It is unimaginable to rule out the presence of NGOs in Kenya. Its impact is already felt across the country and in every sector of the economy.
Start from education, agriculture, and health, to the environment. Non-governmental organizations have and still are, playing a vital role in the economic development of the country.
To find out more about Non-Governmental Organizations operating in Africa, check out our most recent post on the List of Top 10 NGOs in Ghana.
Kenya is the largest and most advanced economy in the whole of eastern and central Africa. However, a great deal of its population suffers from unemployment and is grossly uneducated.
Kenya is one of the most youthful countries in Africa, with more than 1 in 5 people sitting between ages 15 and 35. In other words, roughly 75% of Kenyans are youths.
NGOs in Kenya
Like in many developing countries, Kenyans seek opportunities in the NGO sector. And a lot of Kenyans are more passionate about working for a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO).
So, why do so many people easily get carried away by NGOs’ career opportunities?
The reason is simple! Working for an NGO comes with so many advantages.
Firstly, when working for an NGO, especially an International NGO, you do not only stand a good chance of touring around the world—as in most cases—you also get prompt and a fat CREDIT alert on your phone every month ending.
That said, we are going to discuss the top 10 NGOs in Kenya.
So, irrespective of your status, whether as a voluntary worker, donor, or victim of environmental or humanitarian disasters, these organizations have different programs that would suit your needs.
This article does not only emphasizes the non-governmental organizations in Kenya. It also contains some of the most popular NGOs in Nairobi, Kisumu, Nakuru, and other provinces in Kenya.
To make this article as informative as we possibly can and a go-to destination for anything NGOs in Kenya, we have also included some of the leading International Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) operating in the country.
Below are the top ten non-governmental organizations operating in Kenya. And hopefully, it will help you make the best choice as to which NGO to work for or make a donation.
List of Top 10 NGOs in Kenya
1. Kenyan Human Rights Commission (KHRC)
KHRC is the first domestic NGO to be listed on the list of NGOs in Kenya. It may be a surprise to many who were expecting to see INGOs or other household NGOs.
KHRC is the acronym for Kenya Human Rights Commission, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Kenya.
Founded in 1992 and registered in 1994, KHRC campaigns to create a country where democratic culture and human rights are highly respected.
With an emphasis on addressing the sustainability of the human rights movement, social justice, and liberation of grassroots group organizations; KHRC focuses on publicizing, monitoring, and documenting violations of civil and political rights.
KHRC aims to create a society where there is gender equality and equity. Therefore, it has published a roadmap that would help with the constitution-making process and strengthen the role of civil society.
As a not-for-profit organization, KHRC depends on donations from organizations and individuals.
For example, the majority of its funds are as a result of donations from top International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) such as the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), The Ford Foundation, Christian Aid, Swedish International Development Agency, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Development Funds for Women (UNIFEM), etc.
Apart from creating awareness and delivering multiple programs to help women, children, and the underprivileged, KHRC offers jobs and various career opportunities in Consultancies, Tenders, and Internships.
However, do note that the Kenyan Human Rights Commission does not—and will not—demand money from people seeking employment at the organization to facilitate the recruitment process.
2. Awareness Against Human Trafficking (HAART)
HAART, an acronym for Awareness Against Human Trafficking, is a Kenyan-based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) working to address the issues of human trafficking in the country.
From its inception in 2010, the organization’s mission includes providing development aid and disaster relief to people and communities affected by natural disasters.
In addition, the organization provides training for the youths to spread awareness of human trafficking to their respective communities.
HAART humanitarian activities are base on five levels such as:
- Protecting victims of human trafficking
- Preventing human trafficking through awareness
- Penalizing offenders of trafficking
- Cooperation with similar NGOs
- Research on trafficking
Like many Non-Governmental Organizations in Kenya, HAART is powered and driven by passionate volunteers and staff. Amongst them are professionals and degree holders in law, psychology and public health, social work, education, and international development.
Are you interested in joining Awareness Against Human Trafficking (HAART)?
Check out the organization’s website for more information on how to become a member.
NGOs in Nairobi, Kenya
African Women’s Development and Communication Network, popularly known as FEMNET, is an International Non-Governmental Organization (INGO) that promotes women’s development in Kenya and across the continent.
FEMNET was established in 1988 by national women’s networks to promote women’s development, equality, and other human rights across Africa.
FEMNET, with headquarters in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, has for the past few years operated in other African countries, including South Africa, Uganda, Malawi, Ghana, Swaziland, and Zambia, to mention but a few.
In addition to working in more than 30 countries in Africa, the organization has worked with various International Non-Government Organizations (INGO), including the United Nations (UN).
FEMNET partners with over a dozen Non-Governmental Organizations in Kenya and beyond to address the issues of gender equality and promote women’s development and other human rights.
Some of the top NGOs partnering with FEMNET include the UN Women, Christian Aid, International Women’s Health Coalition, African Women’s Development Fund, and the Global Fund for Women.
4. The Youth Cafe
The Youth Cafe is a Kenyan-based Nonprofit Organization (NPO) that works with young men and women in Kenya and Africa.
Since its inception in 2012, the organization has maintained its commitment to work with African youths to enable youth empowerment and resilience and foster community development.
The Youth Cafe maintains long-standing cooperation with some big global partners, including UNESCO, Alliance for Peacebuilding, UN-Habitat, One Young World, GiveDirectly, et al.
