Education  Kenya Project #21154

Feed 30 malnourished young children in Kenyan slum

by Macheo US
Feed 30 malnourished young children in Kenyan slum
Feed 30 malnourished young children in Kenyan slum
Feed 30 malnourished young children in Kenyan slum
Feed 30 malnourished young children in Kenyan slum
Feed 30 malnourished young children in Kenyan slum
Feed 30 malnourished young children in Kenyan slum
Feed 30 malnourished young children in Kenyan slum
Feed 30 malnourished young children in Kenyan slum
Feed 30 malnourished young children in Kenyan slum
Feed 30 malnourished young children in Kenyan slum
Feed 30 malnourished young children in Kenyan slum
Feed 30 malnourished young children in Kenyan slum
Feed 30 malnourished young children in Kenyan slum
Feed 30 malnourished young children in Kenyan slum
Feed 30 malnourished young children in Kenyan slum
Feed 30 malnourished young children in Kenyan slum
Feed 30 malnourished young children in Kenyan slum
Feed 30 malnourished young children in Kenyan slum
Teresa at the Kiandutu outreach centre
Teresa at the Kiandutu outreach centre

Close to 3 million people including children are in facing starvation around Kenya. Extreme weather events in the country have caused substantial disruptions in agricultural production and contributed to shortage of food. Poor rainy patterns in 2016 have led to a severe drought crisis in Kenya. The long and short rains were poorly distributed and were too little. The Kenya meteorological department in 2016 predicted that there would be drought due to the falling rains. The impact of drought on this area of Kiandutu has led to water scarcity and high prices of food. Many parents in the areas of Kindutu rely on casual jobs which are not forthcoming. With parent being unable to feed their young ones, under-nutrition is putting more children at greater risk of dying from common infections, increasing the frequency of malnourished children which is contributing to delayed recovery. This is creating a potentially lethal cycle of worsening illness and deteriorating nutritional status. We understand that poor nutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life can also lead to stunted growth, which is irreversible and associated with impaired cognitive ability and reduced school and work performance in future.

Tackling the problem

To help, Macheo has been working to improve accessibility to nutrition services and strengthen technical capacities by training the communities on the importance of nutrition on children. Thanks to your help we have continued to benefit 30 malnourished children from nutrition preventative and treatment services in Kiandutu. We have been giving regular supplements of nutritious feeding daily to the beneficiaries all through. The children were well fed with nutritious porridge, a well balanced diet lunch, fruits and milk.

In addition to that, the beneficiaries benefited through stimulation which was facilitated through playing with toys and interaction with care givers.Play techniques with appropriate toys and focused on helping the children stimulated were key. Mothers were also taught on how to become more by stimulating their children to play to enhance mother-child interactions. Mothers were encouraged to continue the activities at home even after exit.

The care givers also encouraged children to stand and walk along the standing-walk bar to enhance their walking.

Growth monitoring: Children’s weight, length/height, and mid-upper arm and head circumferences were measured according to standard procedures. Those children who were found to have attained the correct nutrition status were exited and new ones were taken.Follow-up: Mothers/caregivers and their children were followed-up fortnightly. We also carry out systematic de-worming of children in schools so that we can reduce the effects of intestinal worms.

Community approach

Breastfeeding yields countless benefits for both mother and child. It provides children with a perfect balance of nutrients and antibodies for optimal growth and development. Macheo’s Innovations for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health initiative has been working to educate mothers and families about the importance of breastfeeding in Kiandutu. The community is benefiting in the health program that targets not just pregnant women and new mothers, but also the influential people in their lives. This means reaching their husbands if they have. The program encourages women to start breastfeeding as soon as their baby is born, and to continue breastfeeding exclusively for at least the next six months.

Saving lives

Anne Waithera, our staff at Kiandutu outreach program said: “The activities of the programme have really met our needs and the community approach has been the most significant factor. We can say that this approach and our commitment are at the root of behaviour changes and practices, which have improved the nutritional situation of the children in our community.

Success Story

Story of Teresa not (her real name)

Teresa lives with her parents who earn their living income by doing casual jobs. Physically before enrolment, Teresa looked unhappy, had weak legs, dry skin, pale eyes, an extended stomach and poor appetite.

After assessment she was found to be moderately malnourished. She weighed 7 kgs at 1½ years old. She had also suffered delayed milestone (not able to crawl). According to the mother, providing nutritious and adequate meals for the family was a challenge due to scarcity of work and the father was alcoholic and unsupportive. The child was referred to hospital where she was diagnosed with low calcium and blood level. She was put under the malnourished program and was given some supplements.

The mother cooperated well by following the schedule stipulated and within some few months, Teresa had started showing signs of improvement. Teresa stayed for seven months and was exited from the program having attained normal nutritional status, having fully recovered from delayed milestone and a very happy child.

The mother was also empowered to start a new business “Thanks to this project, I have more confidence in my abilities to contribute to the development of my family. I am not obliged to wait for support from on what our husbands bring home.”  Teresa’s mother said.

