Announcing Laura Winter as our Ride Africa ambassador!


Posted on
10th May 2019
by Jamie Chisholm


We're thrilled to have sports presenter Laura on board to ride in November, and to help us promote Ride Africa.

Laura said, "I am so incredibly excited and grateful to be a Ride Africa ambassador, taking on November’s ride. As soon as the team got in touch, I jumped at the chance to be involved - cycling through Africa on the adventure of a lifetime, to help change the lives of women and girls? It is a no-brainer. Cycling has been life-changing for me. I have fallen in love with this sport and to use the power of turning the pedals to help others is a true privilege. 

"If you feel you can help, either through donating or signing up to the ride yourself, come join me! Together we can make a real difference."

The ride is an epic 6 day adventure challenge covering 450KM across Kenya’s breathtaking landscape, starting in Nairobi and finishing in the rural community of Meru where Child.org are funding vital pregnancy support projects. 

Ride Africa is a fully supported event, with riders being guided and motivated by Kenyan cycling legend David Kinjah, the man who discovered and mentored Chris Froome as a teenager! What appealed to Laura beyond the social impact and riding in Africa, is that this event engages a broad cross section of both experienced and less experienced riders as well as attracting at least as many women as men, all united in making a real difference. Some training is definitely required and there are both fundraising and non-fundraising options available, which both offer this life-changing experience at great value.

About Laura
Laura has always been immersed in sport, competing for 12 years in swimming, then rowing but has now found her true calling in cycling, riding many miles most weeks socially, when she’s not presenting professional cycle races from all over the world!  Through her passion for cycling, women’s sport and journalism Laura has become one of the UK’s leading ambassadors for women’s cycling. Whatever she is covering she is vivacious, caring, engaging and inspiring, so Child.org know she will be a great asset for Ride Africa and all the amazing work they do for children growing up in some of the most difficult environments in the world.

In her busiest year to date, Laura’s presenting talents are in high demand from Eurosport, BT Sport, BBC Sport and ITV Cycling across a diverse portfolio of sport which, beyond cycling, includes motorsport, cricket, rugby, swimming, rowing, netball and athletics. She is also busy hosting lots of events usually centred around championing women’s sport in some way, as well as being a founding member of Voxwomen, the first dedicated women’s cycling TV show in the world.

Laura’s ambassadorial role will see her support the marketing and communication of Ride Africa by helping with marketing content, attending events, recruiting riders and fundraising in the lead up to riding and documenting the event itself in November.

We at Child.org believe that our current Ride Africa: Kenya route is our most spectacular yet. Laura and the team of November riders will ride through National parks, past the rift valley, skirt Mount Kenya and stop for drinks at Thompson Falls. All riders are fully supported with transfers, provision of high quality mountain bikes, guides, mechanical support, medical support, food and drink stations, support vehicles and lots more.

The hotel accommodation is hand-picked for its location and hospitality, with the all-important food being exactly what’s required for hungry cyclists!

Laura and the team at Child.org are still looking for more riders to join this life-changing ride. You don’t need to be an elite cyclist, just prepared to put some training in.

Join Laura in November

Donate to support Laura's fundraising

Designer

Child.org are looking for a talented designer who – with support from our Comms Manager – can take visual ownership of all our programming, fundraising, product and service marketing and communications. This is no typical ‘in-house designer’ role.

Apply now
Contract 4 days per week, permanent Salary £23,000 pro rata Holiday 29 days (inc. Bank holidays) Location Old Street, London Start date ASAP Application deadline 26/05/19 – but if we find the right person before this date, we will hire them, so apply fast! Contact hello@child.org

The role

This is no typical ‘in-house designer’ role.

Child.org are looking for a talented designer who – with support from our Comms Manager – can take visual ownership of all our programming, fundraising, product and service marketing and communications.

The opportunity

A truly unique opportunity for a designer keen to advance their career – taking full ownership of exciting brands, services and communications – working for a cause that pushes the boundaries of a typical charity structure and fundraising output.

The job

Child.org has its own brand – its look and feel (colour palette, logomarks, typeface, photography style…etc.) and way we talk (strapline, tone, what we say and don’t say… etc.). We use this in our own communications, on our website, and to talk about our programming in Africa (via an annual report to our regular donors for example). We’re straight-talking, we do what works. 

We need you to ensure we keep it up, and progress our design templates.

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We then have our fundraising campaigns and appeals. You can see our biggest and most recent appeal #TeamMum at child.org/team-mum. Here, we hired an illustrator to create a small set of brand assets (pattern/texture/mum illustrations) and a custom typeface. We then expanded this out into a full campaign including print, digital, merchandise, and event assets. 

Our next appeal will have you at the helm.

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Another type of fundraising we promote, is via products or events. Ride Africa is a tough cycle challenge that Child.org founded and built into a successful, respected event brand. Each year we sign-up 50-150 regular folk, who are keen to challenge themselves for a good cause – and take them on a trip of a lifetime. Child.org built the Ride Africa brand from scratch. 