Over the past few years, The Youth Cafe has empowered and transformed the world and African youth to bring Africa and the rest of the world closer. Thus, improving youth welfare and revitalizing communities.
The Youth Cafe allows youth to get involved in the various sectors of the organization.
Like many NGOs in Kenya, The Youth Cafe—more often than not—employs youths who are skilled enough to work for the organization, either as volunteers or internships.
However, for more information about how to work for The Youth Cafe, visit the organization’s webpage.
5. Amref Health Africa
Formerly known as the African Medical and Research Foundation, Amref Health Africa is a Non-Government Organization (NGO) with International headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.
Founded in 1957 by three doctors, Tom Rees, Sir Michael Wood, and Sir Archibald McIndoe, the organization provides medical care to people in Kenya and East Africa.
In addition to providing Kenyans and their East African neighbors with all the needed medical care, Amref Health Africa deliver training for local health care providers.
As part of its efforts to provide free medical health care to people in Kenya—especially those in hard-to-reach communities—the organization cooperates with international aid organizations and maintains closer ties with the ministries of health in the regions.
6. Asante Africa Foundation
Asante Africa Foundation is an educational, not-for-profit organization that proffers solutions to the East African youth to address life challenges and alleviate poverty.
Despite having its headquarters in the United States, the organization has established a presence in three African countries including, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.
Asante Africa Foundation, founded in 2006, has a mission “To educate and empower the next generation of change agents, whose dreams and actions transform the future for Africa and the world.”
Even though everyone has talent and potential, but not everyone has access to opportunities.
To address this gap, the organization partners with communities and local schools in East Africa to provide youth the educational supports they need to thrive.
Asante Africa Foundation provides youth with programs that educate, empower and prepare them with life skills and confidence to succeed both in the classroom and beyond.
7. Carolina for Kibera
Carolina for Kibera, abbreviated as CFK, is an International Non-Governmental Organization (INGO). It is a registered Nonprofit in the United States and a registered NGO in Kenya.
Founded in 2001 by Rye Barcott, Salim Mohamed, and Tabitha Atieno Festo, the organization is a pioneer of many humanitarian and environmental development initiatives such as community-health outreach programs, scholarship programs, young health, and wellness center, empowerment center, entrepreneurship, and economic development initiatives and more.
The organization is affiliated with some prestigious entities such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The mission of CFK is to develop young and vibrant leaders and eradicate poverty in Kibera through empowerment, community health, and development.
8. Crime Si Poa
Founded in 2007 as an anti-crime and lobby group, Crime Si Poa—meaning crime is not cool – in Swahili—is a registered Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Kenya.
Since its inception in 2007, the organization has become the premier anti-crime advocacy and lobby group in Kenya.
As an organization with a strong ethos in safeness and social justice, Crime Si Poa aims to mobilize communities to build ownership around safety, justice, and socio-economic issues in the country.
The organization, therefore, focuses on averting vulnerable youths from taking part in criminal activities and promoting the benefits of a crime-free society.
Crime Si Poa based its activities around three key areas: education, advocacy, and a social enterprise with access to justice.
International NGOs in Kenya
9. WVI Kenya
World Vision Kenya is an International, Christian Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) committed to improving the well-being of children, communities, and families.
As an NGO whose ethos is deeply rooted in Christianity and the love of Christ, it has always maintained its commitment to demonstrating God’s unconditional love for everyone.
The organization, since the past few years, have implemented development projects in the following sectors:
- Child Protection and Participation
- Child Learning and House Hold Resilience
- Community Engagement and Sponsorship Programme
- Integrated Health & Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
In Kenya, where a large proportion of the population lives in abject poverty, World Vision Kenya partners with the Government, communities, and donors to help the most vulnerable families overcome poverty.
Also, World Vision Kenya advocacy work allows for children’s voices to be heard—which would never have been possible.
10. CARE Kenya
CARE International is the parent organization of CARE Kenya. The former was established in 1945 as a result of the amalgamation of 22 American organizations.
In its early beginnings in 1945, CARE stood for “Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe.”
Today, however, the organization’s scope has broadened, and with its presence in 87 countries worldwide, CARE has changed the meaning behind its letters.
CARE now stands for “Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, Inc.”
CARE Kenya is one of the oldest members of CARE International, along with CARE USA and CARE Canada.
CARE Kenya, along with its Local and International donors, works to achieve the common goal of alleviating global poverty.
As an autonomous non-governmental organization, CARE Kenya implements the program, advocacy, fundraising, and communications activities throughout the country.
CARE Kenya receives the vast majority of its funds through donations from some of the world’s leading organizations including, USAID, UNHCR, UKAID, Barclays, VISA, and others.
Finding a credible NGO, either as a donor, volunteer, or victim of environmental or humanitarian disaster, can be very frustrating, especially in a country like Kenya, where there are thousands of non-governmental organizations.
That said, it is of utmost importance to know which organizations are earnestly carrying out their primary obligation.
And not only that. Many NGOs operating in Kenya are not registered or certified by an appropriate body.
Therefore, of the approximately one thousand NGOs currently working in the country, only about a few are absolutely in compliance with the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Co-ordination Board, also known as Kenya NGO Bureau.
To help people with the rightful information, we have analyzed all the active NGOs in Kenya—both local and international—and as a result, have compiled the top 10 NGOs in Kenya.
We hope you find this article very useful.