the north eastern and eastern provinces of Kenya.

It was formed to eradicate poverty through education and sustainable development among women living in the slums and rural areas of Kenya, and to rehabilitate orphans and vulnerable children.

Activities include eradication of poverty through education and sustainable development among children, women and youth living under extreme desperation due to a high-level of poverty contributed by different factors like Illiteracy, HIV/AIDS, bad governance, and environmental factors.

Women are often deprived of a livelihood due to deep seated poverty. Compassion CBO is committed to transform the lives of children through education, and income-generating activities for women and youth to reduce extreme desperation, and to develop long-term and sustainable solutions to poverty.

The organisation focuses on the following thematic areas in the society: economic empowerment, education, advocacy and lobbying for the rights of women and children, and for the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Beneficiaries are women and children living under abject poverty brought about by high level of illiteracy, outdated cultural practices, and natural disasters like drought and HIV/AIDs pandemic.

Challenges

The UN estimates that Nairobi has the fastest population growth rate per annum on the continent.

About 65 percent of the urban population live in slums. Those slums occupy only five percent of the capital's total land area. They are more congested than any informal settlement in this part of the world hosting 1,177 people per acre in grim 10*10 feet sacks. Due to drought and harsh condition in rural areas many people have migrated to the capital city Nairobi looking for greener pastures creating sprawling make shift sacks.

AIDS is responsible for leaving vast numbers of children across Africa without one or both parents.

HIV/AIDS spreads rapidly among low-income earners living in the sprawling slums of Nairobi due to prostitution, illiteracy, and poverty. Many children drop out of school from single mothers and ailing parents as a result of AIDS. Surveys suggest that overall, about 15% of orphans are 0-4 years old, 35% are 5-9 years old, and 50% are 10-14 years old. When a parent dies, those orphaned children between 10-14 years drop out of school and become head of their families and breadwinners. Some turn to prostitution, others are employed as house help (maid) or child labour, and others are used by gangsters and drug traffickers.

Some girls are raped and killed, for no one provides them with security. Others are infected with HIV/AIDS – putting their lives in danger.

In the slums of Nairobi women bear the heavy burden of taking care of children - there is a lot of alcholism amongst the male population, as a result of frustration.

In other regions of operation of Compassion CBO, women bear the brunt due to drought and ethnic clashes; they are left exposed and vulneralbe, for they can’t leave their children behind. Child marriages increase during time of drought, a phenomenon referred to as Drought Brides, whereby parents give away their daughers in exchange of food and cattle.

Kenya has one of the hightest rates of teen pregnancy in the world.

In the North Eastern and Eastern part of Kenya, female genital mutilation leaves a lot of girls mutilated and endangers their lives, and it is still practiced in parts of Nairobi by those communities who migrate to the city from rural areas.