Kenyan Election Tests Country’s New Constitution and Our Operations

Written by Andrew McNamee, Manager of Public Policy and Kepha Machira, PR & Communications Officer (Kenya)

Kenyans go to the polls today to elect (or relect) their president, his deputy, members of Parliament, county governors, and ward representatives. Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto are running for reelection against former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka, in a rematch of their 2013 contest. The first election held under the new constitution in 2013 was relatively peaceful, but an attack on Ruto’s home by a man with a machete and the torture and murder of the electoral commission’s head IT officer, both in the last month, have generated new fears.

The election is the second held under the constitution approved in 2010, in response to the violence that roiled the country following its 2007 election. The violence following the 2007 election, which claimed more than 1,000 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands, is something no Kenyan wishes to see repeated. The Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission was established in 2008 to mediate a political compromise between the conflicting parties. The National Accord and Reconciliation Act of 2008, which temporarily reestablished the offices of Prime Minister and two Deputy Prime Ministers, was the result of this effort.

The importance of stability in Kenya cannot be understated. The country’s economy is growing significantly and diversifying, and is now sub-Saharan Africa’s sixth largest. Its proximity to South Sudan and Somalia, two unstable countries afflicted by famine, makes it pivotal for global security. The country hosts the UN HQ for Africa, the largest U.S. diplomatic mission on the continent, the African operations HQs of many NGOs, and receives significant security assistance from the West. Kenya is an anchor state in a volatile region, but its ethnic conflicts have never been far from the surface.

The ethnic divisions laid bare by the 2007 election violence have roots that run much deeper than the presidential election. Divisions among tribes affect schoolchildren, as children are moved among schools based on the perceived tribe-loyalty of their parents. This has affected schools where Feed the Children operates its programs, and our staff have witnessed significant relocation because of anxiety about potential 2017 election violence. Buses have been transporting Kenyans from urban areas with a high risk of political violence to rural ethnic enclaves.

This relocation is harming the prospects of Kenyan children served by our programs. Although school terms were scheduled to end in August, many parents removed their children from school as early as June. The parents we depend on to implement the Cash to School program have evacuated, and those in Village Savings & Loan groups have left before completion of the cycle.

In response, we have coordinated with other Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) to prepare for potential violence, and to address the needs of vulnerable populations if violence affects their communities. We seek to prevent any unnecessary loss of life by addressing both the food and non-food needs of the communities we serve in Samburu and Turkana that could be affected.

“There are times that my family has no food to eat…”

Gerlyn and Nina - Philippines 2017

“There are times that my family has no food to eat, and there are also times that the children get sick, and we don’t have money for medicine or hospitalization.”
– May (Nina & Gerlyn’s mother)

The good news, however, is that because of sponsors just like you, we are implementing programs in Nina and Gerlyn’s community that are greatly improving the lives of the children and families.

Your faithful support is providing feeding programs that provide school meals for the children every school day. It’s a huge relief and blessing for parents to know that their children are getting an education and no longer having to sit in class hungry. The nutritious food they now receive helps them to concentrate and focus better on their studies.

Thank you for making a long-lasting impact that will help families break the cycle of poverty. Sponsors like you are helping implement in this community, the provision of school supplies, TOMS shoes, deworming medication, Vitamin A supplementation, Vitamin supplementation to pregnant and lactating mothers, Village Savings & Loan Groups, livestock provision, homestead gardens, and the installation of a village/community clean water source. Gerlyn and Nina’s family were also one of several families who had a toilet installed—a resource which dramatically improves the health and sanitation of the village and decreases the transmission of disease.

Clean Water Project - Philippines 2017

“I am so grateful for the programs, projects that Feed the Children is implementing in the island … like the provision of school supplies. Every year my children receive school supplies. And then the feeding program, which ensures that my children are going to school every day, because there’s food at school.”
– May (Nina & Gerlyn’s mother)

And we are so grateful for sponsors like you! You are truly changing the world for the better…one child at a time.

There are so many children yet to be sponsored. You can give a gift to help these children, and change the world… one child at a time.

Give Now to Help Children Without Sponsors

“Life was not easy for us…”

Adong Dorothy

Before Feed the Children came into Adong’s community, Adong was not getting an education. The only school available to her and the other children was too far for them to walk to every day, and was too expensive for their parents to afford.

