Quite frankly, a lot…
We are located in Kisii County in Kenya. The population of Kisii County is 1.152 million (2009) and there are approximately 240,000 orphans in this particular county - which is more than the population of Kitchener. This is approximately 20% of the entire population. Of these 240,000 children, the government has identified 110,000 as vulnerable children.
We don’t have any current statistics on the growth of orphans in Kisii County, but we do know that this county has the largest population of orphans in the entire country, so we are located where the greatest need exists.
As of 2013, there were 44.35 million people living in Kenya and there were 2.6 million orphans. This grows at a rate of 700 new orphans a day. This translates to about 1 child every 2 minutes becomes an orphan.
To put this into perspective, there are as many orphans in Kenya as there are people in Toronto.
According to UNICEF, there are approximately 45,000 orphans in all of Canada.
In 64 days, Kenya will have an additional 45,000 orphans.
This means there are approximately 255,500 new orphans every year, which brings the total number of orphans in Kenya up to 7.8 million by 2016.
As of 2013, there were 1.1 billion people in Africa - of this, there were 53 million children who were considered orphans (5% of the total population).
This means there are more orphans in Africa than the entire population of Canada, Sweden, Ireland, Norway & Denmark combined.
The number of orphans grows at a rate of approximately 2.1 million per year (more than the population of Calgary or Montreal).
So if we extrapolate from that, in 2016, there are now 59.3 million children in Africa who are orphans.
Children are identified as orphaned or abandoned, in their local communities by the village chiefs and other adults who are in a position of authority in the country (i.e Police Officers, Social Workers, Government Officials, Church Pastors, etc). They bring the cases of the children to the Executive Director of the Centre and the Canadian Intake Coordinator, who will evaluate their situation, in conjunction with the person who has identified the child, and then determine the correct course of action. We bring children in on a case-by-case basis, depending on the urgency of their situation and as the finances and space permit.
Sponsorship money goes towards food, housing, clothing, care, education and medical insurance for a child.
Safe Haven is currently incorporated as a Canadian non-profit organization.
We have applied for charitable status with Revenue Canada.
We cannot offer tax receipts until our charitable status is approved, but we still offer receipts as proof of payment for your donations.
There are many things you can do to help, if you are unable to support a child with a monthly payment
Because Safe Haven is Federally Incorporated, we must accurately report the use of our funds to the government on a yearly basis. In addition to this, we make our financial statements and monthly budget reports available to anyone who wishes to see them. We receive regular budget reports from our host country locations as well, so we can see that the money is being appropriately used on their end.
The goal of Safe Haven is to ensure the administrative costs are as small as possible. Currently, the only administrative costs that are covered by the funding we receive are our banking fees and money transfer fees. Everything else goes to our sites.
Everyone in Canada is a volunteer and receives no salary or any form of remunerations for their services.
We work very hard to ensure that sponsors have an opportunity to correspond with their sponsored child. We facilitate video chats, along with regular written letters between you and your sponsored child. In most cases, your letters will come to you digitally. The children write the letters, we scan them in and they get emailed to us. We do it this way because it saves postage and time. We can do this for your letters too, so they make it to your child in a timely fashion. If you wish to have your letter mailed directly to you, all you need to do is send us that request.
It is our hope to offer regular sponsor trips to see our children at the home, so that those who are able to travel and visit will have that opportunity. We do not allow sponsors to visit our homes without appropriate supervision and permission. This is for the safety of our children and our volunteers who work on site.
In 2014 the Kenyan government banned the adoption of Kenyan children by foreigners. They have done this because they have been identified as a source, transit and destination country in human trafficking. This puts Kenyan children at high risk for child trafficking.
Here are some articles you can read about adoption from Kenya and the Hague Adoption Convention.