Basic Nutrition for 60 Children in Kandisi, Kenya
Project location: KENYA, Kandisi
Project start date: July 2012 - Project end date: June 2013
Project number: 2012-021
Beneficiary: Fondazione Don Orione Onlus
TIMELINE OF THE PRESENT ACTIVITY REPORT: From September 01, 2012 to December 30, 2012
The "Basic Nutrition for 60 children in Kandisi" is committed to creating the conditions for food security and the fight against malnutrition of children coming from the area of Kandisi in Kenya.
In particular, thanks to the project they have developed activities which promoted nutritional support to 60 children, who are the beneficiaries of the project, to their families and the local community. In addition, the children were given the necessary medicines for emergency care and guaranteed all vaccinations against various diseases in the Kenyan territory.
The main activities of the project were as follows:
1. Action to fight hunger
The goal that the Association wanted to achieve in this phase was to provide the necessary daily meals to 60 kindergarteners of the Kandisi Nursery School by providing them with a healthy, and continuous nutrition, as well as access to drinking water. These are key factors so that children can develop, especially in the first years of life the skills needed for a physical and mental development.
Right from the start staples were purchased and distributed in the school cafeteria food to ensure the children with, healthy, nutritious meals. They are the basic nutrients which are part of the local diet: tomatoes, potatoes, milk powder etc. in order to counter the emergency hunger and assist the beneficiaries in extremely difficult conditions.
Through the purchase of food, school supplies (namely school uniforms, books, stationery), medicines and vitamins for the children, the Kandisi Nursery School has become a point of reference on the territory for all parents who are in need and whose children are consequently affected by severe malnutrition due to poverty. Given the opportunities offered by the project the requests for inclusion in the nursery have increased.
2. Planting and harvesting of agricultural products
The goal the Association wanted to reach in the second stage of the project was to promote long-term food self-sufficiency to the Kandisi Nursery School through culturing of land granted from the local parish, and through the training of families on the subject of horticulture and nutrition.
In addition, the project has strengthened the capacity to manage and reduce the risks related to a chronic state of food insecurity (drought, dryness land etc.) transferring knowledge and skills to a group of family members. People from the rural community of Kandisi also attended various informative and training courses. In the initial phase of the project special attention was given to women, who are fundamental makers of the rural economy due the many activities they are involved in.
The cultivation of the garden has been and is a sharing growth opportunity for the individuals who are involved in the project of horticulture; thus, the vegetables will support the school kitchen ensuring the feeding of the children.
The parents, along with the Don Orione Fathers, have been involved in all the activities both on a physical and project level (in relation to their ability), with the intent to hold investments and increase productivity. This favours a new approach to life - both constructive, dynamic and relational - in order to ensure freedom of speech and expression that has been lacking for the poor in Kenya until now.
Since the beginning of the project, parents of malnourished children were involved directly in all the stages of the project. Later other parents were included in the project, which is open to the needs of the population.
3. Implementation of the programme of awareness, information and training on the prevention and nutritional education aimed at families and pre-school children
This activity began with the starting of the project. The training programs, information and awareness are addressed to all the relatives of direct beneficiaries of the project and to all who want to participate.
So far, two meetings have been organized in order to raise awareness on issues about nutrition and food security aimed at families and children. Each meeting was focused on the elements and basic information about food hygiene and nutritional characteristics to enhance the concept of health, both physical and mental, related to hygiene and food habits. It was a positive result of the first meetings, through the increase in the number of participants and of requests for participation.
The next phase is a continuation of the work already started in the early phase of this project.
The project had a positive response from the entire community. Surprisingly the working group is composed not only by women but also some fathers and men of the local community. Access to clean water and, consequently to food and the beginning of horticultural activities are very important because living in a community with close access to water means that children can go to school instead of spending their days carrying heavy jerry cans of water; it means the mothers can spend more time with their children and take care of the garden and the house.
The Fondazione Don Orione NGO, requesting the contribution of the project "Basic Nutrition for 60 children in Kandisi", led this project using internal staff, that is in the figure of Don Alessio Cappelli - Chairman of the Fondazione Don Orione, and included 1 monitoring travel (January 2013), thus performing an internal evaluation in the form and manner deemed relevant to the success of the project idea.
TIMELINE OF THE PRESENT FINAL REPORT: From January 01, 2013 to June 30, 2013
KANDISI area lies about 30km south of Nairobi. It has a population of about 20,000 (Twenty thousand) people. The population is very poor. This area experiences severe droughts over and over again exposing the population to hunger, as there is little food always available. This is the main cause of malnutrition among children. The Nando Peretti Foundation gave a very good example of human and Christian solidarity, in a moment so difficult. Through NP Foundation’s support the situation has now been managed.
The project’s general objective was to provide food for the children attending Kandisi catholic school. This objective has been fully achieved, and the project is now able to provide food for 200 children, not only 60 as it was previously expected. The school is now a stable food provider. It also provides clean drinking water, from the water collected from the rain stored in 10.000 liter tank, purchased with the project’s support.
The project now boasts of the best horticultural farm in the area with plenty of vegetables harvested weekly. The vegetables feed the children of the school, and, moreover, the surplus vegetables are now sold to the nearby community market and shops. This is good as it goes directly into finding means of self-sustainability of the project.
From what has been done, the success story is that now the villagers come on daily basis on our horticultural farm to learn ways and means on how to improve their own home gardens.
The project’s activities were expected to provide food for 60 children, however today it provides food for 200 children between the ages of 3 – 14 years.
The parents of the above children can find little works to do for their livelihood. This has reduced on a great note the frequency of diseases and children who were not having any healthy food can now receive a hot meal every day. The people who work in the horticultural farm also get their vegetables from here. All the surrounding community is coming regularly to visit the farming and learn how to produce good vegetables in a very simple but effective way.
The horticultural farm has turned up to be a great success. The farm produces kales, cabbages, onions, Brinjals, spinach, cucumber, lettuce, beetroots. It has four permanent staff now plus many volunteers from the village. The project activities are viable and sustainable. They can go on now without much sponsorship, they only needed support at the beginning, in the start up stage.
The project has been warmly welcome by the villagers of Kandisi; it has continued to provide fresh green vegetables to the children of Kandisi catholic school, who have begun the sell the surplus to the community around.
It has empowered the villagers who now learn from this project how they can grow their own food and not just relying on relief organizations.
A part from horticultural crops grown on our plot of land, the school have also begun growing tree seedlings which we distributed about 200 in the last rainy season to our neighbors and encouraged them to grow trees in their farms.
The school staff is now teaching the neighbors and villagers about the mtheods of conservation of the environment and that tree cutting leads to desertification of the area.
The school compound now boasts of trees and bananas; it is an example of how proper management of the environment can achieve a lot.
SUSTAINABILITY OF THE PROJECT
The long term sustainability of the project will be achieved through the selling of the surplus vegetables produced on the farm.