IDAP supports marginalized and vulnerable groups in Siaya County
Some groups within Siaya and other counties face higher risk of poverty and social exclusion compared to the general population. IDAP seeks to transform the lives of the most marginalized and vulnerable people in the community and thus we have chosen to prioritize our resources to assist Children in Especially Difficult Circumstances (CEDC) and Vulnerable Women. These groups are impacted by issues such as: HIV, Malnutrition, Sexual and Gender-based Violence, and Disability. It is recognized that a holistic community response is integral to sustainable programming and that men are also affected by these issues.
People who are affected by marginalization and vulnerability are often neither easy to identify nor easy to assist. The very nature of marginalization leads these groups to be ignored and neglected even in the development process. External shocks can further impact these groups and prove detrimental to their well-being.
Marginalization and vulnerability may occur at multiple levels; psychological, physical, spiritual, economic, political, or socio-cultural. Enabling vulnerable and marginalized people to participate and engage in their community allows them to direct the process and leads to a more sustainable transformation.
Social protection and social inclusion can improve the lives of marginalized and vulnerable people, reduce multi-dimensional deprivation and prevent them from being overwhelmed by external shocks. The IDAP will be an effective means of providing social protection and social inclusion as it has a diffuse grassroots network. It is also able to effectively identify the target groups and will encourage development community support.
Children in a classroom taking basic lessons. This is a common phenomenon in many areas where IDAP operates.
IDAP’s unique ways of supporting children in difficult circumstances
IDAP has made working with Children in Especially Difficult Circumstances (CEDC) a priority. The CEDC, a term coined by UNICEF, describes those children who are affected by poverty, disaster, armed conflict, or abuse. These children include orphans, unaccompanied minors, working children, street children, sexually exploited children and children orphaned by AIDS.
Children are particularly vulnerable during these developmental years and, if they are not supported, will end up with psychological and physical impairment and face a life of poverty. By addressing the root causes of vulnerability and assisting children at risk we can prevent these children from being marginalized in their communities.
It is estimated that the number of orphans in Kenya is more than 3 million, 48% of these being as a result of HIV/AIDS. This figure is besides a higher number of children rendered vulnerable by poverty, emergencies, insecurity, amidst other factors. After Free Primary Education (FPE) was introduced in 2003, the Net Enrolment Ratio increased from 77% in 2002 to nearly 85% in 2004 and the percentage of children dropping out of school fell from 5.4% to just over 2%. Despite FPE, more than 1.5 million children are still out of school.
IDAP’s vision for its work with children is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child. IDAP sees the rights-based approach as a holistic and child centered response and within this approach IDAP will focus on development, protection and participation of children. Though working through the rights based approach we recognize a community response is integral to sustainable programming.
Children sharing an electronic devise in a classroom. IDAP has found a way of reaching children in difficult circumstances
in Siaya County and its environs.
Mr. John Ahaya, Director of Integrated Development Africa Programme (IDAP) joins pupils in a jig to celebrate
the inauguration of an education outreach program targeted at primary school children for training
them to use e-reader devises that are now available at Siaya Community Library.
IDAP’s support for basic and tertiary education is absolute
With the issue of basic education now being adequately addressed by the Kenya Government, attention is currently turning to the secondary and post-secondary school education systems. Most secondary schools and higher education institutions suffer from a lack of funding and facilities. This is still a major handicap in the government's goal of providing competitive and quality education.
This has led to a situation where regions endowed with better-equipped public secondary schools or high cost private academies tend to excel in national examinations in comparison to secondary schools in poor regions. These regional disparities are more pronounced in some areas like Western, North Eastern and Coastal regions, which lag far behind.
The education project IDAP pursues is an integrated system comprising of the following components: making available curriculum books and reading space in community libraries for both primary and secondary school children; tree planting projects by kids at tender age to pay for schools fees at secondary level. When these children attain the age of secondary education their trees will be mature enough to be sold to produce timber and pay for school fees; chicken raring and rabbit keeping will also form part of the very innovative projects.
Children don’t mind seating on the cold floor as they search for knowledge inside the Siaya Community Library,
which is a project of Integrated Development Africa Programme (IDAP). The intention is to
replicate this facility in other sub-counties in Siaya.
Book donations: IDAP regularly receives book donations from partners and well-wishers. In this case Dr. Eve Obara,
(third from left) the Managing Director of Kenya Literature Bureau donated curriculum books for distribution to
Community Libraries in Siaya.
Reading time: Most children prefer reading and doing their homework at the Siaya Community Library. One of
Integrated Development Africa Programme’s (IDAP) most successful projects.
