Apr 21, 2020

Finding ways to continue nutritional support

Food Delivery
Food Delivery

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will have lasting effects on people and their nutrition, healthcare, economies and food systems in all corners of the world. Likewise, many of our interventions including the Macheo Malnourished Program have been disrupted or suspended. One of the intervention that has been fully affected is the malnourished child intervention. The government banned social gathering and restricting social distancing forced us to close our outreach center. 

Ester was a malnourished child identified in our outreach center in Kiandutu. She was malnourished and had contracted bronchitis when she was admitted in our program in January. She was also diagnosed with some serious motor development deficiencies. At our center, our staff immediately took her to hospital for diagnosis and she was given drugs. She was also put on our dietary treatment that she needed. During her stay, she had started to make steady gains in both her overall health and motor development. When the government banned social gathering, we were forced to tell the parents to stop bringing their children. We were had to come up with ways of supporting the parents at home so that they could continue giving care to their children.

Our intervention initially started with a food supply to the clients, as seen in the photo, but as the government become stricter, we focused on cash transfer. This is to help the clients buy food or any necessity that the vulnerable families require.

Our response 

We have already taken the following actions to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

  • We have restricted all travel to protect our staff and the clients. 
  • We are sharing essential information on infection prevention and control with our clients through telephone calls, ensuring that our clients and staff are practicing social distancing, and where indicated, working from home.
  • Regular calls to clients to ensure that they are coping with the pandemic and it's restrictions.
Jan 21, 2020

Safeguarding Children

Introduction

Malnutrition contributes to a high rate of childhood morbidity and mortality. Children who are highly at risk from this menace are those who are affected by poverty. With almost half of the population of Kenya living in poverty, malnutrition is one of the leading causes of death in children. The high prices of food, heavy rainfall that has destroyed crops and poor feeding practices have contribute to malnutrition.

 

Overview

Macheo has continued to focus on the first one thousand days of a child's life because it’s a unique period where foundations of optimum health, growth, and neurodevelopment across the lifespan are established. Malnutrition weakens this foundation leading to severe health complication, mortality and loss of neurodevelopment potential. It’s a window of opportunity that Macheo mainly focuses on by providing proper nutritional services and medication. We have also trained our clients on nutrition and assisted them to set up a kitchen garden.

 

Activities

  1. Feeding: We fed the malnourished children with nutritious food. Macheo professionaly lregistered Nutritionist regularly checked diets to ensure we are feeding the Malnourished with nutritious food. We also engaged the children in play activities to stimulate their brains.
  2. Seminars: During this quarter we managed to have 26 seminars. In these seminars we focus on empowering mothers with information on health, importance of baby’s stimulation, savings and family planning. 
  3. Home visits: Home visit were done to check on the the progress of the moulnourished children. We also assisted some of the families to set up a kitchen garden to improve their health status.
  4. Hospital follow ups: Through your support we were able to take children with severely malnourished children to hospital to receive proper treatment. With your support we were also able build the network with government hospitals,  which is now providing us with micronutrient supplements that we give malnourished children.

Success Story 

His mother Tabitha, worked as a manual labourer and had to take on the earning responsibility in the household since her husband was a drunkard and did not care about them. For Tabitha’s family every day was a struggle with work in short supply, caused a significant impact on her ability to maintain food supplies. “I simply could not afford to provide basic needs especially the nutritious food my young children needed for good health. Instead, my eight children struggled to survive on a diet of little more than cereal porridges, millet, maize or rice, a diet that lacked many essential nutrients,” says Tabitha.

When Macheo's social worker identified Josh, he was thin, wasted, with pale eyes and palms. This was a troubling symptom of what would become a much more complex condition; malnutrition. Josh’s weight was also fluctuating, he got sick so often because his body did not have the same ability to fight off infection as a well-nourished child’s body would. What’s more, as is common with children dealing with malnutrition, Josh had little appetite. In addition, he couldn’t eat well because of the cleft lip and palate which only aggravated his condition and the complications he was experiencing. Through Macheo, Josh was enrolled in the nutrition program which provided him the medication and dietary treatment he needed including an intensive follow-up to help regain developmental milestones. With the help of Macheo, Tabitha is also learning how to provide her children with a more balanced and complete diet, even with minimal money she earns. After that, Macheo took another step ahead to help repair the cleft lip and palate. Josh would require two surgeries; lip adhesion operation to close the clefts in Josh’s lip and a final surgery to bring everything beautifully together.

Despite the priceless happiness from Josh’s mother when she was told that her child had successfully begun his health care journey, there were things she had to do differently. She tried very hard to treat Josh as though there was nothing different about him. “Josh is growing up to be well adjusted. ’Fearless’ is one word we always use to describe him these days since he received the support from Macheo. He is willing to do anything and has the spunk to try to do it,” says Tabitha. “At first I was devastated and scared. I was concerned about what Josh would look like for the rest of his life. I wanted to make sure that his face would appear symmetrical but I didn’t earn enough to make this happen. For the cleft lip repair, it took one week for him to recover, and we had to get used to not seeing a hole in Josh’s lip. My hope is that he recovered from the cleft palate repair in two days, then he was back eating regular baby food,” she adds.

