Dec 26, 2018

creating a Linkage: Malnutrition and child's development

*Nyacaba during her visit to the hospital
*Nyacaba during her visit to the hospital

For very young children, the period between six months and two years represents a very unique window of opportunity when critical development takes place. In order for children to develop healthily, they must have a diet rich in nutrients. This diet must centre on good maternal nutrition and breastfeeding for the first six months followed by the introduction of a nutritious complementary diet containing vegetables, animal source foods such as milk and eggs. If a child is not given these foods at this point, they become malnourished. The consequences of a poor diet at this time for the young child include long term poor health, disability and poor educational and development outcomes.

At Macheo we create awareness that focuses on the quality of nutrition offered to young children in food for them to develop healthily. We understand that we need to make small steps for both mother and child which has been proven to be effective and can make a big difference in the lives of the children. These include promoting early and exclusive breastfeeding; educating mothers about health and diverse diets for their babies and good hygiene practices; providing supplements for women during pregnancy and for infants after birth and encouraging the parents to grow/farm diverse and nutritious foods. These interventions can reshape a child’s future, giving them the best chance to become healthy and productive members of society. We have scaled down the malnourished child intervention with our other interventions that focuses on the pregnant mother (assisting teen mothers and assisting mothers in child care) so that we reach every would-be mother and every child.

Our success Story

Nyacaba came to the care center as an eight months old baby girl. She was malnourished and had contracted bronchitis and pneumonia. She was also diagnosed with some serious motor development deficiencies. She was immediately taken to the hospital where she was given the medication treatment she needed. She was then enrolled in our malnourished intervention where during her stay, she made steady gains in both her overall health and development over a period of eight months in the intervention. Today, she is an active, mobile, smiling, vocal baby girl.

Conclusion

Without adequate and sustained investments in good nutrition, the SDGs will not be realised. The ambition to ‘End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture’ is captured in SDG 2, however, at least 12 of the 17 Goals contain indicators that are highly relevant to nutrition. Malnutrition will represent an often invisible impediment to the successful achievement of the SDGs. It results not just from a lack of sufficient and adequately nutritious and safe food, but from a host of intertwined factors linking health, care, education, water, sanitation and hygiene, access to food and resources, women’s empowerment and more.

On behalf of our beneficiaries we are grateful for the support you have given us.

Dec 26, 2018

economic power

*Nafatali with her goats
*Nafatali with her goats

Vulnerability has many expressions, the most obvious being a lack of access to financial services such as credit and savings facilities. Many parents especially women develop views rooted in feelings of powerlessness and lack of self-worth. And they are at the mercy of an unpredictable destructive cultural practices and norms such as limitation to education and  training; limited voice in decision-making within  their  households  and  communities;  limited  engagement  and  visibility/  recognition  in  the  public  sphere;  limited  access  to  productive  resources  such  as  land  and  credit; heavy  workloads  and  an  extended  working  day  and  high levels  of  domestic  violence.

Macheo Children’s Centre intervention on household management fully integrates proven approach to economic empowerment by equipping parents to move from surviving to thriving. We empower parents with information and sustainably improve their family’s education, health, food security and nutrition, and shelter.

Our action

One of the ways we help needy families is to provide an opportunity to improve economic situations through a seed capital donation.

Our Success story

"am 30 years old. I was born in Kahuro named in. When I was 17 years old my family forced me to get married and I give birth at the age of 18 after one year. For this reason I couldn’t go to the school. A moment after my second son was born my husband went to jail. Then after, all responsibilities become to be kept on my shoulder. That time was so much painful; I never ever forget the pains I felt and also the ups and down I come across. At that very time I didn’t know how to manage and lead my life with my poor kids. While I was suffering for such terrible life,

Macheo Children Centre come to our village and found my children not in school. They wanted to find out why my children were not in school and i told them that I was struggling financially as I dint have any work to do. I did some casual jobs which sometimes were not forth coming.  I even went Nairobi in search of work but i couldn’t find a permanent one. I came back to my rural area when my health had deteriorated. When I was asked by the staff member whether I wanted to be supported or not I didn’t rub my eyes to say yes.