You will continue to push it forward – in charge of the artwork (and creative direction) of medals, T-Shirts, Cycle Jerseys, Dry bags, Route plans, website and email updates, start/finish banners… and all those future ideas of yours.

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Finally, Child.org also has an enterprise arm – where we hatch new business ideas, whose income directly supports the charity. Spectacular Pub Quizzes and Remarkable Tours are great examples of this – where with the latter for example, we partner with the likes of Airbnb, and become a licensee of Horrible Histories to bring ‘gruesome’ walking tours to London.

This is where it gets even more exciting. As you will be the main visual support, and creator of brands and assets for all our current and future Enterprise products and services. (With some outside-hired help where you need it of course).

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We told you it wasn’t a typical ‘in-house designer’ role.

About you

You love branding. You breathe design, and always think with digital in mind. You care about charity, and progression.

You crave responsibility and ownership of projects, and design output. You love the idea of being the only designer within the organisation. 

You like designing for a variety of things, rather than working on only one product or brand. You’re open to new tools and processes that may make collaborating with the team easier.

You are skilled in, and are comfortable with Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop. You may know Adobe XD (or Sketch), and are used to collaborative work tools such as GoogleDrive, Dropbox and Slack.

You have a passion for getting better with words, copywriting and communications.

You understand the power of great design.

You'll be really good at

  • Being a brand ambassador. Ensuring each of our products and services remain respectively on-brand.
  • Quality Assurance. You’ll want to ensure that every communication – whether it be an Instagram story, tote bag swag, or an all encompassing event set-up – is top notch in terms of design and proofing.
  • Ideas. You’ll love working with our Comms Manager to come up with campaign, brand, or event ideas.
  • Print design. You’ll know all about CMYK, Bleed, and image resolution. You’ll be confident in laying out a brochure, business card, or roller banner, and have your own preferences about which stock to use.
  • Digital design. You’ll know the difference between bitmap and vector, and when to use each. You’ll feel confident in creating social media assets, fliers, and website imagery.
  • Web and UI design. You may or may not be a pro, but you’ll at least be comfortable designing and editing within Squarespace, and not be afraid of creating a new website design from scratch.
  • Creating (and maintaining) brand assets. Many of our products and services already have a brand language in place – you’ll know how to respect it, upkeep it, and even improve on it. 
  • Photo editing. We get so many potentially great images from donors, fundraisers, partners etc. but the majority just need those shadows brought up, exposure or colour balance tweaked. Even if you just get to grips with the ‘Auto’ button in Adobe Lightroom… you’ll keep us all on track with our creative output.
  • Working as part of a team. Although you will be responsible for how all comms look and feel, you’ll respect your teams opinions and support them in their own product’s vision.

Things we all do

  • Attend events as required
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of our work 
  • Do any other reasonable things your manager needs you to do
  • Engage with the team, and directly with our supporters

Applying for the role

Required experience

You must have previous experience of working within an agency, or organisation. (With you being the only designer on board, we cannot offer in-house design training). 

You must be able to show us a portfolio of your work, that proves your understanding of good, considered design. (We can only hope that your appreciation of white-space, is something that the entire team can learn from). 

You must be able to work with, and manipulate pre-existing work across Illustrator and InDesign – and preferably be comfortable enough with Photoshop and Lightroom.

Application guidance

We’re keen to find the right designer for our organisation. Tell us why you’re a good fit, and impress us with your attention to detail and broad understanding of communications. 

We know that we’re asking for a lot – so don’t be scared to tell us what you’re NOT so comfortable or skilled in too. We will be organising a handover from our previous Head of Creative, Naomi, and can offer some monthly support from her in the short-term.

This is a big, exciting role. An opportunity to dive right into some wonderful, rewarding work. On a 4-day week to boot. 

Your portfolio will thank you.


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Please pop an introductory email, along with your portfolio to both Ellie@child.org and Naomi@child.org – or use this button just below…

Apply now


Why work for Child.org?

Be on the cutting edge

Child.org do what works. That means we innovate often and react fast to new information and trends, ensuring we're always doing what will help us have the very best long-term sustainable impact in the lives of the children we're here to support.

Feel your impact

Our small team means you'll have a clear insight into everything we do, from designing our website to funding our projects in the field. If you don't like feeling like a small cog in a big machine, Child.org is for you.

Develop

The Child.org team make our own opportunities. Child.org is the kind of place where driven employees can go from interning to launching and managing fundraising events worth tens of thousands of pounds, within months. If you're innovative and ambitious, we'll help you bite off more than you think you can chew.

Love your job

We love dramatic Spotify work music, animated gif memos and fancy dress Fridays. We love Kinder Surprise meetings and wearing Child.org t-shirts on our days off. We love post-work pina coladas and the sound of rain. We smile when we get to the office in the morning. If you think you might love some or all of these things, you'll love working at Child.org.

Meet Donata


Posted on
18th Apr 2019
by Ellie Dawes


Donata's style of motherhood is one of determination and resilience. She's one of our personal heroes.