“Life was not easy for us in this community before Feed the Children. Everything was scarce — no water, schools were far and expensive. Our children had a very hard life, which made life for us as parents hard, too.”
– Adong’s Mother

But in 2013, thanks to the generous support from child sponsors like YOU — Feed the Children was able to build a school in Adong’s community. The school has been completely life-changing for the children and families! Adong and the other boys and girls are now able to come to classes every day and receive a much-needed education. They have a safe place where they can learn, play, receive such things as a nutritious meal and clean drinking water. Adong LOVES going to school. She loves learning English and singing the songs and rhymes taught by her teachers. She also has many friends.

“I love the rice I eat at school. I also love the slides and the balls we have at school.”
– Adong

The school has huge benefits, even for the parents. They are now able to attend to their farming and earn a living without the worry and stress of having to leave their children behind for the day with no supervision and very little food.

“I am so grateful that my children now have a place to study and to play.”
– Adong’s Father

Because of sponsors like you, children and communities now have access to essentials such as clean water. Access to this clean water has transformed the lives of these people. The water they had before was very far away from their homes, resulting in long travel times. It was unclean and they had to share it with the animals as well, which led to life-threatening illnesses. And many times the water would almost dry up during the dry season. But now, thanks to you, there is a constant supply of fresh, clean drinking water that is easily accessible for Adong and her community.

The success of this project inspired more construction to start on the school grounds in 2016. Another learning block was built, as well as sleeping quarters for the teachers. The plans and hopes are that this school will keep growing into a very large primary school in order to reach even more children with education, food, clean water and the hope of a brighter future.
Feed the Children believes that no community should be without a strong school system, because as you can see, there are so many positive, transformative changes that spring forth from building a school and providing an education for children who do not have these opportunities.

“Thank you, Feed the Children. I now have the hope of seeing our children get bright futures.”
– Adong’s Mother

Thanks to you, the hopes and dreams of Adong and the many, many other children and families in her community have been rekindled. Without your monthly support, lives would not be changed for the better. Every time you send in your monthly gift, you are providing another stepping stone for children to a healthier, happier, more hopeful life where they can enjoy their childhoods. You are also their link to what was once an impossibility … the chance to achieve their dreams! On behalf of the children you help everyday through your on-going sponsorship each month, thank you!

There are so many children yet to be sponsored. You can give a gift to help these children, and change the world… one child at a time.

Give Now to Help Children Without Sponsors

“It’s really a big help to the children”

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This is Jemriel. He’s 7 years old and lives in a poor village in the Philippines with his 11-year-old brother, James, and their mom, Anselma.

This family has dealt with one tragedy after another. The boys’ father died 7 years ago. And their simple home burned down 5 years ago.

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Anselma pieced together the small shack that’s pictured here using bamboo and sheets of metal she found. During the rainy season the roof leaks, soaking their bedding and everything else.

The family has no running water. No electricity. No sanitary toilet system.

Mother’s Day is the perfect time to come alongside a mother struggling in poverty!

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Their only income is from the stick brooms Anselma makes and sells.

Jemriel and James help their mom make the brooms and together they carry them into the nearest city to sell on street corners.

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Every week the family runs out of food. They’re lucky to eat a cup of rice a day with some vegetables. But there are days when there is nothing to eat. On those days, Anselma begs from a neighbor and hopes they have enough to spare.

If Jemriel and James weren’t part of Feed the Children’s child sponsorship program, they would be extremely malnourished, possibly starving. Thankfully, because of their sponsors, the boys receive a hot, nutritious meal each day at school.

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Anselma says of the meals:

“It’s really a big help to the children.”

The boys also get shoes and school supplies thanks to their sponsors. These are simple things, but despite how hard their mom works, she cannot afford them.

Jemriel and James love going to school. They enjoy the nutritious meals and the opportunity to learn. Both boys are hard workers. They understand that a good education is critical to breaking free from the extreme poverty they are trapped in right now.

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The boys are resourceful. They have even made their own toys out of what others have thrown away.

Anselma says, “All I dream for is for the two to finish their studies and to be able to find a good job and have a better life.”

Because her boys have sponsors, this mother’s dream has a good chance of becoming a reality! You can make a difference as a sponsor for a child trapped in poverty.

