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Wednesday, 27 September 2017 17:04

Nilinde Project Quality Improvement Teams improving access to quality education for OVC in Ruai

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In 2012, the Government of Kenya released the minimum service standards for quality improvement of orphans and vulnerable children programs in Kenya. Caregivers in the HOPE worldwide Kenya Nilinde Project formed a Quality Improvement (QI) team to oversee and ensure the services offered to Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) in their areas adhere to these minimum standards. The team is comprised of 15 members including representatives from the Ministry of

agriculture, village elders, chief’s office, health sector, Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) and OVC representatives.

This year, the Ruai QI team focused on improving caregivers’ access to quality education services. To achieve this, CHVs began by sensitizing caregivers to take primary responsibility in improving their children’s quality of life.

“We are raising awareness among caregivers that caring for our children is our responsibility as caregivers. We have to rise up to an empowered position as opposed to being fully reliant on NGO support,” said Peter Kamau Njoroge, Ruai lead CHV, during a training hosted at the Komarock HOPE worldwide Kenya Nilinde Project office.

Peter Kamau Njoroge addresses Kayole and Ruai QI teams during training at Komarock Nilinde Project office

Following the sensitizations, caregivers responded positively in pursuing opportunities presented to them. For instance, the QI team created strategic partnerships which enabled them to know of available bursaries from the County Development Fund. Through the various Nilinde Voluntary Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) groups, community volunteers notified caregivers of these opportunities and 160 caregivers applied for the bursaries for their children. Out of these, 130 OVC got bursaries and received cheques of KSh. 4,000 each. The QI team also links needy OVC to well-wishers who would like to donate school fees. Out of one such linkage, one child got sponsorship of KSh. 40,000 from a local church to pay college fees.

Caregivers in the Nilinde Project expressed their gratitude to HOPE worldwide Kenya for the continuous support especially through capacity building aimed at economic empowerment.

“In the recent past, most of us here used to have school fees arrears and our children were perpetually chased from school because of this. I am one of those who applied for the County bursaries and I got a cheque of KSh. 4,000 for my child. The school now owes me, because it was more than enough to cover a year’s education facilitation expenses at my child’s school,” said Patrick Mwangi, a beneficiary of the County bursaries.

The team also sensitizes caregivers and OVC who have completed high school and joined college on available opportunities for loans with the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB). They also alert caregivers and OVC on second selection for universities and inform them on how to register for the second revision for university selection online.  

Charity Kamau, is one of the beneficiaries of the Nilinde Project. She completed her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) exams last year and is looking forward to join university this year.

“ The Nilinde Project has  shown me that I should not allow problems to deter me from my dreams. I plan to start a support group around my home to mentor and encourage younger children that they too can make it in life if they do not give up," said Charity.

Isaiah Alwala, Ruai Project Coordinator of the Nilinde Project expressed optimism that caregivers in the area will achieve more in the course of the year.

“The core of the Nilinde Project is economic empowerment of the entire household. The caregivers in Ruai have been receptive of various trainings and sensitizations that have been done and we are now only beginning to see the fruit of their accomplishments. The Nilinde Project aims to continue working together with the community and various stakeholders to ensure caregivers in Ruai not only receive quality services, but are also empowered to take charge of their lives and care of their children,” Alwala said during an interview at the Ruai Nilinde Project site office.

The Ruai QI team is doing an incredible job empowering themselves and their communities to bring lasting change and development.

*The Nilinde Project helps promote family focused support to Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) through addressing household economic vulnerability, empowering caregivers to make investments to improve the health and well-being of OVC, facilitating access to essential services, and strengthening community-level OVC monitoring and support systems. The project is funded by USAID through Plan International.

Read 251 times Last modified on Wednesday, 21 February 2018 10:57
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