Makindu Children's Program

The Mission of Makindu Children's Program (MCP) is to provide financial, advisory and technical guidance to Makindu Children's Centre (MCC) and support their efforts to provide nutritional, medical and emotional support, and access to education and vocational training to destitute AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children.
Nov 14, 2016

1,800+ kids to be fed on World AIDS Day

Every 3-4 months, Makindu Children's Program facilitates psycho-social support events attended by up to 1,800 or more orphaned and vulnerable children and their guardians. The next PSS day is scheduled to coincide with World AIDS Day, December 1st. An essential part of the day's activities will be the large, nutritious, hot midday meal served to all who attend. It often gets amazingly quiet at lunchtime as this might be the only nutritious meal, certainly the largest, they have had in quite a while.

PSS Fun Days are day long interactions with each of the 5 local sites that Makindu Children's Centre serves, with attendance of all the guardians and children in each area, as well as all of the local community representatives for each region. These are generally facilitated by Makindu social workers. There is a distribution of nutritional supplements, vitamins, bulk food and milk when funding allows, school materials, etc. Interactive conversation provides general support, news, and advocacy, as well as AIDS/HIV and health updates. Child counselors and community health workers hold discussions with children on topics ranging from children’s rights to life skills. Children are weighed and dewormed, and deloused when funding allows. Many engage in games and activities for the children. PSS Days have become an essential time to build and retain camaraderie and support, encouragement, emphasize advocacy, trouble shoot, general assessment and time to ensure that the Guardians, the children and the household needs and concerns are being addressed adequately.

Links:

Aug 16, 2016

Esther

Esther eats her hot meal.
Esther eats her hot meal.

Esther is an HIV+ orphan and the oldest of 4 siblings, all of whom are also HIV+. Their mother passed away when Esther was just 7 years old. Their father then married another woman and moved away leaving the children under the care of their grandmother and grandfather. The needs in their household are immense, especially considering all their HIV status - which means they have to eat well. It has been a struggle for the grandparents to put food on the table as they get little income from what the grandfather earns in his job as a watchman.

In spite of her hardship, Esther is a focused and determined child. She looks to the Makindu Children's Center as her second home. In her own words, she says she longs for the days that she goes for clinic with her brother, because they get to go to MCC to enjoy a nutritious hot meal! Once fed, they pick up their vouchers from the Centre for their clinic health check-up and monthly meds. They walk from their home village of Kaunguni, 17 kilometers from the Centre and Makindu HIV Clinic. The clinic at times runs out of multivitamins which are very essential for HIV+ children. If so, the Centre has a supply on hand and Esther and her brother can get multivitamins there.

Esther is the epitome of courage and determination amidst all the challenges she faces at home. As the oldest sibling, she is often tasked with responsibilities from supervising the other children to helping with chores. She sleeps on an old mattress and often goes to bed hungry but rises to challenge of taking care of her family and of herself. She loves to play and sing when she visits the Centre and always volunteers to do duties or run errands.

Links:

May 23, 2016

Child Protection Trainings serve wider community

Protect these kids!
Protect these kids!

Child abuse cases are on the rise in Makindu. To help curb this menace, the program needs to support and strengthen the child protection structures already in place (AAC, i.e Area Advisory Councils). To help further strengthen and educate the community, Child Protection Trainings are taking place at Makindu Children's Centre to the community at large.

The program is conducting capacity building and strengthening of the existing child protection structures. With help from St. John’s Community Center support in Makindu, a refresher course was conducted in nearby sublocations as well, further reaching families and children aided by Makindu Children's Program. Those trained are encouraged to always work closely with the Children’s Department office, and to ensure they utilize any gathering - either at church, school parent meetings, and chief barazas - to educate their communities on child rights, child abuse and the consequences of violating or disregarding those rights.

During the last quarter, these trainings benefitted over 1,400 children. 

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