The Salvation Army Kenya West Territory
God used the construction of a railroad in 1896 to bring three Salvationists to Kenya to work on the tracks and share their witness in the Taru railway camp. The Salvation Army officially began its work in Kenya 25 years later when Lt. Colonel and Mrs. James Allister Smith conducted a meeting in Nairobi, the nation's capital, in 1921. Kenya's first cadets began officer training two years later.
Due to the explosive growth of Salvationism throughout Kenya over the subsequent 90 years, the country was divided into two territories in March 2008 to provide more effective administration. Kenya West is headquartered in the city of Kakamega in the largely rural west, which contains more than half of Kenya's 39 million population; Kenya East remained headquartered in Nairobi after the split of the Kenya Territory. Kenya East and Kenya West continue to share the original training college located near Nairobi.
More than 113,000 senior soldiers and 121,000 junior soldiers attend over 330 corps and 900 outposts led by less than 500 officers in Kenya West's 16 divisions and districts. In 2009, the territory's first world services/self-denial ingathering brought in 3.1 million Kenyan shillings, a 60 percent increase over the previous year.
The Kenya West Territory has a strong commitment to education: 210,000 students attend 450 schools with 4,300 teachers. Several prominent Kenyans were once Salvation Army school students.
The gospel is preached in English, Kiswahili and a number of tribal languages. The Salvation Army in Kiswahili is Jeshi La Wokovu. Although the majority of Kenyans report they are Christian, estimates for the percentage of the population that adheres to Islam or indigenous beliefs vary widely; statistics report 45 percent are Protestant, 33 percent Roman Catholic, 10 percent Islam, another 10 percent indigenous beliefs and two percent "other."
Source: The Salvation Army 2009 Year Book; Central Intelligence Agency