January 4 2008

SOS Children's Villages in Kenya are not affected by the unrest

04/01/2008 - The SOS Children's Village in Eldoret is the only project where safety measures have been taken as a result of the serious wave of violence that has been seen since the elections.

Despite the outbreak of violence following the elections in Kenya, the four SOS Children's Villages in Kenya are still safe. All is quiet at the SOS Children's Villages in Nairobi and Mombasa, but individual acts of violence are repeatedly taking place around the two SOS Children's Villages.

Public life has however practically come to a standstill. Supermarkets and almost all offices are either shut or have very limited opening hours; public transport services have been temporarily suspended.

The reopening of the four SOS Hermann Gmeiner Schools after the holidays has been postponed for a week in accordance with a government directive

Photo: Alexander Gabriel
The SOS Children's Village in Eldoret - Photo: A. Gabriel
The area around the SOS Children's Village in Meru is considered to be safe. SOS Children's Village Eldoret is the only SOS Children's Village where specific safety measures have been taken. The SOS Children's Village is located near to a church that was set on fire. Numerous women and children died in the blaze. Although the army is assisting with general security and order in Eldoret, the children, young people and co-workers are staying inside the village for the moment.

Keith Castelino, director of SOS Children's Villages Kenya, remained at Eldoret during the elections: "We are in constant contact with all the village directors and the safety of the children and mothers at the SOS Children's Villages is our primary concern."

Kenya was one of the first countries in Africa where SOS Children's Villages began its activities. Four SOS Children's Villages have been built since 1971 and they are now home to more than 800 children. Numerous social facilities such as schools, kindergartens and family strengthening programmes also support almost 6,000 people.