Over 70% of the children have lost at least one parent, most to HIV/AIDS.
The prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in Western Kenya is three times the national average. The disease has decimated communities and left thousands of children vulnerable; without guardians many children struggle with access to food, school and support. Many children live in child-headed households, being supported by siblings who have to spend the day looking for food to support the family rather than furthering their education. Many girls in this situation are subject to early marriage.
In such communities, we create safe centres for the most vulnerable children, providing food, psycho-social support and access to healthcare. These centres enable over 250 children to go to school, improving their opportunity to thrive.
To provide the most vulnerable children with what they need to get an education. To enable the wider community to share responsibility and support children in whatever way they can.
Gathering data for good at Kochogo
Posted on 13th May 2015
To make the best possible decisions about how to spend your donations, it is enormously important that we collect the best possible data. It is by analysing data that we can see how our projects are working to improve the health and well-being of the children we’re here to support. We’d like to share with you how we’re making that happen at Kochogo.
Kochogo Integrated Children’s Development Centre was built by Child.org (then KOP) and Omega Foundation in 2005, in a rural community near Kisumu where the prevalence rates of HIV/Aids are particularly high. Today, the centre provides healthy, balanced meals to 180 children and 11 elderly community members. Children are also supported with psycho-social support and access to medical care.
At Kochogo, we’re changing the data we’re gathering in order to find out more nutritional information about the children. We have recently provided new measuring equipment to the centre to enable the staff to collect this.
To train the staff in using the new equipment, a nutritionist from the ministry of health visited the centre for a day and the centre held a free distribution of vitamin A. As children aged 3-6 queued for their free tablets (an essential vitamin for early childhood development), staff were able to get plenty of experience of taking the measurements, with expert guidance from the nutritionist!
We are so excited about the progress at Kochogo. The centre is becoming a real hub for health services in the local area, and now operates as a coordinator between the local health centre (which was originally built by KOP and is now run by the Ministry of Health) and the local schools for this sort of activity. This means Kochogo is bringing real benefit to all children in the local area, not just those at the centre by ramping up the engagement with health and nutrition issues among the whole community.
This boost in the role of the centre within the community is driven by the passion and hard work of the social workers at the centre, Alice and Liz. We are so very proud to work with brilliant women like them on improving the health and well-being of so many children.
Inspired by this news? Want to support the work of Alice and Liz at Kochogo? Join Child.org Core.
Children facing the biggest obstacles
Our partners at both Rural Children’s Centres have worked within these communities for a long time and regularly gather information through home visit assessments to determine which children need the most support. We learn a lot of about children in the communities, including the difficulties they and their families face, usually relating to economic, social and health-related concerns.
Where we work
Currently Child.org has Rural Children’s Centres at Kochogo and Omen on the outskirts of Kisumu in Kenya.
We work really closely with our partners in Kenya. Omega Foundation coordinate the Kochogo Integrated Children Development Centre and Ogra Foundation work with the Omen Feeding Centre. Together, we have set up community and caregiver groups at each site; provide the facilities for shelter, clean water and cooking; and built links with local schools and medical facilities. Our partners regularly conduct home visits to identify the families that need the greatest support.
Each child gets at least one daily meal, pyscho-social support, clean water and health education from the centre. This allows them to attend school, which wouldn’t be possible otherwise. The centres have social workers, cooks, security guards and gardeners/caretakers at each site.
It costs around £130 per year to support a child at a centre. This includes food, water, access to healthcare, home visits and staff support (who provide direct care, programme delivery and run economic empowerment groups with caregivers, whilst providing a safety net for all of the children) plus various additional items.
Each year we assess the progress and look to continue to add services through the centre, in order to achieve a goal of a comprehensive FRESH approach in a rural setting within three years.
How you can help
A monthly donation is the best way to help us fund our Rural Children’s Centres. We won’t tell you that your monthly donation of £100 saves 100 children. It’s not as simple as that. Read why we need Child.org core and join now.
If you want to help us support the children that need most help getting an opportunity, take a look at our Do something page and take your first step.