Our Programme Priorities
CHEFO through well formulated and comprehensive programmes, aim to achieve its long term commitments to children, youth, women and key population groups. To create lasting change, our programmes work towards enhancing the empowerment of children, youth and women by alleviating poverty. We are committed to:
- Working with children, youth, women and marginalized communities
- Addressing the underlying social, political and economic causes of poverty
- Working in the least developed areas of KENYA
Early Childhood & Development (ECCD)
ECCD is a ‘Multi-sector’ approach that focuses on the early years in a child's life and lays the foundation for learning and achieving in school. The goal of ECCD is to ensure that children reach school age healthy and well nourished, intellectually curious, socially confident and equipped with a solid foundation for lifelong learning. The ECCD sector’s work is implemented as part of Home Based Intervention, Centre based Intervention and Child Development Scale (CDS).
Child Protection & Participation
Though children and youth form the majority of the population in the communities in which they live, they have traditionally been excluded from decision-making. Under CHEFO, Child protection and well-being consists of reducing risks of violation of child rights, making children's rights a reality, and creating an enabling environment that supports children's positive development. In this regard, CHEFO has initiated a children's club in some villages, to strengthen the activities of child protection and increase child participation. CHEFO conducts regular trainings of stakeholders on child protection guidelines and the violation of child rights. Those children who are at risk or who have been victims of child abuse/exploitation are referred for counseling.
CHEFO has also succeeded in creating children and youth groups at various levels and ensuring their representation in the decision making process in all its community development programs.
Focusing on the Out of School Children (OOSC)
CHEFO is actively involved in lobbying for the implementation of the Education Above All (EAA) principle in Kenya, where we play advocacy and awareness role through our focused strategy of bringing quality primary schooling to the hardest-to-reach children and by raising awareness among national educational partners in Kenya of basic education needs that are truly wanting and in need of concerted effort.
Indeed CHEFO considers primary education as a basic human right for all, as stated in Article 26 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to education.” Consequently increasing access to education is one of the necessary preconditions to realizing this right to the millions of children who continue to languish at home in the select counties of North Rift Kenya. Indeed the UNESCO Education for All initiative and other major international human rights treaties and global education conferences (e.g Jomtien in 1990, Dakar in 2000, Jakarta in 2005) have advocated for the universal right to education. At the same time, the UN has developed legal instruments for signatory country obligations to protect and uphold the right to education for all (UNESCO and UNICEF, 2007). To this end, CHEFO has a commitment to enroll and retain at least 10,000 students per year through a primary cycle. Presently CHEFO runs one boarding primary school and plans are afoot to build more in the hard to reach areas of North Rift
CHEFO Centre for Enterprise Development (CCED)
CHEFO established the Centre for Enterprise Development in 2015, with the vision to become a leading center of excellence in enterprise development in western Kenya with the mission of facilitating the development of entrepreneurial capacity. It aims to be an effective catalyst for job creation, economic development and poverty alleviation through research, consultancy and policy advocacy in the area of enterprise development. More specifically CHEFO seeks to:
- Strengthen the capacity of institutions and networks involved in supporting the establishment and development of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs);
- Produce and disseminate innovative training and counseling programmes, methodologies and materials for enterprise development;
- Carry out research and provide consultancy services on enterprise development to government, development agencies, business development service (BDS) providers, business firms as well as individual entrepreneurs;
- Encourage students and graduates of education and training institutions to choose self-employment as a career and empower them to succeed therein; and
- Promote and co-ordinate enterprise development initiatives at various institutions of higher learning in western KENYA
Related to the above, CHEFO runs the Livelihood Programmes Unit, which believes in helping individuals live a life of dignity. To achieve this, our livelihood programmes focuses on generating sustainable livelihoods. This is done through capacity building, fostering community links and promoting small businesses. CHEFO puts special focus on entrepreneurial ventures, which are owned by youth and women. It also fosters linkages between community collectives and financial institutions. CHEFO also focuses on improving the literacy, numeracy and critical thinking skills to promote sustainable livelihoods
5. Girl Child Education Programmes
Education is the key to empowering children and youth and especially so girls, which helps bring about social equality. Girls’ education programme works on improving lives and providing opportunities for girls and young women through increased participation in formal and alternative education systems. The program builds on innovative pilot projects and strategic partnerships developed by CHEFO over the last 3 years. CHEFO runs own schools and also works closely with government-run schools and the different levels within the Government. CHEFO works to help girls’ complete primary education and access formal schools through accelerated learning methodology and provide academic support to enhance the quality of learning. We also help nurture leadership skills amongst girls and offer alternative education opportunities for women and girls who have never been enrolled or have dropped out early from school.
