Kenya Community Development Foundation: Strengthening Community-driven Development Initiatives

The Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF) is a Kenyan public foundation that supports community-driven development initiatives. They were founded to promote the sustainable development of communities through social investment, resource mobilization, endowment building and grant-making. 

KCDF was formed in 1997 by a group of professionals from different professional orientations who were concerned by the prevailing trends in community development in Kenya.

Through grant giving, the KCDF’s primary goal is to capitalize on communities’ energy, development objectives, and collaborative actions. They continue to assist communities in investing in their future by assisting them in the establishment of their own endowment funds for common development objectives. Their future actions will center on including an economic enterprise component to strengthen the sustainability of their community-driven development projects. KCDF is thereby making a social and economic investment in Kenyan communities.

The impact-driven organization envisions a society in which Kenyans collaborate to reduce poverty. In the Kenyan community spirit of ‘Harambee,’ the organization believes that when communities are able to participate in and begin solutions to their development concerns, quick and lasting good change is possible.

KCDF uses these approaches to effectively achieve its mission:

  • Community Engagement and Organizing: The KCDF model of delivering its mandate is through working with organized community groups, associations, etc., as vehicles to scale up desired changes in targeted communities.

  • Local Philanthropy: KCDF works to encourage the growth and promotion of organized giving for sustainable development in Kenya. The goal is to move communities and the wider Kenyan public from a mindset of depending on external resources, to effective mobilization of in-country resources towards the implementation of their prioritized projects.

  • Institution Building: KCDF’s concept of sustainable community-driven development is pegged on the premise that well-capacitated groups are key instruments in scaling up and sustaining continuous transformative change at the grassroots levels.

  • Partnerships and Networking: KCDF believes that the challenges of poverty cannot be achieved by one actor hence there is value in working in a collaborative manner with other like-minded organizations in addressing issues that communities continue to face.

  • Policy Influencing: Policy influencing refers to the different actions taken by organized groups on an issue of concern, to influence decision making or to change a policy that brings about lasting change in the lives of disadvantaged people.

  • Asset Development: This refers to work by non-profits of building long-term assets of different kinds, aimed at generating flexible funds to further their collective goals to obviate their work being affected when funders change their priorities. 

KCDF works to improve education for children, especially the most marginalized in society. The education thematic area work aims at building the capacity of different stakeholders in the education sector to improve on holistic approaches to implementing education programmes for children and youth. The work also seeks to build on synergies of different education sector players including the government, the private sector, and the community. All these are to enhance access, retention, transition, and quality both at basic and tertiary levels of learning.

Girl child programme stories focus on young girls and select boys in Kenya who have received education, mentorship, give back, empowerment and employment readiness through the programme.

MENTENDA initiative stories focus on young men who have gone through the boys’ value-based mentorship programme. The programme’s objective is to nurture young men to be confident and responsible while unlocking their potential to become leaders in their different spaces of influence.

Chandaria scholarship stories focus on students from across the country who have been supported with partial scholarships through the Chandaria Foundation.

KCDF believes in “Conserving the Environment, One School at a Time”. Through the “Adopt a Tree” initiative supported by the I&M Foundation in partnership with KCDF, the community development organization has a target of planting 1 million trees in schools and public spaces, encouraging the community to undertake reforestation, agroforestry, clean energy, water harvesting, and waste management as a measurement to correct environment degradation. For examplenext to Enkare Narok River in Narok South, a tree nursery is thriving. There are about 50,000 seedlings of trees such as cypress, blue gum, grevillea robusta, croton, whistling pine, acacia, and macadamia. 

Sustainable Development projects such as the I Dream to be like Wangari Maathai project, Wangari Maathai Scholarship Fund, and Livelihoods Impact Projects aim at facilitating communities to mobilize resources and invest in community-driven interventions that enable vulnerable communities in urban settlements to generate and diversify their income with the overall aim of improving their quality of life.

To learn more about the Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF), visit the website

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