Changing Young Children's
Lives For Good

Kiandutu Community Survey

August 2010

A survey of 95 households in the Kiandutu slum near Thika, Kenya, indicated that the most common form of care for young children was to leave them alone.

Prior to launching projects in Kiandutu, Give A Child Life undertook a community needs assessment. Distributed by village elders and local residents, 86% of the surveys (N=79) were completed by women and 14% (N=13) by men. The average respondent was 33 years old.

Among the findings were:
• Parents looking for work most frequently left their young children at home alone.
• 92% of the children experienced hunger.
• After malaria, cholera was the second most frequent disease among children.
• 26% of the adults had lost at least one child under five; 12% had lost two or more young children.

In Kiandutu, unemployment was very high, with 91% of the respondents lacking jobs. Education levels were low, with more than a third of the respondents (36%) never attending school. Among adults, the most frequent illnesses were HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and typhoid.

Yet hope springs eternal. Three-quarters of the adults attended one of the hundreds of small churches in Kiandutu each week. Almost half the respondents (42%) believed they could help make their community a better place to live.