Donata lives in rural Kenya with her two children, Maxwell and Victor. She was married at 19 and had her first baby, Maxwell when she was 20. The pregnancy was unexpected -Donata was relieved that her parents were supportive, but  told us that having a baby so young made her feel lost. She would go to local antenatal clinics, but she would often have to wait from morning until evening to see a doctor. Sometimes she would wait all day only to be told to return again the next day.

Donata felt shy and unprepared for motherhood, she says no-one advised her what to buy or how to prepare for the birth. When Donata went into labour, she didn’t recognise it and thought she was just in pain.  She gave birth to Maxwell in the local hospital where staff were stressed and rude - and the hospital was very busy and overstretched.

Donata’s husband suddenly left the family when she was two months pregnant with their second son, Victor. She felt extremely stressed as without any financial contribution from him, she was reliant on her own income. After her first experience, Donata was determined not to return to the same clinic to give birth, so she continued to work hard as a hairdresser through her pregnancy, raising enough money to have Victor in a private hospital. This was extremely expensive for her, but despite birth complications and financial worries she preferred giving birth in the private clinic. Since he left, Donata’s husband has not contacted her or visited Victor. 

Donata told us that her greatest hope is to encourage more young women in her area to get an education and a job before falling pregnant and getting married, so they have more independence.  Donata is enrolled in a local Child.org nutritional training programme, and she told us that being part of this community of women helped her to find meaning in life again after her husband left.  

Donata would love to see Team Mum pregnant women’s groups in her area, providing support and important health advice for scared young mums who are in the same position she was in. That's why she's shared her story to support the Team Mum campaign.

If you donate to Team Mum before 30 April, your donation will be matched by the UK government. That means we can reach twice as many frightened new mums like Donata once was, and connect them to a community of strong and experienced women like Donata is today.

Join Team Mum

Watch Donata's Team Mum video

Fund our mum and baby programming

If you like what Child.org are doing to support mums and babies, please consider joining Team Mum Monthly. Your donation will help us reach mums and babies who need our help, and we'll keep you up to date with all the cool stuff you're helping us to do. 

PLUS if you join Team Mum Monthly before 30 April 2019, your first three months will be doubled by the UK government, with this funding going towards our new pregnancy support groups in rural Kenya.

Join Team Mum Monthly

Child.org Head of Fundraising & Marketing

Child.org are looking for an ambitious leader to grow our fundraising income in this new senior role. Be the force behind our disruptive presence and help the team achieve great things.

Apply now
Contract Full time, permanent Salary £39,000 - £42,350 Holiday 28 days + bank holidays Location Old Street, London Start date ASAP Application deadline 16/05/2019 - but if we find the right person before this date, we will hire them, so apply fast! Contact hello@child.org

The role

Child.org are looking for an ambitious leader to grow our fundraising income in this new senior role. Be the force behind our disruptive presence and help the team achieve great things

The opportunity

For someone keen to show their capabilities in the sector, this role is a dream opportunity. You’re joining a hugely ambitious organisation, unencumbered by old ways of thinking, ready to innovate and flexible enough to be moulded. If you are someone who wants to put their stamp on something and shape it, this is your chance.

With a heavy focus on continually improving the impact of our programming work, we’ve invested in our Nairobi team, and run fantastic programmes in Kenya and Sierra Leone that improve the lives of children. We’ve been shifting to a place where we invest in new innovative approaches that need testing and piloting, in order to identify where scaling our activity could have a real impact. That makes us an exciting organisation to support. 

We've got good foundations in some core fundraising areas. We run a high-quality, gruelling bike ride in Sub-Saharan Africa. We've also created a regular giving plan based on 0% of your money going to Africa because we invest it in enterprise activity first, to build diverse, sustainable income streams. We like to push the boundaries with what we do. The quality of what we produce, and the relationships we build set us apart. Take a look at our Team Mum campaign – supported by UK Aid Match – to see the type of quality comms we strive for. 

Beyond corporate partnerships and challenge events, broader fundraising is relatively new to us. This role offers an opportunity to enhance what we already do well and, crucially, drive forward new fundraising income streams.

You'll need to come with a good understanding of the importance of brand and how it underpins great fundraising. What we say and do comes from a clear understanding of our approach and a commitment to our values. As we grow our marketing activity it will be important to remain true to who we are and what we believe, for example, we don't hide admin costs at Child.org - we're proud of them and what they allow us to achieve.

The job

We are driven by our mission. We know that to have the greatest impact possible, it is essential our programmes have the resource to make good stuff happen. We approach income generation across three areas: Fundraising, Grants and Enterprise. Enterprise is our heartland and our Grants strategy, sitting within our programming team, is moving fast.

Your role will focus on the fundraising element of our income generation strategy. Working collaboratively with the Enterprise and Grants team, you will lead on developing a contemporary Fundraising strategy, drawing on our powerful brand, exciting products and capable team. We're looking for someone who can bring in quick wins to boost income now whilst delivering long-term growth over time.

Underpinning your Fundraising strategy will be a clear, coherent marketing & communications approach. The primary focus here is to extend our reach and mobilise greater financial return.

You’ll need to do all this with a limited budget, tiny supporter database and no magic wand. But you will have an organisation ready to back you and a team bursting with ideas, drive and the capacity to make amazing things happen.