This Mother’s Day, give hope to a mother like Anselma by sponsoring a child!

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The boys have hope for a brighter future, thanks to compassionate friends like you who said YES to sponsorship. They have hope and that brings a shy smile to James’ face.

Find your child to sponsor

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Introducing the Kenya Food and Nutrition Team

By Paul Odongo

At Feed the Children, we couldn’t do our work without the support of individuals, corporations and organizations—people like you. Your gifts help us attract and hire top-notch staff who implement our programs here and around the world—who help create a world where no child goes to bed hungry.

Today we’d like you to meet the Food & Nutrition Team in Kenya.

Many people mistakenly think Food & Nutrition consists simply of providing meals to hungry kids. We do work with feeding programs in communities and schools throughout Central America, Africa and the Philippines. But the food is only a fraction of what we do. Kenya’s Food & Nutrition Team also works to train and empower parents and communities through the Care Group program.

Their work starts before a child is even born, and continues through the child’s first thousand days of life. Studies have consistently shown that these few years can be the most important period in a child’s life. What happens in those early years helps ensure whether they will grow into healthy and well-nourished children.

Through the Care Group Model, we help educate entire communities on good hygiene, nutrition, sanitation and health. We employ seven Care Group Promoters, who are each responsible for four Care Groups. These groups typically consist of ten to twelve Lead Mothers, who are volunteers and the real lifeblood of what we do.

Each Lead Mother reaches out to ten to fifteen neighbor women who are pregnant, lactating, or have a child under five years of age. These Lead Mothers meet frequently in their Care Groups to learn key messages about nutrition and caregiving, which they pass on to their communities.

DSC_0145It’s mothers training mothers, and it works.

“We began teaching this year, and the community is already energized and taking action towards some of the issues in their communities,” says Anthony Muburi, a Care Group Promoter. This teaching includes how to access nutrient-rich foods and appropriate nutrition for infants and young children. The groups also help mothers access deworming medication for children, to prevent parasites. All activities focus on reducing stunting, which can result in permanent, irreversible negative health, developmental, and well-being outcomes for the remainder of children’s lives.

“When we started the program, there was some skepticism,” says Dennis Kaunda, a supervisor. “We had to take some time to sensitize the Ministry of Health officials on this model and how we would implement it.”

Along with the Care Groups, Food & Nutrition takes a big-picture approach, working with government to advocate for policies and budgets that encourage good nutrition and foster child development. We have been pivotal in nutrition advocacy in Kajiado County, which led to the launch of the County Nutrition Action Plan in June this year. This is one our most visible achievements, and the first of its kind in Kenya. We are helping get county government and other partners involved in the fight against hunger. The action plan will provide framework and coordination for a variety of interventions, activities and programs by county government, stakeholders and partners.

We salute the Food & Nutrition team in Kenya: Clementina Ngina, the Pillar Manager; Dennis Kaunda and Japheth Kaeke, supervisors on the ground; Anthony Muburi, Deborah Nekesa, Kevin Wanyonyi, Jackline Jerotich, Mercy Nyangaresi, Gladys Gathua and Everline Ahidi, our Care Group Promoters; and Esther Komen, a Program Officer that represents the team in Kajiado.

Will you stand with these dedicated individuals? Learn more about our work in Kenya here.

 

Fighting Back Against Malnutrition in El Salvador

Many of us throw our used cardboard, glass and cans into a recycling bin without giving it a second thought.

Imagine relying on these recyclables for income so you can eat.

That’s been the situation for Sebastian, a seven-year-old living in a village about forty-five miles outside the capital of El Salvador. In communities like his, levels of malnutrition can reach almost 50%, and almost two-thirds of the population lives in extreme poverty. 

sebastian_el-salvador_2Many of the people in Sebastian’s village make a living any way they can: day labor, construction work, and other temporary jobs. Some of the work is seasonal; women may clean houses in the city, then work in coffee fields during harvesting season. Steady jobs are extremely rare. Sebastian’s own mother works in the capital Monday through Friday, visiting Sebastian and his older sister on weekends. Sebastian has a guardian who looks after him during the week: “The mother works very hard to get some money to cover the basic needs for these children,” she says. “I know how hard is to be a single mother, so I help her take care of her children.” Sebastian’s mother earns about $100 per month, which only covers the absolute basics.