Subsequently, I got the chance to be supported in their program. Next to this I was given many training especially on business skill, saving and credit management. When I became qualified, they organized a business for me and gave me seed money to start goat raring. Right away my business started showing a very promising progress. I could use the manure I got from my goats to grow vegetables in my kitchen garden as I had been advised. I no longer buy vegetables for use at home. I have the tomatoes which I am hoping to sell and make money also. Life is slowly but surely coming around again. 

Unlike before, I have a lot of information which I would like my fellow women and members of my community to benefit from. I have been able to mobilize around 34 women who face similar challenges like me before I met Macheo to form a group and I would like them to benefit. At the same time each one of us in the group has started to save 40 shillings with the group and we are hoping to register the group.

Now, I know the benefits of saving through Mpesa from the sale of vegetables and my saving habit is improved. Currently, without any problem I can lead my life and my two sons are attending their school and I start to repay my loan. I would like to thank the organization for its continued support. For all the supports I would like to thank you’’.

On behalf of our beneficiaries we would like to express our gratitutes for your support.

Sep 24, 2018

Building Effective Economic Empowerment

Jedida at her newly established business
Jedida at her newly established business

Introduction

Many parents are driven by dreams that their children’s lives will be better than their own. Yet many of these parents in the most vulnerable families in our working areas lack access to knowledge, capital, markets, technology, and information they need to build thriving businesses. We believe that household economic strengthening is building the capacity of the men and women in our intervention to participate in, contribute to and benefit from economic opportunities in ways that recognize the value of their contributions, respect their intrinsic dignity, build stronger families and improve the quality of life for all members of the family. Economic Empowerment is not an end in itself, but a tangible expression of care that radically changes the lives of children and their families that may lead to transformation lasting for generations.

 

During the reporting period the following were carried out:

  • Seminars/life skills: We facilitated seminars and life skills to empower beneficiaries on approach, behavior and personality for their overall development. 
  • Economic  empowerment  -  The  idea  of  the  seed  capital  is  to  enable  beneficiaries  invest  in firewood  business  etc.  During  the  quarter,  some  of  our  beneficiaries  supplied  uniforms  to Macheo,  some  supplied  fruits  while  others  were  linked  to  markets  where  they  supplied  fruits and cereals.
  • Follow-up  home  visits  –  Home  visits  were  conducted  to  make  follow  ups  and  carry  out  assessment  for  new  clients.  We then worked side-by-side to build the family’s capacity and confidence to achieve set goal.

 

Success stories

The only reason I got involved in stone crushing is because, compared to other small businesses, it does not require much capital.”

Jedida Mbithe is a 38-year-old separated mother of seven in the Umoja village. Following her separation with her husband, Jedida who had been financially dependent on him, had to work harder than ever before. She became involved in various small-scale income generating activities but, despite being labour intensive, they awarded little cash. These included washing other people’s clothes as well as rearing chicken. Out of the different income activities, Jedida found crushing stones into gravels as the most tiring as well as the unhealthiest.  In addition, this activity is very time consuming, as it required her and her children to collect and carry heavy stones.

After identification and months of constant follow up by our economic strengthening officer, we provided Jedida with a start-up capital and started a green grocer. A natural entrepreneur, Mutheu took full advantage of Macheo’s support for small business development and is now running her businesses based in her community that have substantially improved her income and capacity to support her family’s basic needs. She is also participating member in a group formed within Umoja by beneficiaries who have gone through Macheo and she has saved money to expand her business.

Reason for Success

Part of the success in the program is to include men and boys in this process as champions of women entrepreneurs. We are involving them to enhance their understanding about the power of entrepreneurship and how supporting their wives, mothers and daughter can have a profound influence on their families and communities.

We have also established a group in this area of Umoja, by which members are beneficiaries of Household Economic Strengthening.  The members can save and access credit to expand their businesses if need be arises.

*Name changed to protect protection purposes. 

 
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