IDAP’s technique of fighting malnutrition in children is distinctive
Hunger and malnutrition are the single biggest threats to the Kenya’s public health, and malnutrition is by far the biggest contributor to child mortality. IDAP is committed to making malnutrition a priority and recognizes the effect this has on the most vulnerable children and women.
Nearly 20 million children suffer from acute severe malnutrition and 40% of all children in sub-Saharan Africa risk permanent physical and intellectual impairment because of malnutrition. Maternal and child under-nutrition is the cause of 3.5 million (over one third) child deaths annually and 35% of the disease burden in children under five.
These deaths are preventable. The links between women’s lack of access to education, their poor nutritional status and the poor nutritional status of their children are clear. The two-way links between HIV and food insecurity are also now more clearly understood. HIV depletes household labour resources and contributes to a downward spiral into chronic food insecurity.
The community-based approach involves timely detection of severe acute malnutrition in the community and provision of treatment for those without medical complications with ready-to-use therapeutic foods or other nutrient-dense foods at home. If properly combined with a facility based approach for those malnourished children with medical complications and implemented on a large scale, community-based management of severe acute malnutrition could prevent the deaths of hundreds of thousands of children.
IDAP strives to adopt the most effective approach to prevent malnutrition. Investing in prevention is critical. Preventing infants and young children from becoming undernourished is much more effective than treating children who are already malnourished. Preventive interventions can include: improving access to high-quality foods and to health care; improving nutrition and health knowledge and practices; effectively promoting exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child’s life where appropriate; promoting improved complementary feeding practices and improving water and sanitation systems and hygiene practices to protect children against communicable diseases.
Rearing chicken is one way of fighting malnutrition and poverty in Siaya County; the Integrated Development
Africa Programme (IDAP) has been on the forefront working with local communities to keep chicken for food and
sale in the local markets.
IDAPs attention has been drawn to vulnerable Women in the society
Societies that discriminate on the basis of gender pay a hefty price-in greater poverty, lower levels of economic growth, weaker governance, and an overall lower quality of life. Most of the world women hold an extremely vulnerable position in society, and women bear a disproportionate burden of the world’s poverty. The imbalance of power in gender relations can lead to the oppression and marginalization of women, both inside the family structure and in society in general.
At IDAP we know that nearly a third of all adults living with HIV are under the age of 25, and almost two thirds of these people are women. Access to schooling is difficult and as unschooled adults, these women will be less likely to participate socially and politically, and to be able to support themselves.
Women’s rights and access to land, credit and education are limited not only due to legal discrimination, but because of more subtle barriers such as their work load, mobility and low bargaining position in the household. The community also prevents them from taking advantage of their legal rights.
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) also sets down rights for women, of freedom from discrimination and equality under the law. Realizing the rights and equality of women is also the key to the survival and development of children, and to building healthy families, communities and nations, the reason why IDAP has been drawn on vulnerable women in Siaya and its environs.
Young women performing a folk song and dance to entertain guests during a get-together event held at the
Integrated Development Africa Programme (IDAP) headquarters in Siaya Town.
IDAP is busy battling gender-based violence in counties
Gender-based violence both reflects and reinforces inequities between men and women and compromises the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims. It encompasses a wide range of human rights violations, including sexual abuse of children, rape, domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, trafficking of women and girls and several harmful traditional practices.
It is estimated that one third of women have been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in their lifetime. The World Health Organization has cited Gender-Based Violence (GBV) as serious health issue that needs a comprehensive response and remains a major obstacle to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Studies show that incidents of gender violence can result in loss of household income equivalent to 25-30 per cent of the monthly income of poor households. Women in extremely vulnerable situations may enter into commercial sex work to ensure their survival and are at risk of being forcibly trafficked.
IDAP recognizes that the local authorities have an important and integral part to play in addressing issues of GBV and works towards an end of violence against women in particular. A recent pilot initiative showed a reduction in GBV when local leaders were involved in restoring relationships and addressing taboo issues and beliefs. The local leaders have a sustainable presence within the community and can ensure a continued commitment to care and support those who are survivors and bringing about sustained behavior change.
IDAP recognizes that a restoration in relationships is not always possible, nor appropriate, in dealing with GBV. IDAP is therefore committed to the restoration of justice within the context of provision of education, vocational training and income generating opportunities to allow women to support themselves.
One way of battling gender based violence is to make the girl child knowledgeable: Children sampling
books inside the Siaya Community Library. Kids find it convenient to read here after school hours and
during weekend and school holidays because of its conducive environment.