Tabitha was moved by the compassion and generosity of everyone who has played a role in Josh’s care. She remains grateful to Macheo who helped Josh turn into a happy, confident and charming boy he is growing up to be. He is now healthy, part of a family that absolutely adores him, and has a future that has been re-written and is filled with hope. Macheo feels compelled to make sure that Josh undergoes a second surgery which according to the doctors is a costly procedure that the family can not afford to raise. Tabitha looks forward that her son Josh has a future that is filled with hope towards fully recovery of Josh’s condition. Macheo is currently facilitating enrollment of Josh into the National Hospital Insurance Fund, a scheme that would offer him free treatment for the second surgery.

Appreciation

On behalf of the children and their families, Macheo is extremely grateful for your enormous support received from GlobalGiving all through the year 2019. We celebrate the success of the work we have done together and most importantly your aspirations towards making the world a better place for the children.

Jan 21, 2020

A chance of a lifetime

Introduction

Forty two percent of Kenya population lives below poverty line. Access to basic quality services such as health care, education, clean water and sanitation, is often a luxury for many people. Poverty is one of main cause of family breakage, depression, low self-esteem, anxiety and other mental health issues. Through your support Macheo aims to reduce poverty in vulnerable families and improve their economic dependency. Household economic strengthening intervention assists the vulnerable families through trainings, seed capital and job mediations. This improves economic independence of the families. We also train them on basic entrepreneur skills before doing the empowerment.

Overview

Due to poverty families have been torn apart by the stresses of trying to provide for their basic needs. Macheo Household Economic Strengthening intervention aim to improve the ability of the families to provide for their children. Macheo through your support was able to assist 304 families to establish business in the period 2019. During this fourth quarter vulnerable families were also trained on savings, business planning, market research and book keeping.

Activities

During the reporting period the following were carried out:

  1. Seminars/life skills: Knowledge unlocks the potential of the client to success. During the quarter we trained the clients on saving, business planning, book keeping and market research. With the skills the client gains confidence to run the business. We managed to give 14 seminars and train 67 parents on life skills.
  2. Economic empowerment: We have provided 75 families with seed capital to start businesses. We encourage them to come up with their own business idea after training.
  3. Job mediation: We assisted three parents to get a job which has helped them improve their economical status. When one member of the family has a consistence income it will help them overcome poverty.

 

Follow-up/home visits: We have been visiting the clients to check on their progress and also to offer mentorship and support

Success story

Susanna, (not her real name) a 36-year-old, is a hardworking mother of six children who has made sacrifices for the sake of her children in order that they should have the best possible upbringing she can offer, by nurturing them.

Susanna struggled with life doing seasonal odd jobs that clearly hadn't been enough to get her up on her own two feet, being the only one who was able to work after her husband got involved in a fatal accident that left him bedridden for almost two years. This was the time that they struggled and wished the world came to an end. Susanna’s family begged for food and slept in a shanty single dilapidated house. Her family was forced to choose between food, clothes and taking children to school. This is not a choice anyone should have to make. Susanna found herself looking scornfully and as one of those who weren't so lucky, but her experience living in poverty opened her eyes to what it's really like for families just trying to put food on the table.

When Macheo social worker first identified her, Susanna was going through challenges of hunger and other insecure living conditions. Through Macheo, Susanna was supported to start up a pig rearing business that has since then changed her family’s life for the better. According to Susanna, she started the business with one piglet; the reason behind choosing pig farming business was that many farmers were associated with poultry and vegetable selling, but none with rearing pigs, so, she found that it was a great opportunity to start a pig rearing business. Susanna was also trained on financial management and record keeping during seminars that she attended at Macheo. Her ambitious and open mind enabled her to thrive in the pig rearing business. In the first year, Susanna had a stock of sixty one piglets. She narrates that after selling a number of them, she has made it to provide her family with a stable life.

Since Susanna started the business, she has been full of life and a very optimistic mother who always stands out due to her persistence and desire for improving her family’s life. As her business thrive, she has been able to progressively improve the life of her family. Her financial stability has allowed her to make strides in educating her children and support her family in general. Susanna is thankful to Macheo for supporting her family when she was in dire need and she is dedicated to offer one piglet for free to support one needy family that is passionate in pigs rearing. “I do know that there are even many people worse off now than me, but until you experience this long-term poverty situation, you can't really understand how it devastates your ability to function and robs you of your health from the stress, the instability, and the lack of ability to eat healthy. Those were desperate times, before I had a chance to settle down and become a successful farmer and it pulled me out of poverty and gave me a better life. I do my best, and still I am grateful for the basic things in life that I have achieved through Macheo’s support,” says Susanna.

Appreciation

On behalf of the beneficiaries and their families, Macheo is extremely thankful for the moral, professional and financial support received from GlobalGiving. The lives we have transformed couldn’t have been possible without your support. This report celebrates the success we’ve made together.

Thank you!

 
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