Our work in Kenya

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Our work in Kenya

Concern has worked in Kenya since 2002. We currently work in mainly rural Marsabit County in the north of Kenya, and in the informal settlements or slums of Nairobi.

While originally urban-based, our work in Kenya has now expanded into a multi-sectoral programme focusing on urban and rural livelihoods, primary education, water and sanitation health and nutrition and governance in both Nairobi and Marsabit.

In partnership with local organisations, Concern also responds to a number of emergencies in Kenya resulting from floods, drought and violence. All of our work is underpinned by the promotion of community empowerment, advocacy and governance initiatives.

Latest Updates

Emergency Response

The food insrecurity situation in Marsabit remains serious. We have launched an emergency response there focusing on cash transfers, provision of water and health and nutrition services. We are providing Aquatabs to 7,500 families so that they can purify available water so that it is safe to drink.

Additionally, 1,443 families will receive regular cash payments from Concern over the next three months in Dukana ward so they can buy the food, medicine, or other goods that they need. In addition, we are engaging in long-term programming to build local resilience. 

Six year old Bilach Dabelo, her mother Robe and baby Isacko are attending Basbalesa Health Centre for health and hygiene education supported by Concern in Marsabit, Kenya. Photo: Jennifer Nolan / Concern Worldwide.

Health & Nutrition

Concern works to improve the health and nutritional status of children under the age of five along with pregnant and lactating women in the poorest communities of Kenya. In 2017, Concern distributed much needed supplementary food to starving mothers and children in North Horr Sub-County. As a result, the number of Severe Acute Malnutrition cases in North Horr dropped from 9.86% in January 2017 to 5% in June 2017 and the iron-folic acid supplementation of pregnant women more than doubled to 84%. Our Blanket Supplementary Feeding Programme also reached 15,084 children under five and 2,692 pregnant and lactating women.

In Marsabit, over 600 Community Health Volunteers joined Concern in partnering with the Ministry of Health to screen and refer cases of malnutrition and to provide health education through the community conversations model. With this approach, extremely poor communities came together to devise grassroots solutions to their own specific problems.


Concern’s education programme aims to increase the right to free and compulsory basic education for all children. 288 schools, 233 in Nairobi slums and 55 in Marsabit participate in the programme and in 2017, head teachers in the Mukuru slum in Nairobi reported that all children in classes 1, 2 and 3 can now read Kiswahili and English at their level. 

Attendance has also increased from 92.3% for boys and 92.5% for girls in 2016 to 97% for boys and 96.8% for girls in 2017. Lastly, despite deplorable physical facilities and school environments in the informal settlements, 70% of pupils and teachers managed to be ‘on task’ in class.


Concern’s Livelihoods programmes help the extreme poor in Masabit county and in the urban informal settlements of Nairobi. 353,652 people were targeted on advocacy and policy change initiatives and in 2017, Concern developed a pro-poor cash transfer delivery mechanism that ensured that there was no transfer of cost to the beneficiaries. In addition, cash transfers targeted women beneficiaries which ensured utilisation of the cash to meet the household needs; and affirmed the role of women in making important household decisions.

Concern also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nairobi City County and developed an Urban Early Warning Early Action (UEWEA) response package which saw the setting up an effective early warning and response system.

Governance and advocacy

Concern aims to improve governance in Kenya through the increased participation of the Extreme Poor in Civic Life. In 2017, better learning outcomes were demonstrated in project sites where community conversations was effectively implemented by the education programme.

The use of Community Conversations was also used to establish Community Health Units and Community Health Committees in Marsabit. In total, 125 community conversation members in Kisumu influenced the inclusion of their community action plans into their county annual budget. 

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