You

Our leaders need to be inspirational, bringing enthusiasm, energy and conviction – to lead by doing, not just saying.  Child.org is an ambitious organisation that thrives on action.

We need someone who will take this on and doesn’t need hand holding through it. Be someone who identifies strengths in their team and empowers them to make it happen. 

We need someone who builds great relationships with partners and supporters. The Child.org family is small and strong, built on warm, open relationships and a desire to have an impact. 

We need someone who relishes working a room of potential contacts - who comes in prepared, with clear objectives and a targeted list to focus on. You need to be opening doors for the organisation and making connections. You need to hustle.

Everything Child.org does – it tries to be smart and savvy about it. Whether it’s our programming, our fundraising, or the business models that power our enterprise products, we do things with a sharpness and a commercial understanding of how to provide value to everyone involved.  You’ll need to bring that kind of value with you. You need to be walking in the door excited about the opportunities you can open up for us.

If making your mark on this sector is important to you, if you’re ready to be part of real change, then give us a call and lets have a chat about how you think you might be able to make that happen. 

About you

Our kind of Head of Fundraising & Marketing

  • Commitment to our vision and mission
  • High emotional intelligence and a high level of self-awareness
  • Outstanding communicator, with a natural ability to build rapport, create compelling propositions and influence people at all levels  
  • Contemporary thinker with the ability to balance strategy with action
  • Head for figures and great attention to the nitty-gritty  
  • Resilient with the ability to keep going and overcome challenges
  • Inspirational leader and manage with a natural collaborative style

You'll be really good at

What you’ll do

  • Execute and manage a cohesive fundraising strategy to secure significant growth in income in line with the wider organisational strategy 
  • Drive business improvement and efficiency with existing fundraising income streams 
  • Day to day leading, managing and supporting the Fundraising & Marketing team, nurturing their potential and passion  
  • Represent the organisation as an ambassador, a speaker, and attend events
  • Seek out and nurture major relationships with supporters and partners
  • Maximise our profile and engagement both internally and externally.
  • Strengthen relationships and seek opportunities to work collaboratively with the Programming and Enterprise teams to maximise income
  • Lead the preparation of the Fundraising & Marketing annual operational plan and budget, achieving all income and expenditure in line with budget and targets

Things we all do

  • Attend events as required
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of our work 
  • Do any other reasonable things your manager needs you to do
  • Engage with the team, and directly with our supporters

Applying for the role

Required experience

We’d like you to have as many of these as possible:

  • Demonstrable experience of fundraising and management within a social purpose organisation, ideally at a senior level, with the ability to manage a multi- disciplinary team. Particular knowledge of Corporate and Major Donor fundraising is useful
  • A strategic line of sight with an acute understanding of different audiences and external environments in which Child.org operates 
  • Ability to respond in an agile way to a continually evolving environment
  • An excellent understanding of commercial business models and how to develop products of value
  • First class leadership skills and the ability to motivate and develop a diverse team of staff
  • Strong communication skills with the necessary gravitas to influence at the highest levels 
  • Ability to think creatively and laterally 
  • Financially fluent with a focus on delivering high income

Application guidance

We’re keen to fill this role as quickly as we can. If you’re interested, please give me, Ellie or Holly a call on the number below for an initial chat.

Thomas Muirhead
CEO
Child.org
07751768207

Apply now


Why work for Child.org?

Be on the cutting edge

Child.org do what works. That means we innovate often and react fast to new information and trends, ensuring we're always doing what will help us have the very best long-term sustainable impact in the lives of the children we're here to support.

Feel your impact

Our small team means you'll have a clear insight into everything we do, from designing our website to funding our projects in the field. If you don't like feeling like a small cog in a big machine, Child.org is for you.

Develop

The Child.org team make our own opportunities. Child.org is the kind of place where driven employees can go from interning to launching and managing fundraising events worth tens of thousands of pounds, within months. If you're innovative and ambitious, we'll help you bite off more than you think you can chew.

Love your job

We love dramatic Spotify work music, animated gif memos and fancy dress Fridays. We love Kinder Surprise meetings and wearing Child.org t-shirts on our days off. We love post-work pina coladas and the sound of rain. We smile when we get to the office in the morning. If you think you might love some or all of these things, you'll love working at Child.org.

Why I'm taking on Ride Africa


Posted on
02nd Apr 2019
by Cherio Onacha


I have never ridden a bike in my adult life.

...in fact I have only two memories of me cycling. One was as a twelve year old trying to ride a black mamba bicycle. This is a bike obviously meant for grown people because of its height, but as children we had our creative ways to make this work for us. I do not think I can try any of those gymnastics now, but trust me I was a pro of my time! 

Good times!

Cycling bears all sorts of  nostalgic memories for me. Aside from my pre-teen excursions, my other fondest memory of me on a bicycle was when I was about 4-5 years old. My father would carry me on his bicycle to his place of work over the weekend.

