PROJECT REPORT STRENGTHEN 100 VULNERABLE HOUSEHOLDS IN CALABAR NOVEMBER 2021
The Professor Charles Effiong Foundation has in the preceding quarter provided services in the four service domains (stable, safe, schooled, and healthy) to her beneficiaries. These services were provided in order to continuously build the skills of caregivers to provide the basic needs of children in their care.
Home visits, school visits, Kids and Adolescents Club Meetings (KCM), and Caregivers’ Forum (CF) were strategies used to conduct assessments and as well as provide services to both caregivers and children. A total of 30 Households (30 caregivers; 6 males and 24 females; 57 children; 30 males and 27 females) were visited during the quarter. A total of 4 primary schools with 9 children (8 males and 1 female) and 8 secondary schools with 33 children (14 males and 19 females) were visited in the quarter. KCM and CF were conducted in the reporting period where 23 caregivers (4 males and 19 females) and 49 Children (18 males and 31 females) were in attendance. The following are issues gathered from the visits and meetings;
- Caregivers’ low knowledge on birth registration and child abuse as some of the children did not have birth certificates and the caregivers’ had negative perception towards birth registration;
- Caregivers themselves are perpetrators of physical and emotional abuse especially.
- Caregivers’ poor financial planning knowledge leading to non-prioritization of children’s welfare
- Children experience of minor ailments such as fever, malaria, and skin rashes.
Following the issues identified, several services were planned and provided on the various service domains;
- Household Economic Strengthening: The Foundation based on the issues identified, organized financial education basic using the Child Optimized Financial Education (COFE) Training Manual during the Quarterly Caregivers’ Forum which lasted for 2 days. The training reached 30 caregivers (6 males and 24 females) and 15 adolescents (7 males and 8 females) enrolled in the project. This was due to the issue being identified as a common problem in the community usually identified by children dropping out of school. The training which was facilitated by the Foundation’s Programme Manager with the aid of the manual covered financial planning, budgeting, development of seasonal calendar considering their fat and lean periods in the calendar development, Goal setting, Income, expenses, savings, and borrowings was also addressed in the 2 days forum in the manual. The output of the training was setting of goals by the participants, and developing a seasonal calendar with a focus on prioritizing the needs and welfare of children
- Healthy: Nutritional supplements such as Vitamin A and food supplement such as Tom brown was provided to twenty (20) children (6 Males and 14 females) in the reporting period. This was also complemented with health and nutrition education to caregivers and children during the Kids and Adolescents Club Meetings and Caregivers’ Forum, emphasizing the use of locally available foodstuffs which are usually cheap and have high nutrient content enough to provide daily dietary requirements to children depending on their age. WASH services were also provided focusing on handwashing, use of clean water and washing of fruits before eating. In the reporting period, escort service to Primary Health Care Centres was provided to Five (5) children (2 Males and 3 females) who presented signs of malaria and skin rashes.
- Schooled: The issues identified during school and home visits were addressed during Kids and Adolescent Club Meetings, Caregivers’ Forum, and the school visits. During the meetings and the Forum, facilitated by the Foundation’s staff, caregivers and children were helped to identify factors that caused their poor academic performance and school attendance. Some identified factors included low household income which leads to food insecurity, poor parental supervision, non-availability of some subject teachers and school materials. This was also addressed by the provision of school materials, such as exercise and textbooks, school bags, etc. to 50 children (12 males and 38 females). In this reporting period, the state witnessed an industrial strike which left our children to remain at home as schools were also affected. The Foundation seized the opportunity to provide lessons to children (especially those preparing for the 2021/2022 WASSCE.
- Safe: Caregivers and adolescents (10-17 years) were sensitized on the importance of birth registration. The activity was to ensure that every child in the program is provided with a legal identity.
As mentioned in our last quarter's next step, the Foundation concluded on its market assessment exercise in her project communities. Based on its findings, caregivers were counseled on the kind of income-generating activities to engage in taking into consideration their individual interest, level of income, the demand rates of the products in the community, and seasonality of the product. As mentioned in our last quarter plan that based on the funds raised, the Foundation shall provide start-up packs for beneficiaries.
Monitoring and Evaluation: As is the policy in Charles Edet Effiong Foundation and in line with the national protocol of service provision to beneficiaries, services provided were updated on each household and beneficiary’s folders. Data quality assessment was run on the database to track data entry gaps, and corrections were effected and documented.
OUR NEXT STEPS: For the next fiscal year 2022, the Foundation is intensely mobilizing for resources that will aid in the empowerment of household caregivers in the provision of start-up packs to boost financial capacity and thus improve children’s wellbeing. We appreciate our partners who continue to play an important role in improving the lives of vulnerable households in Calabar. Your kind support means a lot to our team and the children we support. As we all navigate our way out of the current global crisis, we appreciate your kind and continuous support towards strengthening the livelihoods of the vulnerable households who have been impacted disproportionately economically by the global pandemic.