ChildFund Kenya Country Director Ngugi Chege (left) and human resource manager for Africa region at ChildFund International discuss the strategic plan after the launch. Photo / Business Today

ChildFund Kenya has launched an ambitious strategic plan that seeks to reach more children deserving help across Kenya. Through a three-year plan running between 2019 and 2021, ChildFund has stepped up interventions in children welfare expected to attract funding to the tune of Ksh5.6 billion ($55 million).

According to the strategic plan, the global children organization expects to spend $21,531,533 in the first year, $22,178,096 and $11,211,838 in the third year to support both children and youth.

Besides the hardship areas where children suffer various deprivations, ChildFund Kenya is also strategically focusing on urban areas targeting highly populated informal settlements around major cities and municipalities.

Country Director Chege Ngugi said due to devolution, traditionally rural towns are growing fast into urban centres but due to lack of spatial planning, communities are finding themselves living in urban settings where infrastructure and services are inadequate.

“Urbanization through counties has brought in new challenges as a result of displacements,” said Mr Ngugi. “Lifestyle changes to more urban setting is exposing more children to protection issues and youth to drugs. A good example is Emali town which now is for the first time grappling with street children.”

Mr Ngugi said the strategy will cover the journey of a child from birth to young adulthood across three stages which include infants and young children; children and young adolescents (6 to 14 years) and adolescents and young adults (15 to 24 years).

“ChildFund builds capacity of deprived, excluded and vulnerable children to improve their lives,” said Mr Ngugi. “The strategic plan seeks to achieve healthy and secure infants, educated and confident children and skilled and involved youth.”

Speaking during the launch of the strategic plan, Mr Ngugi said ChildFund Kenya will focus its activities in rural ASAL areas and urban informal settlements where children face high deprivation, exclusion and vulnerability. In ASALs harsh climatic conditions and unpredictable weather patterns expose children to risks such as malnutrition, disease outbreaks, and poor access to water and sanitation services.

“In regions such as Turkana, Samburu and Marsabit, children face repeated abuse and neglect which affect their physical and mental health in the short and longer term, impairing their ability to learn and socialize, and negatively impacting their transition to adulthood with adverse consequences later in life,” he said.

Mr Lee Karuri, the chairman of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance Foundation, who was the chief guest, asked private sector players to support ChildFund activities which he said are geared at improving the welfare of children and youth.

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In Kenya, donor aid and support is targeted at marginalized geographical regions mainly ASAL and informal settlements where the rate of poverty is high, communities are exposed to vulnerability due to harsh climatic and social economic conditions and limited access to quality basic service delivery in health, education, agriculture, water and social services.

The programme will be delivered in eight strategic pillars covering parenting, learning, working and general, protection of children through stakeholder partnerships.

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