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Parenting skills instruction
Parenting skills instruction

It is believed that over 90% of malnourished people live in developing countries. In the Kenyan slums, it is believed that more than 40% of the children are stunted, limiting their growth of body and brain. This is shocking since Kenya’s urban slums are expanding at a rapid rate, which increases challenges in food security, health services, water and sanitation. Some slums in Kenya are desperately crowded: some occupy about 6% of the residential land, yet are home to 60% of the urban population according to African Population and Health Research Center. Children in the slums have higher mortality and morbidity rates than children in other parts of Kenya.However, the government of Kenya and the NGO’s are working hard to change this situation. Macheo runs the Malnourished Children’s Program in the Kiandutu slum at Thika town. At Macheo believes that all children should have access to basic healthcare and nutrition and their guardians should have the necessary healthcare information to make informed decisions.

Due to the challenges that face parents/guardians in the Kiandutu slum, the program organizes seminars to empower these guardians with knowledge and skills. This enables them to give the best attention to their children in terms of love, medical attention and feeding them with a nutritious and balanced diet. This helps even after exiting from the program, to prevent them from becoming malnourished again. Our counselors continue to follow the families after they have departed the program, to assess progress.

The following topics were addressed to guardians of the benefiting children, this quarter.

Causes and prevention of malnutrition

Food preparation

Balance diet


Self Awareness

Macheo is very grateful to the generous donors who make this possible! The impact created has saved the lives of many children, besides improving parenting skills among the guardians.

Michigan Visitors to Malnourished Program
Michigan Visitors to Malnourished Program
Ready for lunch!
Ready for lunch!
Full Tummy
Full Tummy
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Guardian training
Guardian training

Macheo US regularly receives updates from the Macheo Children's Centre in Kenya, informing us of their progress in the Malnourished Children’s Feeding Program, caring for 30 infant children daily though your generous support. In the Kiandutu slums of Thika, life is challenging due to abject poverty. Families have no regular source of income and therefore no regular food source for their growing children. Stunting is well established in the early years of a child’s life and we are attempting to mitigate this by taking in children who show signs of malnourishment and try to put them and their families on the right path.

Apart from feeding their children with nutritious meals, MCP uses other interventions to benefit the guardians. This includes individual nutrition advice, parenting related counseling and giving information to individual guardians of those benefiting. For sustainability of normal nutritional status of these children, some of their guardians were referred to other existing Macheo programs e.g. Family Empowerment, Individual Treatment or Mother To Child.

From the field ….


Due to challenges that face parents/guardians in the Kiandutu slum, the program organizes seminars to empower these guardians with knowledge and skill building. This enables them to give the best attention to their children in terms of love, medical attention and also feeding them with nutritious and a well balanced diet. After they are exited from the program, this will prevent them from becoming malnourished again. The following topics were addressed to the guardians of the benefiting children.

Topics and Attendance

Caring for a sick child- 30

Right for a child- 25

Pneumonia -20

Malnutrition -25

De-worming --26

Parenting and relationship 25

Anthropometric assessment

Progress towards a normal nutritional status of the benefiting children was determined by anthropometric assessment. The assessment was done after every two weeks. In this quarter, 10 children attained their normal nutritional status and were released from the program. Other children had not attained the expected nutrition status. However, some of them who had delayed milestones improved as follows:

Name of child Date of intake; State at intake Age at intake; Current state; current age

Brison Feb 2016                         Sitting 9 months, walking 1yr.6months

Mary July 2015                           Sitting 8 months, standing 1yr.6months

Cecilia Jan 2016                         Sitting 8 months, standing 1yr.3months

Teresia April 2016                      Crawling 1yr.1month, walking 1yr.8months

Grace July 2016                         Sitting 10 months, crawling 11 months

Mary June 2016                         Sitting 1yr.1 month, standing 1yr.4month

Onesmus June 2016                  Sitting 1yr.5 months, standing 1yr.9months

As you can see some children have very delayed developmental milestones. They are not released from our program until they have reached a normal weight and physical development for their age range. When recruitment is done, children are found in different levels of nutritional status i.e. mild, moderate and severe. Thus they will take different times to rehabilitate.

Because of your financial support, we have been able to successfully help 98 children in the program in 2016 and will continue to invest in young children’s lives in 2017 with your continued support.

Thank you coming alongside these children to give them a brighter future and a better start in life.

Outdoor play
Outdoor play
Morning Porridge
Morning Porridge
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Healthy Blessed
Healthy Blessed

In June 2016, two of the Macheo US Board Members and a group from the USA visited Kenya, where they stayed for two weeks at the Macheo Children’s Centre.   There they experienced, first-hand, the remarkable work that is being accomplished daily by the Centre’s dedicated staff, to transform the lives of impoverished people in the surrounding urban and rural areas. Macheo Children’s Centre is situated near Thika, a city of approximately 150,000, two hours north of Nairobi, which contains the large urban slum of Kiandutu, where our malnourished childcare program was established.

Macheo is a multifaceted non-profit very professional organization that reaches thousands of at-risk children and families throughout the region. The outreach initiatives include a Primary School feeding program, serving over 1.2 million meals in 2015, a girls Secondary School education sponsorship, child counselors, mother-to-child health, a malnourished children’s care program based in the slums, family empowerment, income-generating farming practices, and the organization cares for 60 orphaned or vulnerable children in the Macheo Home on campus.

