STARTING NGO IN KENYA AS AN EXPAT

Hello,

I am new here, I actually came here for a visit but it's turns out I may not be going back anytime soon as am in love with everything here because I feel at home.

Back home I have been working on series of projects some in partnership with existing NGOs, some with friends and family. Due to my experience within the last two months visiting some villages around, I have decided to establish an NGO here in Kenya, the NGO is going be targeting rural development from education, health, feed the hungry family and emergency response to Disaster mainly at the rural communities.

Since I am a foreigner and can't start an NGO in Kenya all by myself, am here to seek for professional advice on how to go about it and for anyone interested in same project should let me know.

Hi ajadams,

Below is a list of Associations and NGO in Kenya. You might want to get in touch with the recommended ones considering the seriousness of your project.

- Associations and NGO in Kenya

Good luck. :)

Regards,

Sarvesh
expat.com team

I'm very interested in this...check your inbox for my contacts so that we can talk more.

Hi there,
the procedure of registration of NGOs in Kenya has become a little tricky in the fact that there are alot of regulations on the same.
However, i could propose you open a trust or a Company limited by guarantee. they work the same only that the two are less cumbersome to start.

Hope this helps. you can inbox me if you need help.

Regards

I agree with the above.  NGO's have been under scrutiny recently and there are many doing similar work  to that which you are planning.  Also consider that the government also allocates CDF monies which often target rural development, as well as the ongoing schemes such as rural electrification. 

You also need to check out the regulations around work permits, for example registering a company doesn't give you the automatic right to work within it.

Sarversh thanks for the list,  I will do that.
@Kerew,  thank you for your interest, I will contact you as soon as we are ready.

@Franciah yes I think we need to talk more about it.

@Longonot62, thank you for the permit info too.

Below is a link to the requirements of starting an NGO:

http://www.ngobureau.or.ke/?page_id=196

And some information on registering a company.  Having been through this process (before it was simplified), you don't need to engage a lawyer for this, but it can be useful for writing the Articles of Association.

https://kenya.eregulations.org/menu/1?l=en

Here is some information on the requirements for the Class G (investors) permit, that would allow you to work legally within your own business:

http://www.immigration.go.ke/Information.html

https://fns.immigration.go.ke/infopack/permits/classG/

The stumbling block for many is the amount of capital that you need to have, unfortunately.

Thank you Longonot62, I have gone through the links but like you pointed out earlier, I think the amount on class G is on the high side. Maybe I should just register it as an International NGO or what do you think?  Your reasons are very helpful to me please give me more information as much as possible if available and you don't mind.  Thank you very much.

let me make a few corrections on the above. Class G permit works when you are an investor in Kenya. which means you create a company and all the other stuff you can find on the immigration website.
However, as Ajadams has said he wants to start an NGO which means it will fall under charitable organization and as a result will apply for class I permit. which is relatively low.

I was responding to the suggestion that the OP starts a limited company, then a Class G would be the correct permit would it not?

that's correct Longonot. in the above scenario then class G would suffice.

This is a very helpful thread. Most of the NGOs lited are health based. My interest is affordable housing. Does anyone know of NGOs focusing on this? I was very moved by a recent article in the Standard by Christine Mungai. A couple of weeks later the new Hilton hotel project was announced. Development is extremely polarised but, there are far more ordinary middle-low income Kenyans (e.g. doctors) than rich ones.
standardmedia.co.ke/business/article/2001232136/tenants-for-life-why-you-are-unlikely-to-own-a-house-in-town

There are the 'National Cooperative Housing Union', 'Habitat for Humanity' and 'Shelter Afrique'.  There are also companies marketing products such as interlocking blocks for cheaper cement free construction and soil compressing equipment to make soil blocks.

Personally, I wouldn't put doctors in the middle/low income bracket - I have yet to meet a poor doctor - most who work in public hospitals do private practice too.

Hi I am a Kenyan and am doing a business of providing agricultural and aquaculture solutions to rural farmers in Kenya for sustainable development . I could use the help of someone with foreign contacts. Let me know if you would be interested in working together.

Hi,

I recently saw you post about NGOs. I'm in a similar situation. I am not sure about starting one, but have been looking into existing ones. I'm in the US looking to the Nairobi or Mombasa area to be with my girlfriend. My background is more so in financial services and hold a BA in finance. I also have a passport. Hopefully we can form a friendship and try to help each other. Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you.

Kind Regards

Registering an NGO in kenya these days takes time not like before...but if are stil interested i can take u through the process.i registered one last year  with my friend from canada n it took like 3 months.. inbox me if u need help

I don't think that starting an NGO should necessarily be seen as a 'passport' to being resident in Kenya.  This administration has scrutinised NGO's from time to time and is not afraid to cancel registrations with very little notice and deport foreign employees.

The housing, development and health sectors are already fairly crowded, which may make registration more challenging.  See if you can offer something new, or a new angle on an existing issue, perhaps.

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