Child-Focused Community Development in Kenya
Feed the Children’s child-focused community development (CFCD) program approach includes four cornerstone pillars: Food & Nutrition, Health & Water, Education, and Livelihoods. We work to transform lives by improving the food & nutrition security of mothers and children, and more specifically to reduce malnutrition and poverty. This happens when parents have the skills they need to raise well-nourished and thriving children, when communities are clean and keep children healthy, when children get the education they need to grow up to have good jobs and to raise healthy children themselves, and when parents have the skills and resources they need to feed their families.
The first 1,000 days of a child’s life are critical for development, so providing mothers with the tools needed to adequately care for their children during this stage is vital. Through Care Groups, Feed the Children is able to facilitate nutritional education to caregivers (direct beneficiaries=2,800). Care Groups involve a group of mothers who is educated on childhood nutrition every other week. The mothers take the information they’ve learned and share it with their larger neighbor groups. This utilizes existing social structures to spread behavioral change in an efficient and cost-effective way. In addition, children are given deworming medication (DB=1,700) and vitamin supplements. As in many areas of the world, multiple diseases are spread through poor sanitation and unclean water in communities in Kenya. Feed the Children aims to alleviate preventable illness in communities through high impact, low-cost initiatives. Some of these projects include promotion of WASH behaviors (DB=1,400) and promotion of point-of-use water purification (DB=1,300) through our Care Groups. We also use new infrastructure in the communities to prevent illness and disease by constructing or rehabilitating clean water sources (DB=1,700) and school latrines. Through these initiatives, children can grow up in healthier homes, improving their adulthood outcomes. Education is a key component to improving the livelihoods and opportunities for children. Often, external factors can inhibit full participation in school. To provide children in Kenya with adequate resources for education, Feed the Children provides daily school meals (DB=127,000) and distributes TOMS shoes and deworming medication for school-aged children (DB=79,000). These projects aim to provide children a hindrance-free environment so they can reach higher educational goals. Children are more successful when they are raised in food-secure and economically stable homes and communities. To encourage self-reliant communities, village savings and loans (VSL) groups are developed in Kenya to encourage proper savings and increase economic possibilities. Capital is generated internally and allows community members to invest in livelihood-improving tools and creates financial literacy and freedom. In addition, Feed the Children helps establish and promote the sustainability of small livestock and homestead and community gardens (DB=2,400) as sources of increased economic productivity and nutritional intake. In Kenya, disaster risk-reduction helps ensure community resiliency in the case of a natural or man made disaster (DB=1,000). By anticipating the effects of a disaster such as drought, communities will be able to mitigate the consequences and prevent increased harm to children and other vulnerable populations. Maternal well-being deeply influences the health and outcomes for their children, too. Through psychosocial activities (DB=4,400), Feed the Children provides communities with activities that promote healthy parents and societies.
The above reflects data from fiscal year 2016 for Feed the Children.
Nutrition, Gender, Children
- Economic Recovery and Development
- Food Aid
- Human Rights Democracy and Governance
- Water Sanitation and Hygiene