6. Health Programmes
Delivering health to over a million poor people is a very complex challenge. CHEFO runs own health centre but also works in close collaboration with national and county governments and other partner organizations to secure accessible and quality maternal and child health care among marginalized communities. We work towards identifying the root causes of health challenges, provide innovative solutions, and help implement secure and quality health services in KENYA.
CHEFO believes that a healthy mother and a healthy baby is the route to a productive and developed nation. Hence, CHEFO has especially focused upon providing comprehensive solutions to address public health problems. We promote immunization as essential services to new born babies, reduce malnutrition, prevent infant and maternal deaths and protect those affected by or susceptible to HIV/ AIDS and TB. CHEFO works closely with its partners to achieve good health for everyone.
Financial Inclusion Program
CHEFO runs the financial inclusion program which we describe as the delivery of financial services at affordable costs to vast sections of disadvantaged and low income groups. Why? Even after 50 years of independence, a large section of Kenyan population still remain unbanked. This malaise has led to a generation of financial instability and pauperism among the lower income group who do not have access to financial products and services. However, in the recent years the government and Central Bank of Kenya has been pushing the concept and idea of financial inclusion. Accordingly CHEFO is engaged in efforts to push the implementation of this program through three most important pressing needs that include:
- Creating a platform for inculcating the habit to save money– The lower income category has been living under the constant shadow of financial duress mainly because of the absence of savings. The absence of savings makes them a vulnerable lot. Presence of banking services and products aims to provide a critical tool to inculcate the habit to save.
- Providing formal credit avenues– So far the unbanked population has been vulnerably dependent on informal channels of credit like family, friends and moneylenders. Availability of adequate and transparent credit from formal banking channels shall allow the entrepreneurial spirit of the masses to increase outputs and prosperity in the countryside.
- Plug gaps and leaks in public subsidies and welfare programmes– A considerable sum of money that is meant for the poorest of the poor does not actually reach them. While this money meanders through the large system of government bureaucracy much of it is widely believed to leak and is unable to reach the intended parties. CHEFO is presently lobbying government to direct cash transfers to beneficiaries through their bank accounts rather than subsidizing products.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
CHEFO has introduced the STEM initiative to encourage girls to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and consider a career in the growing field of Information Communication Technology (ICT)
This program aims at encouraging increased girls' interest in the sciences, improve girls’ self-esteem and confidence and improve performance of girls in the sciences. Evidence has shown that girls’ participation in sciences in Kenya is lower than that of boys, and hence the program seeks to address this and encourage girls’ participation and improved performance by engaging with all stakeholders in education. CHEFO is implementing this program in cooperation with the Ministry of Education by working together to identify schools and aligning activities to policy whilst also using the program to inform policy
CHEFO Endowment Fund
The overall objective of this fund is to establish and form an organized and sustainable philanthropy that will raise and mobilize funds for CHEFO with the purpose of:
- Contributing to the formation of social capital, solely dedicated to the development of social, economic development programs of CHEFO
- Build viable cooperation across different sectors of society, government, business and civil society in Kenya and abroad
- Build Savory Community College to provide post-secondary school education to bright but needy students
- Run the endowment with transparency, accountability and with integrity meant to spur more interest in the scheme.
In this respect, CHEFO has identified an innovative strategy to mobilize endowment resources from local and foreign donors by establishing three types of designated funds called community funds, star funds, and stock and shares scheme
- Community Funds- is a one time or recurring contributions that are managed by CHEFO. Typically community funds are contribution made as part of the corporate social responsibility program of corporate organizations
- Star Funds are similar to community funds. However, star funds are targeted at wealthy families and high profile celebrities often sports players. CHEFO .