The Macheo Malnourished Children’s Program is flourishing because of your gracious financial support, and Macheo US has so far helped nourish and cared for 148 children this year. These youngsters are returned to a nourished state and they are attaining normal status for their age. Along with this effort, parents are guided by seminars on child health and hygiene. They enjoyed visiting the children, feeding them at lunch and generally witnessing their progress, their renewed energy and their enthusiasm for life. Please help us sustain this commendable endeavor.

Story from the field…. Meet Blessed

Blessed is the only child in his family. He was born prematurely, weighing only 3.3 pounds at birth and soon afterwards he was diagnosed with pneumonia. Subsequently he was in and out of hospital, he was prescribed a variety of medications and had no appetite, therefore he became very weak. Upon assessment by the Macheo staff, he was determined to be severely malnourished, weighing 14 pounds at the age of 11 months, and he was suffering from delayed developmental milestones.

He was enrolled in the Macheo Malnourished Children’s program and referred to the hospital. There he was treated and given supplements. Blessed did not improve and he was referred to a hospital specialist who prescribed several tests. Subsequently he was diagnosed with chronic pneumonia and a Vitamin D deficiency. Blessed’s parents were cooperative and followed the doctor’s instructions and they attended seminars to acquire more knowledge. The mother attended counseling and later was economically incentivized through the Macheo Family Empowerment Program. With time, the child started to show some improvement and could feed well. Because of the tremendous support from Macheo, the child improved gradually and finally graduated from the program, having attained his normal nutritional status, weighing 22 pounds and recovering from delayed developmental milestones.

Discovering why a child is malnourished, discussing the family economics and the challenges, creating a viable solution, and suggesting how Macheo can provide assistance to the child’s parent or guardian, is the next stage in the process.

Macheo US is anticipating soliciting funds via a new Global Giving Project to help support the Macheo Family Empowerment Program dedicated to securing a family’s financial future, and helping them become self-sufficient. Stay tuned….!

Play Time at Macheo Malnourished  Program
Play Time at Macheo Malnourished Program
Hungry babies
Hungry babies
Carer Cuddles
Carer Cuddles


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Precious Gathoni
Precious Gathoni

Children suffering from malnutrition have challenges that prevent them from reaching their full physical and mental potential. Health and physical challenges of prolonged malnourishment among children may result in delay in their physical growth and motor development; lower intellectual abilities (IQ), greater behavioural problems/social skills and are susceptibility to contracting diseases.

Macheo Children’s Centre through the Malnourished Children Program (MCP) takes care of 30 vulnerable and malnourished children at any given time.  These children are fed nutritious food while regular health checks are used to monitor each child's progress so that they may attain the right nutritious status for exit. When the children are exited, more children are added in the program to replace the ones that have been exited to keep the number at 30.  MCP staffs are fully engaged in daily schedule of nutritious feeding of the beneficiaries all through. Children also benefit through stimulation which is facilitated through playing with toys and interaction with the caregivers.

Parents are also reached out with other interventions and trainings so they would benefit from the program. Trainings and seminars included individual nutrition/parenting related counselling to individual guardians of the benefiting children and information giving.

Story of Patience Gathoni

Patience Gathoni is the second born in her family. The mother separated from the husband when she was pregnant with Patience. After the separation she got really sick and depressed as she wondered where to start as the husband carried everything, leaving the family with nothing to hold unto.

Patience’s mother could not afford to buy food while she was pregnant and at-times would miss food. This stressed Patience’s mother so much that she gave birth to an underweight baby (Patience Gathoni). After delivery, she went home but was unable to feed her children and depended on neighbours’ support as she could not take care of herself and her newborn child till she regained her strength. Macheo Social worker based in Kiandutu identified Patience and did an assessment on her. She was found severely malnourished weighing 6.4kgs at the age of 1 year. She also suffered from delayed milestone as she could not crawl.

Patience was enrolled in Malnourished Child Program where she was put under intensive care program and later referred to Thika level five hospital for further nutrition assessment. The mother was given supplements to boost Patience’s health.

The mother was also referred for other Family empowerment and was trained on entrepreneurship and business related trainings. Later she was given some seed capital where she was able to start a business. She became serious with her business and was always attending seminars regularly plus nutritional clinics at the hospital.

Through this effort, Patience started to improve as time went on and after months of engagement she finally attained her normal nutritional status. Patience was exited from the program weighing 9.0kgs and having fully recovered from delayed milestone. The mother was happy and grateful for the support given to her when she was desperate. She is now stable and can take care of her children.


The children, who have benefited from the Malnourished Child Program, have survived as a result of this program due to the access of nutritious feeding. This achievement is as a result of your enormous support. We are grateful on behalf of the beneficiaries and highly appreciate your continuous support.

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Organization Information

Macheo US

Location: Okemos, MI - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Anne Thompson
Okemos , MI United States
$27,369 raised of $32,000 goal
351 donations
$4,631 to go
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Pay Bill: 891300
Account: GG21154

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