This was in no way a hobby of his, it was just the only means of transport available to us - we have come a long way! I looked forward to these rides nonetheless. I remember him asking me to wrap my little hands around his waist for support, but my tiny hands couldn’t cover the circumference so I held on tightly to his shirt and rested the side of my face on his back. The feeling was priceless! 

I have nothing but good memories of cycling and I guess that is why my excitement to do Child.org’s all women’s ride in July comes as no surprise. I really do look forward to reliving my childhood memories and making new ones with all the wonderful and inspirational women I hope to meet on the ride.

This ride will require a lot of brevity, patience, endurance, faith and resilience from me. I believe that it is no coincidence that this mirrors the season I am currently going through in my life. My husband and I have struggled with infertility for coming close to three years now. It has been a rollercoaster of negative pregnancy tests, tonnes of supplements, endless doctors appointments, blood draws and scans with our hopes of being parents still a distance afar.

On very many occasions we have questioned everything that we believe in. Making babies is loads of  fun for many people, why is it not for us?why does it have to involve this amount of heartache, self doubt, anxiety and a deep into our pocket? In moments like this, it is very easy to drown yourself in self pity. I am not in any way trying to negate the gravity of our pain (because, trust me, it hurts) but with the amazing support I have continued to receive  from people around me in this season, my strife has been to remain positive, hopeful, and to continually give purpose to my pain. 

This then brings me to the main reason why I am doing Ride Africa, cycling from Nairobi to Meru over 6 days in July. As difficult as this journey has been for me, I am abundantly blessed. I am surrounded by a loving family that has stood by all the decisions we have had to make. I have an understanding work environment at Child.org that is accomodative to all the time off I have to take for my clinic appointments. I also have access to health information that has helped me understand our condition better, and financial resources to afford decent healthcare. Besides this, I am part of very many networks of women across the world who are currently going through this or have gone through this and overcome. The support has been incredible! Not for one second have I felt like I have to do this on my own. I will be forever grateful for this!

I cannot then even begin to imagine the isolation that a woman like me in rural Kenya, with very basic education, no family support, no financial resources or access to proper health care is going through. A woman who has struggled so hard to conceive, feeling hopeless at her inability to protect this very pregnancy that she has worked so hard for.

I have loved my child even as an idea. Deep in my heart I know I will do everything to protect them to ensure that they have a chance at life because they are already loved and wanted. If my circumstances meant that I could not realise any of these dreams for my child I would be shattered. The women we hope to work with in Meru, Kenya do not have the luxury of any of these dreams I have for my unborn child. Their circumstances make it impossible!  I am doing this ride for these women because I believe in their dreams, and I believe that in my small way I can make their dreams a reality.

I get so emotional every time I look at this picture of Winfred and her baby!

Please join Marti and I to make my journey count, by donating to this cause. I am hoping to raise £4,000 for Team Mum - enough to launch four support groups for new mums. Through these groups, new mums will be armed with the information they need to keep themselves and their babies safe during pregnancy, delivery and the early months of their babies lives. Help me make the dreams of these mothers a reality, they do not ever have to feel  alone!

If you are in the UK and give before 30 April, your donation will be doubled by the UK government.

Donate to Cherio and Marti's fundraising page

Baby Box Pilot - a report


Posted on
11th Mar 2019
by Ellie Dawes


The results are in and the report is out. You gave us the money to run a Baby Box programme, here's what we achieved with it.

Baby Boxes have been making news in the UK for a few years, with research and debates ongoing into how they help families in Scotland and Finland (or shoppers at Lidl). But there's been precious little research into whether this innovative intervention might be useful in a low-income country like Kenya. Our small pilot programme provides a glimpse into their potential. 

The Baby Box Pilot was Child.org's first mother and newborn programme, and the first delivered direct by our Team in Nairobi. It was also funded by our first ever Christmas appeal - £6000 raised from individual donations from UK supporters and matched by the Bush Hospital Foundation.

Between June and December 2018, Child.org used that money to deliver 483 specially-designed Baby Boxes to mothers with newborn babies living in informal settlements ("Slums") in Nairobi County, Kenya. Each box included a mattress, two sheets, a cellular blanket and a mosquito net, and was printed with safe sleeping advice. 

The aims

Using the baby boxes, Child.org wanted to:

  • Encourage more mums to access postnatal care services
  • ​Provide new mums with safe sleeping information and a safe place for their baby to sleep

Our research and programme development aims were:

  • To initiate maternal health programming for Child.org
  • To learn about potential opportunities for Child.org to make a significant constructive contribution to maternal and neonatal health programming in Kenya
  • To assess the efficacy of the Baby Box as an incentive to access services from a government health facility in Kenya
  • To assess the potential impact and value of the Box itself in the Kenyan context to determine whether a Box could be a useful intervention for Kenyan mums and babies

The results of this pilot were astounding

More families accessed vital health services, and life threatening infections were identified earlier. Mums had a far better understanding of the safest way to put their baby to sleep. Our extensive surveys and the experience of running the programme also highlighted some key opportunities for Child.org to improve the lives of mums and babies in Kenya in the future. Here are some key successes:

