How many children need help?

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.

Why are there so many orphans in Kenya?

  1. AIDS - According to Kenyan government estimates, AIDS alone has killed one or both parents of at least 700,000 of the children in the country.
  2. Maternal Mortality - Another reason for orphaned children is the high incidence of maternal deaths. Maternal mortality ratio is the number of women who die from pregnancy-related causes while pregnant or within 42 days of pregnancy termination per 100,000 live births. The maternal mortality rate in Kenya is 510 cases for every 100,000 live births. In Canada, our mortality rate is 7 per 100,000 live births. So it’s not uncommon for children to become orphans due to mothers dying during childbirth.
  3. Political Uprising - In 2007-2008 there was a large political uprising that saw many adults murdered and their children left as orphans.
  4. Accidents - Safe Haven has some children who are orphaned because their parents were both killed in an accident and they have no family to take care of them.
  5. Abandonment - Children can be considered orphaned when their parents have abandoned them.

How do you decide which children are accepted into Safe Haven? What makes a child eligible to be part of Safe Haven?

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.

What does the sponsorship money cover?

Sponsorship money goes towards food, housing, clothing, care, education and medical insurance for a child.

Will I get a tax receipt?

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.

I can’t support a child with a monthly payment. Are there other ways I can help?

There are many things you can do to help, if you are unable to support a child with a monthly payment

  • Education Support (by term or by year)
  • Community Outreach (shoes, blankets, food hampers)
  • Medical Support (regular medical check ups, vaccinations, emergency medical care)
  • Volunteer/Caregiver Support
  • Give Us Our Daily Bread program, which offers daily meals to children who do not qualify to live at Safe Haven, but would otherwise go hungry
  • Christmas Support
  • Set up a fundraiser in your community or school and donate to Safe Haven – contact our Fundraising Coordinator for ideas.
  • Capital project funding
  • Or designate the funding to go to a need that touches your heart

How do your supporters ensure that the money is being used appropriately?

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.

What proportion of funding is used to cover administrative costs?

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.

What proportion of funding is used to pay salaries?

Everyone in Canada is a volunteer and receives no salary or any form of remunerations for their services.

I’m excited about supporting a child. Will I have opportunities to correspond with my sponsor child?

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.

Can I adopt a child from Kenya?

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.