Help a Child Africa carries out two child-centered community development programs by its own: one in Matuu (Machakos) and one in Makueni (Mavindini). The aim is to improve the wellbeing of children and empower the community as a whole. Involving stakeholders at all levels, Help a Child Africa gives attention to different pathways to reach this.

Improved academic performance of children in basic education

In accordance with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number one of ensuring there is quality education for all, the project pursues improved academic performance of children in early childhood development centers, primary and secondary schools. In partnership with the Ministry of Education, we train the members of management committees on their roles and ECDE teachers on better learning practices. We set up forums for teachers to share best educational practices to ensure that the quality of basic education for children does improve. The programme also partners with the government and the community to improve the learning environment in two primary schools and equip two ECDE centers with learning materials for young children. 

Enhanced self-reliance among out of school youth (15-25 years)

To achieve self-reliance among out of school youths, the program raises awareness to the youths and the community on the available development opportunities and markets, assess new youths and place them together with artisans for skills acquisition. Soft skills training is offered in areas like entrepreneurship and business management. In addition, Help a Child supports enhanced life skills, sports, and mentorship, to improve the self-esteem of youth. Youths are organized in youth groups for capacity building, employment and access to government opportunities. Help a Child Africa also arranges exposure visits to institutions as a key to increase their participation and learn more from other institutions as they intermingle together.

Increased social-economic wellbeing of vulnerable households

The major focus in this pathway is on setting up and strengthening community structures, such as self-help groups and cluster level associations to support economic resilience and development. Help a Child conducts mentorship sessions for book writers and self-help group representatives to gain financial management and leadership skills, and arranges on-site follow-up sessions to give attention to specific needs. For better advocacy, lobbying and resource mobilization, Help a Child builds relationships between cluster level associations and several partners. 
To increase food production, Help a Child is linking up farmer producer groups to SME's and provides training on post-harvest management, value chain addition and marketing of agricultural products. This is done in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture.  In addition, Help a Child introduced poultry keeping by setting up a demonstration site to act as a learning site for farmers. Quarterly follow-ups will be done to trained households to ensure implementation.  

Increased awareness about child rights and participation for children and caregivers

In Matuu we arrange training and stakeholder forums on child rights and protection. To make children groups more effective, we develop curricula and support monthly activities for children. Children are also encouraged to participate in child-related national events to enhance their learning and voice their issues. In partnership with key stakeholders Help a Child strengthens the existing child network to discuss key issues affecting children and arrange lobby for better policies.

Improved water, sanitation & hygiene among vulnerable households

Through a partnership with the Ministry of Water and the community. Help a Child has set up two water harvesting sites, to increase water access for vulnerable households. Another partnership, with the Ministry of Health, is on creating awareness for the importance of personal hygiene, waste disposal, hand washing, latrine use and deworming of children in primary schools. To ensure that the community is safe in terms of health, sanitation, and hygiene, Community Health Workers are trained on preventive and promotive health care to train and teach the community on sanitation and hygiene-related diseases. Help a Child has also set up an environmental conservation campaign through children groups by engaging them in planting trees in their homes and centers, to create awareness on the importance of conserving our environments and to ensure enough water is available, now and in the future.