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The Kenyan  Flag

Kenya is full of warm friendly people who have high standards of hospitality. Their welcoming nature often hides the real level of poverty that many of them endure.

The East African country of Kenya, was, until 2008, one of the most politically stable in Africa. However, it was estimated that 600,000 people were displaced by fighting in early 2008, which erupted following disputed election results. Many children were forced to flee their homes, and thousands were separated from their families or orphaned by the crisis. In October 2009 tented settlements can still be seen in the Rift Valley. Children preparing for national examinations have lost the opportunity to sit them having left their homes and schools for temporary refuges.

Rapid population growth and the disproportionate distribution of income have worsened social problems. For most people living in rural locations, subsistence farming is the main source of income. Increasing migration to the industrial centres has led to the creation of large slum areas. Kenya has made real efforts to improve health care and the educational system - education is compulsory between the ages of six and fourteen. Registration and an insistence on better standards among the many small private and church schools is apparent. However the reality does not match the legislation. UNICEF figure still show that at least a quarter of primary age children fail to be enrolled at a school. The reasons are varied but poverty seems to be a common denominator. Literacy levels among young adults nationally is only about 61.5%. In Nairobi it is even lower. Diseases such as malaria and sleeping sickness are still prevalent and like many countries in southern and eastern Africa, Kenya has been hit hard by HIV / AIDS . The country has an adult HIV prevalence rate which could be over seven per cent. (last official figure 6.1%)

Kenya - some facts and figure

Capital: Nairobi
Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Eldoret make up the four next largest towns after Nairobi
Motto: "Let us pull together"
Anthem: "O God of all creation"
Official languages: English, Swahili
Government: Democratic Republic
President: Mwai Kibaki
Prime Minister: Raila Odinga (a temporary office created after the post election troubles in 2008)

Population: 31,639,091 (Unesco Global Monitoring Report 2008 results from the 2009 census are not yet published)
Total area: 582,646 sq km/224,961 sq miles
Main exports: Tea, coffee, horticultural products, petroleum products
GDP: $48.33 billion (total)/$1,445 (per capita)
Currency: Kenyan Shilling (KES approx. 120 to the GBP)
Life expectancy (UN): 48 years (men) 46 years (women)
Living with HIV & AIDS: 6.1%

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