  • 96% of mothers accessed postnatal care services following the birth of their baby, compared to only 15% at baseline. The project saw an 81% increase in women and babies accessing life changing services.
  • 21% of babies checked during their postnatal care consultation were diagnosed and treated for an umbilical cord infection. That’s 122 babies that were treated for a life threatening infection.
  • Based on the improved access to postnatal care, that’s 98 babies that had their infection detected earlier (as a result of the mother going for postnatal care earlier in order to collect the Box.) Cord stump infection is one of the causes of blood infections such as sepsis and tetanus. These contribute to17% of newborn deaths in Kenya.
  • 95% of mothers that received the Box are using it as a place for their baby/babies to sleep either during the night or during the day.
  • Parents are using the Boxes a lot more consistently during the day (93%) and only 2% are putting their baby to sleep in the Boxes at night. This is because co-sleeping is encouraged by medical professionals in Kenya to facilitate breastfeeding. Child.org did not discourage this practice in favour of the Boxes as a place to put baby to sleep at night. (For more information on why this is - download the report, link below.)
  • Before the programme, just 7% of mothers knew that the safest position for a baby to sleep is on their back. After the programme, 43% of mothers knew this.
  • 80% of newborn babies were being exclusively breastfed
  • The number of mothers and babies sleeping under a mosquito net at night increased from 71% to 80%

Surprising facts from the Baby Box report

1. Child.org worked directly with the the Ministry of Health on this programme, and when we discovered gaps in provision of postnatal care - we ran our own training session with staff and volunteers. We also made sure we were using monitoring and evaluation tools and measurements that would work with the data used by the Ministry of Health, so we could share and compare data easily.

2. We initially registered 478 mothers, reserving 22 of our 500 boxes in case any of the mothers had multiple births. This turned out to be prudent because nine mothers in the project had twins. Only one of these mums had a scan, and her scan was inaccurate - so none of those mothers knew they were expecting more than one baby! 

“It has helped me a lot, especially the mosquito net from preventing diseases by malaria.” - Gentrix, mother of twins, Prince and Ashley.

3. In an early focus group, we showed local young mums a prototype of the box and they were shocked, saying that it looked like a sanduku/coffin! To ensure mums wanted to collect and proudly use the box, it had to look like a beautiful crib for a baby, so we worked with illustrator Jaqueline Fryers to create beautiful boxes in a cost-effective black and white. The boxes were printed and manufactured in Kenya.

4. Mums told us that the boxes were most useful as a safe place to put the baby during the day, while they were working or cleaning up. Imagine the impact on your day-to-day life when you're given a safe place to put your baby down, in an environment where that wasn't possible before.

Read the report

Our report outlines the whole story of the programme: the challenges we faced, the things we learned and the families we met. 

Download a digital version

Order a print version

What next?

Right now, Child.org are fundraising to deliver our next mother and baby programme in Kenya. Our pregnancy support groups will work with new mums in a remote rural environment, where Baby Boxes are less suitable as an intervention, but we will be providing new mums with a pack of baby essentials as an incentive to attend. This new programme will also link mums with health services that will make their babies safer. The Team Mum appeal is raising funds for this right now, and if you donate before 30 April your donation will be matched by the UK government. 

Having learned so much from the Baby Box Pilot, Child.org are currently reviewing the opportunities presented and how we can act next. For example, here are some aspects that our team are keen to explore further:

Postnatal care 
Considering the significant gaps we found in the provision of postnatal care while we were delivering this programme, we’re keen to keen to increase the scope of our potential impact on postnatal care rates in Kenya. 

Postnatal depression
We also want to capture more data on the mental health of new mothers. We conducted a small survey of women using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale during the endline evaluation and found that 36% of mothers were found to have symptoms of depression. Mental Health is a much-hidden topic in Kenya and postnatal depression is not discussed with mothers at any time during pre and postnatal care. 

Safe sleeping
We want to address the deficit of data regarding safe sleeping for infants living in informal settlement environments in Nairobi and beyond, through academic study of safe sleeping studies in collaboration with universities in the UK and in Kenya. There is huge scope to find out more about whether sudden infant death syndrome (SIDs) really is leading to more baby deaths in Kenya, and assessing what interventions could save more lives. 

 

Fund our mum and baby programming

If you like what Child.org are doing to support mums and babies, please consider joining Team Mum Monthly. Your donation will help us reach mums and babies who need our help, and we'll keep you up to date with all the cool stuff you're helping us to do. 

PLUS if you join Team Mum Monthly before 30 April 2019, your first three months will be doubled by the UK government, with this funding going towards our new pregnancy support groups in rural Kenya.

Join Team Mum Monthly

Child.org's commitment to better communications


Posted on
08th Mar 2019
by Ellie Dawes


If you’ve heard about our Team Mum appeal, you've probably seen a photo or a video of at least one of these mums with their children.

I'm so proud to work with these families to give people in the UK a clear picture of what motherhood is like in rural Kenya. With so much discussion in the press last week about how charities choose to represent the people they work with in African countries, I wanted to share with you some of the ways we’re innovating in comms at Child.org through Team Mum and our commitment to do this well.

