Aug 5, 2021

Lifting Families Up

When a health crisis like Covid 19 emerged, it created shocks to the economic, social and health systems, causing different implications for families especially women and girls, with gender impacts across various dimensions of wellbeing.The most marginalized and deprived households are not only the most vulnerable to infection from the virus, but they are the most impacted by the economic shutdowns.  Economic challenges during the outbreak continue to pose a serious threat to family businesses and expose them to increased risk of exploitation and abuse. Girls and young women facing severe economic shock are more likely to take on high-risk work for their economic survival. 

At Macheo we believe in empowering the community so that they can become better caregivers for their children. We have continued to support vulnerable families with cash transfers to meet their immediate needs. 

Our success Story

*Nia is a 32-year-old mother of five children.

When we first met Nia, she was struggling to pay her rent, was in a lot of debt, and her children could not access the most basic needs of food security, water, and even school fees. She felt really desperate and stressed. The Macheo social worker referred Nia to the Macheo  Economic Empowerment Intervention.

Nia underwent financial and management training to teach her on ways to save and avoid debt. She was also taught on how to manage her income in different areas like house rent, where she relocated to a cheaper house. After proper training, she was then given seed capital to start a business she had wanted to for a long time. She started selling fish at the local market. Within no time, Nia's business started to do well and she now gets a daily profit of approximately Ksh 600 ($6USD), this has enabled her to provide for herself and her five children. Nia has better hope for her and her children’s future. All her children are now going to school, have a safe place to sleep and never have to sleep hungry again.

We are thankful to our partners for the support they have given us. On behalf of Macheo and our beneficiaries we say 'Thank you'. 

Aug 5, 2021

Continuing; with your support

COVID-19 pandemic has deteriorated key determinants of health and caused major upheavals around the world. In Kenya, children, although less directly affected by the virus, are paying a heavy price through the indirect effects of the crisis, including poor diet, mental health impact, social isolation and health care, particularly among vulnerable groups.  

At Macheo, we have continued to offer nutritional support for identified children. We are committed to respond to the immediate and medium-term needs.

What Macheo is doing differently

We are ensuring key preventive and curative nutrition actions to respond to the high numbers of malnutrition. We have adopted a holistic approach to nutrition that is addressing both curative and preventive actions to children and their parents.

• Increase linkage to other sectorial measures such as food security, and social protection, encouraging safe modalities such as cash transfers for those vulnerable households that are facing increasing food insecurity. We are also providing school feeding with nutritional meals to children in public primary schools.

• Adopt innovative solutions, such as remote training on nutrition, counselling and monitoring, to enhance access to quality nutrition care, particularly for those harder to reach.

One Success Story

Rain is the only child of a teenage mother. She was identified by a Macheo area social worker.

During the time of identification she was 9 months old, malnourished and unable to sit upright let alone crawl. She lived with her mother and grandmother who depended on casual jobs for income. After assessment she was found to be moderately malnourished. Rain also had a history of recurrent infections and was taken to a physician who diagnosed her with low calcium and low blood levels.

We then made sure Rain was given all the medicine that was prescribed. Rain's mother started to get nutrition education and diet counseling to properly feed herself and her daughter. Continuous follow ups, home visits and seminars were also done to keep up with Rain's progress, as she was still on medication and vitamins, including deworming.

Today, Rain has gained weight and recovered fully from calcium and iron deficiencies. She is now very active, joyful and playful. Her family are thankful to Macheo for the support they received.

Apr 8, 2021

Supporting Children's nutrition

Even before Corona became a global pandemic threatening the health and well-being of many children in Kenya, children under 5 years of age were still suffering from malnutrition and wasting. This raised them at higher risk of malnutrition related ailments. For children who survive, wasting adversely affects children’s body growth, brain development, and school performance in their school life. Malnourished children are at risk during this pandemic, as they are at risk because of potential disruptions in the nutritional services that keep them alive. Under-nutrition makes them more susceptible to infection. And finally, they are more vulnerable because they rely on parents for daily feeding, care and support. If caregivers are sick, quarantined or unable to secure nutritious and safe food and drinking water, children will suffer. Therefore, as COVID-19 pandemic continue to strike in our country, a high burden of humanitarian crisis is on the brink and it is critical to include malnourished children in the list of vulnerable groups to COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic also risks becoming a nutrition crisis, as overburdened healthcare systems, disrupted food systems and income loss for parents, prevent children and women from accessing nutritious diets and essential nutrition services, including those for the early detection and treatment of child wasting.

Aligned with this analysis, Macheo continues to offer nutritional support for identified children. We are committed to respond to the immediate and medium-term needs, to prevent malnourishment and to treat the child. 

What we are doing differently

• We have intensified our intervention to protect, promote and support optimal breastfeeding, age-appropriate complementary foods and feeding for infants and young children, and related maternal nutrition, using all opportunities to include key messages on COVID-19, symptoms, hygiene practices, infection prevention and control measures.

• We are providing safety measures for the current nutrition intervention to reduce potential of infection in malnourished children, their caretakers and our staff by handwashing with soap, physical distancing and intensive messaging and communication to the community.

• We have intensified efforts to strengthen the capacity of mothers and caregivers to detect and monitor their children’s nutritional status, using low-literacy/numeracy tools including mid-upper arm circumference. 

• Providing cash transfers and nutrition supplements to mitigate plans across food, health, and social protection systems to protect and promote nutritious, safe, affordable and sustainable diets that support adequate nutrition for vulnerable families. We are doing this to prevent food insecurity among infants, young children and mothers from families and communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our stories 

Fatuma* is an eight month old only child, who lives with her parents Aisha* and Kariuki* in Makongeni. Her mother is a housewife while her father is a mechanic. She was referred to the Macheo service provider because she was very weak. After an assessment, she weighed only 5.5 kgs  (12lbs) and suffered from delayed development, which meant that at her age, she was unable to sit, had a poor appetite, and was quite inactive. Her mother couldn’t help but worry about her daughter's condition. She also lacked information on proper nutrition.

Through a Macheo intervention, Aisha was equipped with proper knowledge on the diet to give Fatuma. The child was also taken to the hospital for further investigation where she was diagnosed with low calcium and rickets hence her static growth. She was put on medication, supplements, and nutritious feeding. Aisha* then followed the doctor’s advice and within a short period, her daughter was able to sit and she became very active. If Fatuma* stayed any longer without being brought to our attention, she would have probably developed permanent developmental disabilities. Fatuma now has a brighter future because of your support.

 We thank you for allowing us to be able to impact the life of a child in this way.

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