As many as 53% of Kenyans are multi-dimensionally poor, which means they are deprived of at least three basic needs and rights. In Kenya, 36% of the population is monetarily poor. This measure of poverty varies among the different vulnerable populations. Children under 18 make up the largest share of the multi-dimensionally poor, with 48%. Young people (18-34 years) make up another 25% and the elderly (60 years and over) make up 6%.
With the social protection programme in the Kajiado and Siaya Counties, Dorcas complements the measures taken by the government. Dorcas Kenya has a two-pronged approach that focuses on promoting community safety nets on one hand and developing and empowering children and their families on the other. The two projects are called: “Loitokitok Community Safety net project” and “Future 4 Children project”.
“Future 4 Children” supports 450 children and their families with life skills. These skills include improving family relationships, self-confidence and education outcomes. The project also touches income generation skills at family level. As a result, over 200 families are now saving on a regular basis and have begun implementing income generated activities.
Through partnerships with the Ministry of Education in the Siaya and Kajiado Counties, 55 schools have started with a life skill programme on entrepreneurship and social skills. More than 1,200 children are participating in this programme. They are saving money through home and school banks and they are running projects on poultry production, crop farming, tree planting and bead work. The formation and activation of Area Advisory Councils in North Gem and Kajiado South also has the potential to improve child protection.
The Loitokitok Social Protection Project is gradually implementing the Dorcas Family Development model to reach the extreme poor and to help them to sustain themselves and their families. The project is supporting 90 people, including women of every age group and people with disabilities. Approximately 45 women are benefitting from health insurance and cash transfer. The beneficiaries have been trained on village saving and the approach to lending. They are working in groups, saving and borrowing for the education of their dependents and small businesses. The Village Savings and Loan Association groups are building a community safety net through their joint savings that is meant for emergency support.
Watch the video on child protection.
21 October 2021