“I miss my mother a lot,” Sebastian says, “but I know she loves me, because she works very hard for me—for love.”

Sebastian’s house is tiny, made from bamboo and pieces of wood, with sheets for doors. Though small, the house is crammed full with clothes and items the family has collected over the years that they sell along with recyclables for a little extra money. Meals consist of beans and tortillas, plus vegetables, rice, and eggs when things are going well. Sebastian and his sister are fortunate—they eat three meals a day—but the food lacks the essential nutrients for growing children.

And good nutrition is important to Sebastian. Like many boys his age, he loves football games with his friends and playing with his dog “Dogui.” But he’s also up at 5 a.m. every morning to haul water from the well, among other chores. He tells us he wants to be a firefighter so he can help families in need. Even at his young age, he knows how important a healthy diet is for a healthy body, so his dreams can become reality.

Feed the Children has been partnering with the mothers of Sebastian’s village since 2014, cooking and serving nutritious meals each weekday through the Feeding Center. About a hundred children are fed each day in a fully equipped kitchen with tables and benches. Feed the Children also provides children ages six and up with medicine to eliminate intestinal parasites.

Food and medical care are important, but they’re only the beginning. We also provide training and support as the village improves its livelihoods. We’ve offered courses in greenhouse fertilizer and how to create a tilapia hatchery so the community can increase its income and make the tough climb out of poverty.

“I feel blessed because you are a big help for my mother,” Sebastian tells us. We can continue to help Sebastian, and even more children like him, through your continued support. Donating is easy and makes a huge impact. Join our work today.

 

College-Bound and Full of Hope

Meet Triyzia, a seventeen-year-old who lives in Cebu City, the capital of the Philippines. She likes a lot of the same things many teenage girls do: hanging out with friends, watching TV, and “chilling.” Her days are spent in school, with homework afterward and chores around the house. She would love to see the world, and wants to get a job as an engineer someday. She’s done well in school, even taking advanced science classes.

08-2016-ph0045-7_triyzia_philippinesCollege costs are a concern for a lot of people—but for Triyzia and other people experiencing poverty, the worry is especially great. Triyzia lives with her mother and two siblings in a communal house with other relatives. Her father died more than a decade ago. Her mother has been raising the kids on her own ever since, without much support from Triyzia’s father’s family. Triyzia’s family doesn’t have its own electricity; instead the family shares it with a neighbor in exchange for paying part of the bill. Water comes from a shared communal tap. It’s crowded and noisy in the neighborhood.

Triyzia’s mother works for a community health center nearby. Sometimes the paycheck is late in coming, so they have to borrow money. Her job may also be in jeopardy because there’s been a change of leadership in the city government, and she supported the opponent of the new mayor. The family’s future is currently hanging in the balance. 

Triyzia’s older brother is trying to pass the entrance examination for one of the shipping companies in the Philippines to help with expenses. In the meantime, things are tight, and about to get tighter: it’s not just Triyzia who’s hoping to go to college next year, but also her twin sister.

Thankfully, the family isn’t alone in the struggle. Triyzia is a Feed the Children scholar, which means she receives needed supplies and support. Everything from school supplies to uniforms and backpacks to shoes is provided, so students can focus on what matters: their schoolwork and their future.

Having these items taken care of has eased a huge burden for Triyzia’s family. “Feed the Children has done a lot to help my family,” her mother says. “For me, they have helped my children so much with their studies and especially to me as a single mother. The school supplies that they give to their scholars every school year and the uniforms that they provide are great help to my daughters’ studies.”

We see ourselves as partners with Triyzia, her family, and countless other scholars and families in the Philippines as well as in the other countries we serve. Together, we can build bodies, minds and futures for children everywhere. Join the partnership! Learn more about our international work in education and see how you can get involved

Top image is Triyzia (right) with her sister and mother.

Sanitation in Africa, Progress and Challenges.

Toilets are an important and essential part of our everyday lives, whether at home, at work or traveling. While access to toilets may seem like an obvious concept to many, especially for those who live in the global north, this is not so obvious in many communities in the global south, especially those in rural settings as well as those who live in urban slums and informal settlements.