Beyond consent forms

Donata, Conzolata, Lilian, Mercy, Ruth, Winfred and Sarah are active members of Team Mum. Just like a Team Mum supporter in the UK, they’ve contributed their time to improve the lives of mums in local communities in rural Kenya. Like any responsible charity, Child.org always ensure that anyone featured in our marketing has given formal consent, and understands how their pictures and stories will be used. 

But we want to go further. That’s why I’ve been working with our Nairobi team, Charity Fast-Trackers and partners to explore ways to provide people with the photographs we take, and to thank them for their support. 

In recent years, we’ve been working with better access to technology and the internet and our Kenyan team have been delivering more of our programming work directly. This opens up more opportunities for Child.org to aim higher in terms of the relationship we have with the people whose stories we share.

Here’s what we’re aiming for…

1. Share our content with those featured in it

Where possible, if we collect a great image, we want to share that picture with the person featured in it! The Baby Box photos we took of babies last year were shared back with mums via WhatsApp. For those mums featured in our Team Mum appeal, we had copies of all the beautiful campaign photos printed and framed the best. When the team returned to Meru last week with our Ride Africa riders, they had the chance to deliver these to some of the mums in person. Family photographs are rare and expensive in these communities, so it was lovely to be able to provide these for the families.

In these photos, Faith (yellow jacket) and Cherio (in glasses) from the Child.org Nairobi team are with Margaret from our local partner organisation (in orange). They're presenting Winfred and Donata with their framed photographs. 

2. Value and thank the people who donate their stories

If someone in Kenya takes time to share their story with us and appear in photos, their contribution to our work is as valuable as that of someone in the UK who’s hosting a cake sale in their office. We want to value and thank these story-sharers for that contribution wherever we can. At The Shindig on 1 Feb, our UK supporters signed thank you cards for the women featured in our Team Mum campaign. Here's a picture of Rozie, one of our amazing Team Mum comms parners and volunteers, adding her thanks and message of thanks for the mums:

 

3. Dignity and positivity

When sharing a photo or video of someone we work with, Child.org staff ask ourselves: “Would I proudly share that photo publicly on Instagram if it was a photo of my friend’s child, or a member of my family?” If the answer is no, we don’t share it. That’s why you’ll only ever see photos and videos from us of people having a good day and bossing it. 

4. Three-dimensional stories

If we’re using a person’s photo, we want to tell you their name (unless we’re protecting their identity for safeguarding reasons) and give them a voice. We want you to know something about them that makes them unique. We want to tell you about the hard work they’re putting in to improve their own life and the lives of others in their community (it's ludicrous that Child.org team should get all the credit!) Check out the contributions made by headteacher Walter, health teacher Phylis and primary pupil Zulea - just a few of the hardworking people I met on a brief visit to our HealthStart schools in 2017.

5. Support our network to do better too

Child.org are looking at how we can offer more advice to those who visit our programmes, whether they go to work on a Charity Fast-Track placement or to learn about our work on a visit at the end of their Ride Africa cycle ride. If you’re visiting our projects, we’ll support you in presenting yourself and the people you meet on your social media in a way that is hopeful and empowering, not harmful.

We’re proud to receive regular feedback from supporters who say that they find our comms materials positive and empowering. But we can always do better. If you have feedback or comments about our communications I would love to hear from you - email me at ellie@child.org or give me a ring in the Child.org office on 07751768207.

 

If you like the way Child.org do things - then please support us. We are small and brave and we need your support to grow our impact. Join Team Mum monthly and help us build a stable future for Child.org by providing reliable funding for our work with mums and babies. 

Join Team Mum Monthly

If you don't feel like to can donate regularly, show your respect for the commitment of the epic mums you've read about in our comms - join Team Mum with a donation today. Just £10 can provide a new mum with a pack of baby essentials, encouraging her to join one of our new pregnancy support groups. 

Team Mum month one - my highlights


Posted on
01st Mar 2019
by Ellie Dawes


It's been the busiest month ever in our London office as Team Mum heats up. Here are my personal highlights so far...

Our Team Mum appeal launched on 1 Februrary at The Shindig, one month ago. So far we've raised £88,802 towards our target of £150,000. It's been a whirlwind, but I think these are my favourite moments from the campaign so far.

Our launch at The Shindig

Hundreds of you flocked to The Shindig, our annual celebration party, to launch Team Mum. For the first time ever, Cherio and James from our Kenyan team were able to join us in London for the party and it was so lovely to get the chance to hang out together. We even had a special guest from the Department of International Development - Lord Bates joined us to speak about the impact of UK Aid Match. We all enjoyed delicious food provided by our generous and brilliant friends at CH&Co.

