- The Council of Governors (COG) seeks to partner with an international philanthropic organisation to accelerate health, protection and education programs for children in the country.
- At the moment, there is no uniform school feeding model for schools in Kenya, which leaves individual schools to figure out what works best for them.
- CIFF is a philanthropic organisation that seeks to transform the lives of children and adolescents focusing on investments with transformative potential by providing integrated solutions that follow children along their life course.
The Council of Governors (CoG) seeks to partner with an international philanthropic organisation to accelerate health, protection and education programs for children in the country.
Kirinyaga Governor and CoG chairperson Anne Waiguru met the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) Founder Christopher Hohn as the CoG sought support in scaling up interventions aimed at transforming the lives of children.
The partnership also involves support for an innovative school feeding program, capacity building of Community Health Workers (CHWs) and implementation of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects.
Waiguru after the meeting with the CIFF top officials disclosed they had fruitful discussions that w
“We have held very fruitful discussions on how counties can forge strategic partnerships with CIFF in order to scale up interventions for community transformation through initiatives such as school feeding and WASH programs, neonatal and child healthcare, child protection as well as support for Community Health Workers (CHWs),” Waiguru said.
Hohn said that his organisation is willing to partner on a 50/50 cost-sharing basis with county governments in the promotion of community health through the capacity building of CHWs and providing them with digital equipment for capturing data and measuring the progress of the implementation of interventions such as newborn survival rates.
CIFF will also help counties equip maternity hospitals and newborn units with the aim of reducing neonatal mortality.
The two entities also discussed partnering on the implementation of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects, including the construction of toilets in schools and hospitals. Mr. Hohn said that similar projects have been successfully implemented in Ethiopia, Zambia and Malawi in partnership with the respective governments.
“We aim at eliminating all barriers to successful realisation of the child health and education goal,” said Hohn.
Waiguru commended the cost-sharing approach, saying that it enhances ownership of the programs by the governments and the communities.
She noted that lack of proper nutrition has been a contributing factor in children dropping out of school and having dismal academic performance.
The Kirinyaga Governor said through strategic partnerships, counties can implement school feeding programs especially in Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) centres that are run by the county governments.
Waiguru also noted the need to scale up models for resilient food systems, such as involving communities in growing food for supply in neighbourhood schools.
The governor suggested that parents can be involved in the provision of labor whereby they will take turns volunteering to cook for the children to cut the cost of running school feeding programs further.
At the moment, there is no uniform school feeding model for schools in Kenya, which leaves individual schools to figure out what works best for them.
While some governments subsidise school feeding, other schools have made arrangements with parents to sponsor the program.
Children in schools that do not operate such a program have to carry food from home, with some going to school without food. Other schools only serve porridge to their students.
Waiguru said that even though various counties have diverse needs, there are cross cutting issues that affect all counties such as provision of healthcare and education, adding that through consultations, counties will be able to propose the specific areas in which they wish to partner.
“There is need to invest in preventive healthcare so as to cut the high cost of treatment which has been a burden to citizens and governments.” said the governor, noting that improved child nutrition and sanitation go a long way in disease prevention,” Waiguru said.
She affirmed the council will focus on strengthening the healthcare systems to ensure better outcomes, pointing out the need to scale up the performance and quality management models and quality care provided by Community Health Workers (CHWs)in the next five years.
Waiguru emphasised that the services rendered by community health workers were very critical in the promotion of primary healthcare and public health since they are the closest link between the community and the formal healthcare system.
There are 89,670 Community Health Volunteers in the country that equip families with knowledge and skills to prevent diseases and promote good nutrition, sanitation and hygiene as well as link families to essential services.
CIFF is a philanthropic organisation that seeks to transform the lives of children and adolescents focusing on investment with transformative potential by providing integrated solutions that follow children along their life course.
Their priority areas include child health, child protection and education. Last year, the organiSation invested $500 million in the implementation of various programs across the globe.