There are people who go about their daily lives without access to toilets and who must compromise their dignity and privacy when nature calls. In some areas like the Kibera slums in Nairobi, most of the residents use ‘flying toilets’ – a plastic bag used to collect human feces since they do not have access to toilets. The filled and tied plastic bag is then discarded by throwing it far away or in a ditch or by the roadside.

Some communities in rural areas defecate in the open–they must go out in the bushes or hidden fields to relieve themselves. The practice is mostly rampant in poor communities that do not prioritize toilets.

At Feed the Children, we know that a lack of toilets leads to myriad serious sanitation problems. We understand exposure to fecal matter can lead to a long list of diseases and can cause infection; it also provides a breeding ground for parasites which affect many populations. We also understand that besides reducing infections, the sanitary importance of toilets offers an increased sense of dignity.

That is why we work to ensure children live in healthy environments. We do this by working closely with key partners to keep children free of disease through life-saving sanitation programs.

In Africa, we promote appropriate hygiene practices and health-seeking behavior among communities where we work. We do this in two ways; through the Care Group Model and Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS).

The Care Group model is designed to teach household-level behaviors to prevent maternal and child malnutrition and death. Feed the Children has used this model successfully in the Kibera slums.

While the Care Group Model works well in urban slums, the CLTS approach has worked well in our rural populations. CLTS focusses on ending open defecation as a first significant step and entry point to changing behavior.

Both CLTS and Care Group Model concentrate on the whole community rather than on individual behavior. They focus on igniting a change in health and sanitation behavior through social awakening that is stimulated by individuals from within the community.

Through these approaches, communities are able to adopt a range of behaviors such as stopping open defecation; ensuring that everyone uses a hygienic toilet; washing hands with soap at different critical times; and creation of household handwashing facilities among other key essential hygiene actions.

In Kibera slums, Feed the Children uses the Care Group model to promote essential hygiene actions with an aim to create individual and community behavior change in health, nutrition and hygiene.

For the past year, Feed the Children has taught communities in Kibera about safe disposal of feces, so that it does not contaminate the environment, food, or water. The three slum villages where Feed the Children has been working have been able to locate sanitation facilities, they have taught their neighbors about the importance of safe feces disposal to protect their own health.

Achieving Open Defecation Free Environments

In Malawi, our hygiene and sanitation programs using CLTS have witnessed significant changes that have been recognized by the government. We have been using CLTS as a first step and entry point to changing behavior.

We start by enabling people to do their own sanitation profile through appraisal, observation and analysis of their practices of open defecation and the effects they have. This often kindles a desire to stop open defecation and clean up their neighborhood.

Since 2010, the government of Malawi with funding from the Global Sanitation Fund has been implementing hygiene and sanitation interventions across the country with the purpose of making Malawi an Open Defecation Free (ODF) zone.

In December 2015, Feed the Children in Malawi through its work under the Global Sanitation Fund ushered the country’s third Traditional Authority into an Open Defecation Free status. Since 2010, Traditional Authority Chapinduka was the third to be declared ODF in the country. The success was credited to the work that Feed the Children and the District Council were doing in the area.

Apart from this community, Feed the Children has worked with several schools in the northern region, Rumphi district to ensure that they have sufficient toilets to cater for the huge student population. One of the school that Feed the Children successfully trained on CLTS is Chivungululu Primary school that had their toilets constructed by community members.

For more than five years, our office in Malawi has reached out to more than 82,038 community members with CLTS messages, we have seen 190 villages living in ODF zones and most importantly, and we have seen behavior change where community members take collective responsibility to ensure that each homestead has their own toilet that is properly constructed, covered and has a handwashing facility.

In the coming months, Feed the Children, Africa region will continue using CLTS in rural communities to end open defecation. We have and will continue working in partnership with other non-governmental organizations, corporates and the government to empower children and their communities to achieve self-sufficiency.

Feeding Bodies, Minds and Futures… in the Philippines

It’s August, and families here in the United States are preparing for children to go back to school. Parents across the country will spend August wandering store aisles while clutching school supply lists, or pawing through the bin of kids’ sneakers looking for the right size, or maybe ordering school uniforms online. And while we may grumble about the prices, many of us will be able to provide these items for our children without too much difficulty.

But imagine what it’s like not to be able to purchase the items kids need to be successful in school. That’s the reality for too many families, not only here, but around the world.