IDAP’s matchless programmes tackle health issues including HIV/AIDS
The HIV pandemic continues to grow. In 2012 alone an estimated 2.9 million people were newly infected with HIV and an estimated 2 million died of AIDS related illnesses (UNAIDS 2012). Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic HIV disproportionately impacts the poorest and most vulnerable people, Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 67% of all people living with HIV and 72% of AIDS related deaths.
In Kenya, the HIV prevalence among adults aged 15 to 64 years as measured in Kenya Aids Indicator Survey (KAIS, 2012) was 5.6% and the HIV prevalence among children aged 18 months to 14 years was 0.9%. In addition to the physical impact, those affected by HIV are often met with additional social barriers such as stigma and marginalization.
The role of IDAP in responding to HIV is widely recognized as having growing significance. For example at a county level UNAIDS has Partnership Officers working with regional and national networks including IDAP, religious leaders, and other NGOs with delivering AIDS services often in rural communities. The impact at the community and household levels, and our well-developed on-the-ground networks local churches and other organizations uniquely position us to influence values and behaviors, and to mobilize communities.
IDAP recognizes that comprehensive responses spanning prevention, care and support, as well as impact mitigation are required to address the vast needs presented by HIV. Within this broad spectrum, IDAP is focusing on the areas of, impact mitigation for people living with or affected by HIV, with specific focus on women and children, promoting access to treatment for opportunistic infections and antiretroviral therapy, behavior change among children and young people, and ending stigma and discrimination of people living with or affected by HIV.
Mr. John Ahaya, Programmes Director, Integrated Development Africa Programme (IDAP) assisting
a sickly old lady in one of the villages in Siaya County. IDAP goes out of its way to find appropriate
approaches to assist the needy in the community.
Assisting people with disability is IDAP’s passion
An estimated 600 million people worldwide live with a disability and 400 million of these live in developing countries with over 80% surviving below the poverty line. People with disabilities in developing countries make up the biggest definable disadvantaged group in the world. Globally, the number of disabled people is increasing, yet many of the causes of disabilities are preventable and directly linked to poverty.
Disabilities can be caused by poor nutrition, dangerous working and living conditions, limited access to health care, maternity care and vaccination programs, conflict and natural disasters, poor hygiene, bad sanitation or inadequate information about the causes of impairments. Disability not only affects the individual, but also their families and communities.
Unless disabled people are included at all levels of society, poverty will never be beaten. People with disabilities are often excluded from participating in society, for example in education and work. The vast majority of children with disabilities in developing countries including Kenya do not complete primary education. Women with disabilities are often doubly disadvantaged, through their status as women and as a person with a disability, and therefore represent one of the most marginalized groups in the world.
IDAP supports the Community Approaches to Handicap in Development (CAHD). The CAHD strategy was developed in Bangladesh in 1996 and has been championed by Handicap International and Christian Blind Mission (CBM). The approach involves; changing attitudes, supporting of equal opportunities and rights, supporting access to education and income generation, prevention of disability, and minimizing the physical or mental difficulties and maximizing individual’s personal development through rehabilitation.
The only way to make people with disability happy is to knock at their doors when least expected to present a gift such
as a wheelchair. This way you make a difference in the community. Integrated Development Africa Programme (IDAP)
has donated several wheelchairs to deserving members of the community in Siaya County.
Promoting best practices on environment and sanitation is a pet programme at IDAP
Ground and surface-water pollution rank as the top two concerns in a number of areas where IDAP has conducted program work. This is closely followed by pesticide misuse and soil erosion. Ground-water and surface-water are traditionally concerns of rural communities, as these communities are almost exclusively served by well water.
Pesticides and soil erosion are logical second-tier rankings. Agriculture, the primary activity in rural areas, involves the use of pesticides. Soil erosion, particularly in difficult planting and growing years, also has an environmental impact through water pollution and air pollution via wind borne particles.
IDAP has been on the ground working with communities on these issues, and is therefore promoting best practices. It is important to note that many water resources in Kenya are under pressure today from agricultural chemicals, urban and industrial wastes, as well as from hydroelectric power schemes. Kenya expects a shortage of water to cause many problems in the coming years. Water-quality problems in lakes, including water hyacinth infestation in Lake Victoria, have contributed to a substantial decline in fishing output and a rise in endangered fish species. Innovative projects will be rolled out to counter these problems.
Integrated Development Africa Programme (IDAP) works with the local community to clean the environment and makes
sure that normal activities around Lake Victoria go on as programmed. Fishermen and businessmen around Luanda
K’otieno are happy that this could happen, courtesy of IDAP.
IDAP’s engagement in environment conservation programs
Rain water harvesting: IDAP strives to develop new solutions to the socio-economic problems caused by lack of safe drinking water and sanitation facilities. To reduce the resistance to adopting a new method, it is imperative to use sustainable, low cost methods with locally available skill and materials. This project aims to develop and spread the use of rainwater harvesting as a viable water source for the poor people.
