ChildFund Kenya has launched a new strategic plan with a call on the government and other non-state actors to step up their focus on the welfare of children.
The strategic plan, which runs between 2022 and 2026, targets to reach 7.5 million children with various interventions in childhood development and protection from various abuses.
ChildFund Kenya has lined up programmes over the next five years estimated to cost about $58.2 million (Ksh5.8 billion) at a time when it says two million people including children face starvation due to prolonged drought. The plan is anchored on four key pillars of early childhood development, child protection, youth engagement and disaster risk reduction.
ChildFund Kenya Country Director, Alice Anukur, said the 2022-26 strategy targets infants and young children aged 0 to 5 years, children and young adolescents aged 6 to 14 years and 15 to 24 year olds in 26 counties who live in marginalized and resource-poor households.
Mrs Anukur noted that ChildFund, like the rest of the world, was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, halting many of its plans for the 2019-2021 planning cycle as its activities changed to emergency response. The new strategic plan will thus reinforce the 2019-2022 plans that were not implemented.
The strategic plan was launched by Public Service and Gender Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Linah Jebii Kilimo, who said the government had prioritized issues affecting youth and children through policy and legislation. “But the challenge lies in enforcing the provisions of existing laws and all the ambitious policies that relate to children rights, and that’s why we embrace all players,” Ms Jebii said in a speech she read on behalf of Gender Minister, Prof Margaret Kobia.
During the period, ChildFund Kenya has set out to enhance its focus on strengthening early childhood development (ECD) and education through policy influencing and advocacy, targeting over one million children aged five years and below.
Mrs Anukur said ChildFund will boost its activities to ensure that children and young adolescents are protected and engaged in strong and well-coordinated child protection systems. Under this pillar, it plans to provide improved learning and protection for 1,500,000 children aged 6 to 14 years.
On youth, Mrs Anukur said emphasis will be on engagement and participation to strengthen their capacities in climate change adaptation to achieve improved and sustained socio-economic development for 1,200,000 adolescents and young adults in Kenya through acquisition of skills and counseling.
It targets to achieve increased resilience of 2,700,000 vulnerable households, children and youth to the negative effects of disasters and climate change. “We shall reinforce the resilience capacity of households affected by disasters through sustainable disaster risk reduction programs,” she said.
Another key pillar of the strategic plan is gender and social inclusion, which seeks to increase ChildFund Kenya’s support to children with disabilities and advocacy against all forms of child exploitation and abuse.