Meet Veronica and Ana, two teenagers who live in a large city in the Philippines. Both live in a poor area, with too much crime, drug use and violence. But both have stable homes and families, and their parents work hard to make ends meet. Veronica’s parents wake up early each and every day to cook food and package it for sale in their neighborhood. Ana’s father also works in the food industry, as a fish vendor. He doesn’t have much income left over after paying their bills, not to mention debts they owe to neighbors who loaned them money for their kids’ educational expenses.

Neither of these families has the luxury of extra income for school supplies. Veronica helps her parents with the food sales, but the allowance she receives never goes for fun things a sixteen-year-old might enjoy. Instead she spends the money—when she has some—on basic necessities for school.

Veronica and Ana are both outstanding students who deserve to have their dreams nurtured. Veronica doesn’t have a lot of books herself, but devours the ones she can access for free online. She hopes to take up business management if given the chance to go to college. She dreams of buying a restaurant for her parents to help their food preparation business thrive.

For her part, Ana is deemed “a brilliant child” by those who know her. As an honor student, she has received numerous awards and medals through her academic work. She likes art and music and enjoys writing poems.

Ana
Ana

Both of these young women deserve a good education, free from worry. That’s why Feed the Children helps provide nutritious meals, supplies, backpacks, shoes, and educational workshops to Veronica and Ana and so many young people just like them.

Before, Veronica and Ana’s parents could never get ahead in terms of saving income—every penny went to the basics. Now, with assistance from Feed the Children, and made possible through countless partners and donors, they can start to get ahead. Both of these girls will be looking at college soon.

“Feed the Children has been helpful to us,” says Veronica. “Because of them I am more motivated in going to school, and I am more focused on my studies in order to maintain my scholarship.”

“Feed the Children has done so much to help me,” Ana agrees. “I am so thankful that there is Feed the Children! Because of the support that I have gotten, I have learned to value my studies even more than before, and to work harder and to be even better in my studies.”

This work is only possible because of support from people like you. Help children build bodies, minds and futures. Learn more about our educational initiatives and give what you can today.

 

Helping Babies Thrive

At Feed the Children, we know that parents, particularly mothers, are the critical link to helping kids be healthy and well nourished, especially in the early months and years of life.

That’s why this week, Feed the Children’s office in Kenya joins the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Dietetic Unit and other partners to mark World Breastfeeding Week.

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated annually from August 1 to 7 to promote exclusive breastfeeding for newborns during the first six months of life. Experts say that exclusive breastfeeding yields tremendous health benefits, providing critical nutrients to children, helping protect from disease, and fostering growth and development.

“Breastfeeding is the single most important indicator for reducing the child mortality rate up to 80%,” says Clementina Ngina, Feed the Children’s Food & Nutrition Pillar Manager. “It is also one of the five indicators set during the World Health Assembly which countries likes ours are working hard to improve. Feed the Children is promoting exclusive breastfeeding as part of this effort.”

Feed the Children has long been involved in advocating breastfeeding of newborns and infants. Through our Care Group model, our staff is able to train a large number of volunteers who then work within communities to promote healthy nutrition for children, including breastfeeding.

Food stuffs classified according to their nutritional groups during the launch of Feed the Children International’s new logo in Lilongwe March 26, 2015. PHOTO FEED THE CHILDREN/AMOS GUMULIRA
Food classified according to their nutritional groups.

Our work is based on studies showing how critical the first 1000 days of a child’s life can be. We know that giving attention to a child’s health and nutritional needs during that period will help create a lasting impact in their lives. Our Care Group volunteers teach best practices to new mothers and expectant women to help them raise healthy and well-nourished children.

Through these Care Group forums, Feed the Children emphasizes the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Mothers and mothers-to-be are taught that breastmilk has the right proportion of nutrients to help babies develop well.

To commemorate World Breastfeeding Week, Feed the Children Kenya has worked with the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Dietetic Unit in partnership with members of the Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) technical working group. Feed the Children is a member of this working group.

During this week’s event, two educational materials are being launched, the National MIYCN counseling cards and the Baby-Friendly Community Initiative. Feed the Children actively participated in the development of both of these documents, and they will be a vital tool as our Care Groups continue to create a world in which babies can not just survive, but thrive.