Ride Africa riders met our Team Mum Storytellers in person

The biggest chunk of our fundraising so far has come from the heroic efforts of our Februray Ride Africa riders. After a spectacular and challenging ride to Meru, they visited some of the women Child.org is working with in this community. We had a special thank you to deliver on the visit - the team presented each of the young mums who appears in our Team Mum campaign with a printed and framed selection of the beautiful family photos we took of them. We also delived cards signed by Child.org supporters and friends, thanking them for allowing us to use their stories here in the UK to fundraise. It meant a lot to me to be able to thank these women for their help, having been creating content out of their real life experience for months

Team Mum Scotland join Ride Africa

 

A team of bold and brilliant Scottish women are joining the pack for our very special all-women Ride Africa in July, and TV presenter Cat Cubie organised a launch in Edinburgh to bring more on board. It was attended by dozens of influencial mums, including A Place in The Sun presenter Jean Johansson, who has also signed up to take on Ride Africa in July, as she reported last week in her Scottish Mail on Sunday column. Other riders include partners from the wonderful Cuckooz Nest, and our own Head of Creative, Naomi. This ride is going to be incredible.

 

Charity Fast-Trackers rally behind Team Mum

The Child.org team went to Utopy's Charity Fast-Track Bootcamp weekend, to support the Fast-Trackers who attended. These guys are all running their own challenges, recruiting and managing teams of volunteer fundraisers to support Team Mum. Many are taking on the Sukuma Wiki challenge - living on kale for a week or organising Walk Like A Mum walks. The passion and excitement from these future charity leaders was infectious and it's no surprise to see many of them already leading large and successful teams!

Team Dad

When dads support Team Mum, it makes my ovaries hurt. It was lovely to chat to dad blogger Stuart of Father-Hood.co.uk about his support of the campaign.

Motherhood is universal

Seeing our comms partners post and blog and promote the campaign has been an eye-opener. What's really resonated with me have been the answers to our "What do you wish you'd been told?" question on social media. There are so many similarities, and a few big breathtaking differences, between the experiences of the mums we spoke to in the UK and in Kenya. I look forwrad to sharing more of these over the next two months. 

 

 

Working side-by-side with some incredible volunteers

This campaign simply wouldn't be running without the support of an army of skilled volunteers, most of whom are Charity Fast-Trackers or alumni. From creating and scheduling a mountain of social media content, monitoring our reach to report to DfID, sending out resources,  and supporting comms partners, a massive thank you for all your hard work so far.

Clary & Peg baby bloomers

Our Kenyan Team worked with Clary & Peg to pick the fabrics for their special Team Mum products in Nairobi. Just look at these precious little baby bloomers! Gorgeous. (You can buy them here.)

Otis goes viral

When Rozie from Jungle Creations came on board and make a crafts video to promote Team Mum, we both agreed it would be great to have a real mum and baby in the video. My sister Daisy and nephew Otis were very happy to step in, though I think my whole family was taken by surprise when the amount of views hit 2.7 million. TO be fair, he does look very cute in Rozie's finger-knitted hat.

Support from my family and friends

I've been overwhelmed by the dedicated support of my family and friends for this campaign and want to thank them in this blog. They've been generous with their time, advice, money and support. They are performing at Vault festival, holding supper clubs, making their work colleagues hold Royal Baby Sweepstakes, holding coffee mornings, poetry evenings, contacting local press, coming to events, donating, hosting quizzes, cooking me dinner every night when I get home late and appearing in my content. Team Mum really has rallied all our personal networks here at the charity, and I want to thank everyone who has personally been supporting me and the rest of our little team.

What's next?

This week, our brilliant programme of shows at Vault Festival kicks off. We're holding a big concert in Covent Garden for Mothers' Day. We'll be asking everyone to buy a mum a pack of baby essentials as a Mother's Day gift. 

We have thousands still to raise, and we need your help. Please, donate here, find fundraising ideas here, order posters and t-shirts here. Come to our events. Tell us what we can do to help you to support Team Mum. If you donate or raise donations before 30 April, they will be matched by the UK government.

Two months to go. We can do this, guys. 

Meet Conzolata


Posted on
28th Feb 2019
by Ellie Dawes


Conzolata lives in a rural area that is hard to reach.

When her son, Victor was born she walked a long way over uneven roads to the hospital to give birth:

Before she gave birth, Conzolata was unaware that she could travel to attend clinics and find out if her baby was healthy or not. She says, “I wish I knew people go to clinics. I would have gone.” She would love to have a health visitor come and visit her to tell her about her own health and how to best look after Victor.  

Conzolata also told us, “When I got pregnant, I was scared of being judged by other people.” In Meru, the lack of status for pregnant women in the community means that young women can struggle to speak up and seek help during pregnancy when they feel something is wrong. 

If Team Mum can launch our pregnancy support groups, we will  reach young mums like Conzolata with the message that they are not on their own. We will provide access to health advice and support that will help mums to keep their babies safe.  Child.org are extremely grateful to Conzolata for taking the time to share her story with us, in order to benefit other new mums in her community.

Donate now to join Team Mum and launch pregnancy support groups in Donata’s community. Give before 30 April and your donation will be matched by the UK government.

Join Team Mum


Go further, join Team Mum Monthly

Give monthly to Team Mum and support more mums, empowering whole communities to make pregnancy, birth and early childhood safer.
If you sign up before 30 April, your  first three monthly donations will be doubled by the UK government.

Join Team Mum Monthly

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