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Sikiliza Newsletter

What do Bananas and Bricks Have in Common?

As part of the WVP Kenya Scholarship Programme, parents and guardians of our scholars are invited to apply for income generating activity (IGA) funding. The purpose of the IGA is to provide the parents and guardians with a mechanism to earn income and support their families. On average, each IGA recipient receives 4,500 KES (or approximately £32) in the form of goods, materials and other equipment to operate their business. Items supplied by WVP Kenya have included sugar, cooking fat, chickens, tomatoes, second-hand clothes, farming equipment … and bananas and materials for brick-making! In a recent monitoring and evaluation survey carried out in Lugari District, we determined that many of these small businesses are thriving and producing many benefits for our scholars and their families. With the income generated, parents and guardians have been able to: provide food and other basic needs for their families; pay school fees for a scholar’s siblings; purchase new shoes for each family member; save money; and reinvest funds to expand the IGAs, among other endeavours. Intangible benefits realised include an increase in confidence and greater family cohesion. Although operating an IGA is not without its challenges such as fluctuating demand and increasing commodity prices, the hard work and resilience of these families ensure that the IGAs will continue successfully.
Two guardians of a couple of scholars of ours in Lugari District proudly show their IGAs. The guardian making bricks had her home stacked from floor to ceiling!

Building Scholarship Pride and Ownership 

Over the April school term break, the WVP Kenya Bondo office held five community forums with scholars and their parents and guardians. The aim of these community forums was to develop a united plan of action for scholars, parents/guardians and WVP Kenya to ensure that scholars will make the most of their education opportunities.
At each community forum, the parents/guardians and scholars were engaged to openly discuss the challenges scholars face at school and at home. From these challenges identified, the participants were further encouraged to examine how they impact a scholar’s academic performance. Challenges noted included the lack of textbooks available at school; scholar illness or the scholar having to care for an ailing family member, resulting in school absenteeism; inadequate moral support from parents; lack of food at home; and low school standards on teaching quality, among others. All these factors contribute to underperformance at school by scholars. WVP Kenya then facilitated a brainstorming session on what actions scholars and parents/guardians could take to help resolve these challenges. Two key pledges made at the community forums were for the scholars to place greater effort and focus in school to improve their academic performance and for parents and guardians to become more involved in their child’s education (e.g. daily monitoring of homework, attending school events etc).
In seeking community input and consensus on what measures to take, WVP Kenya hopes to foster a greater sense of scholar ownership and pride in the Scholarship Programme, strengthened by the care of their family and other community members. Regular community meetings with parents and guardians will be held by both the Bondo and Lugari offices to ensure continued strong communication and support for the scholars.

Programmes Director visits London  

At the end of March, our programmes director came to London. Vincent Onyango Ogutu was invited to come and speak at a conference on caregiving children held at the London School of Economics. Here Vincent shared his thoughts and experiences of WVP Kenya's efforts to support caregiving children  with policy makers, academics and practitioners from the UK and Africa. His presentation was well received and inspired many of the participants. Whilst in London Vincent also attended at World Bank meeting on community responses to HIV and AIDS and got the opportunity to share with decision makers the WVP Kenya ethos on how to do development. Having Vincent in London also provided WVP Kenya with an opportunity for the UK-based trustees and Vincent to meet and discuss progress in Kenya and strategise for the future. Picture from left to right: Simon, Katharine, Vincent and Isla.  

Tausi Young Carers groupgroups

The Tausi Young Carers group in Lugari District are fully operating their income-generating project - poultry rearing. A poultry shed was constructed for the group and the Young Carers received training on how to care for chickens, including how to vaccinate them. The group will earn income from selling eggs and the chickens themselves.

Football matches

Over the Easter holiday break, two mini-football tournaments were held as part of the Sports and Health Programme. Prior to the games, health talks were held to educate the children on HIV/AIDS and the effects of stigmatisation and discrimination. Over 230 children joined together to participate in the fun and learning.

WVP Kenya exhibits children's pictures in London

Between May 20 and June 3, WVP Kenya, together with the International Network for Caregiving Children and the London School of Economics, exhibited a selection of pictures taken by some of the caregiving children participating in our programmes in Kenya. Through writing, the children explained what the pictures meant to them and the exhibition gave the children an opportunity to share with others what it means to be a caregiving child in Kenya. The exhibition coincided with a number of meetings held at the LSE where academics, practitioners and policy makers got together to discuss how best to bring caregiving children on the policy agenda. WVP Kenya is at the forefront guiding this agenda. WVP Kenya and the exhibition received press in news outlets such as the British Medical Journal and The Guardian Newspaper. The article featured in the Guardian can be accessed here and pictures from the exhibition can be viewed here.

Child Protection Baseline Study Completed

WVP Kenya conducted a baseline study at the end of April in Bondo and Lugari Districts in preparation for a new phase of our community capacity building programme. Through the community-based capital cash transfer (CCCT) Programme, communities are provided with training and funding to implement small businesses that benefit orphaned and vulnerable children. One of the aims of the CCCT Programme is to help build up the capacity of families and communities to provide quality care and protection to children and enhance their knowledge and skills of their caregiver roles and responsibilities.
Working alongside other international NGOs under the Together4Change Alliance, WVP Kenya completed a baseline study that focused on three primary areas: skilful parenting, front-line child protection services, and social and economic resilience. The Bondo and Lugari teams met with seven communities to hold separate focus group discussions with adults and children on a variety of topics; a total of 112 adult caregivers and 90 children participated. As well, key informants such as police officers, health service providers and NGO workers were interviewed. The baseline study produced interesting and contrasting results when comparing between the adult and child participant groups, the individual communities, and the two Districts – an indication that each community requires a unique response to build its capacity. The baseline study will be used as a basis by WVP Kenya for subsequent monitoring and evaluation of communities and the impact of the CCCT Programme. 

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Thank you!
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our generous donors:
  • The Chello Foundation
  • Wereldkinderen
  • The Liberty Foundation
  • The Community Development Fund, Kenya
  • Our many individual supporters
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