Rainwater harvesting is the technology where the precipitation water, which normally is wasted as runoff, is collected and stored for future use when there is no rain. The rain water falling on rooftops and other surfaces are collected and directed through channels to underground storage tanks. The excess water is used to recharge groundwater aquifers.
Since this method involves few skills and supervision for installation, operation and maintenance, the cost and entry barriers are very low. The method is ecologically sustainable as well, since it only puts natural rainwater to better use. The second aim of the project is the construction of low cost sanitation facilities; promote their effective usage and maintenance and, promotion of awareness about hygienic practices.
Trees and forests: Trees and forests are critical resources for people’s livelihoods, environmental conservation and national economic development. In Kenya, forestry contributes about 4% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and more than 80% of the population depends directly on forests for their energy needs (firewood and charcoal), materials for furniture and construction (timber and poles) as well as food and other non-timber forest products (including fruits, nuts, medicinal plants, fodder and other products).
Trees and forests also provide critical ecological services including: contributing directly to livelihoods and can complement other key components of poverty reduction (e.g. food production, education and primary health care). Projects aimed to contribute to addressing livelihood needs for income generation, fuel wood, timber, fruit, and fodder and other non-timber forest products while halting and reversing the forest loss and related environmental degradation in Siaya County through promoting vegetable and fruit tree growing and agroforestry systems will be rolled out by IDAP.
Tree planting project initiated by Integrated development Africa Programme (IDAP) in Ugunja sub-county. The Project
focuses on conservation of the environment and planting trees for young children in primary schools to pay for their secondary
and tertiary fees.
Tree planting has become a common phenomenon in Lunjre Village, Ugunja Constituency in Siaya County. Many people are
taking up tree planting to conserve the environment and supplement their future incomes. A noble idea mooted by
Integrated Development Africa Programme (IDAP) three years ago.
IDAP’s Agricultural intensification program is key to food security
Agricultural intensification in Kenya for production of more food and land already under cultivation is the key to effectively addressing the challenges of poverty alleviation, meeting current and future food needs and managing the natural resource base to assure sustainability. Increased food production will only come from increased yields.
In Kenya a lot of cultivable land has already been brought under production, particularly in areas that experience long and short rains. Agricultural intensification addresses the root causes of poverty in many low income developing countries like Kenya, and that is the reason why IDAP is keen on spreading this gospel to agricultural inhabitants found in the various counties in Kenya.
Agriculture is the most viable lead sector for generating incomes and employment in both farm and non-farm economies in most developing countries. Poverty combined with population pressures, land constrains and lack of appropriate production technologies to intensify agriculture is the a major source of environmental degradation in low income developing countries, as people are forced to use available natural resources in unsustainable ways to survive. Thus, IDAP’s focus on agricultural intensification holds great promise as an instrument to simultaneously alleviate poverty, meet food needs and avoid exploitation of natural resources.
Greenhouse: One of Integrated Development Africa Programme’s (IDAP) programme on Agriculture encourages
greenhouse farming in Siaya County and its environs.
Growing of pawpaw has become very popular in Siaya County. This project was introduced to small-scale farmers in various
villages in Siaya County and most of them are doing quite well, some even able to pay school fees for their children
in secondary schools from the proceeds.
IDAP connecting rural folks with the rest of the world
IDAP has a great belief in the hopes of community-level groups. It has also been humbled by the sheer innovativeness, optimism and tenacity of rural communities in pursuing noble goals they believe in. For a long time, development practitioners, including state agencies, corporate sectors, the academia and civil society organizations, have been unable to appreciate the utility value, the empowering potential and the poverty-reducing component of the emergent Information Communication and Technologies (ICTs).
In rural areas, development and the improvements to quality of life is often limited by access to basic education, health, water and sanitation services. In addition, this is lately also limited by access to financial credit for women. While these are important social development benchmarks, they nonetheless form the necessary and sufficient requisites for comprehensive response to the enhancement of quality of life for rural populations.
The Center for Local Initiatives in Communication for Human Empowerment (CLICHÉ), which IDAP plans to set up at its headquarters in Siaya Town, is therefore our modest contribution to the efforts of the communities to succeed against all odds and adversities. It is for this reason that IDAP has come up with this intervention strategy to try and connect the rural areas with the rest of the world in the area of ICT.
Young lads browsing to access new curriculum books from an electronic devise so they can read together to enrich
their knowledge. These electronic devises are supplied freely to school children by Integrated Development
Africa Programme (IDAP) at the Siaya and Sarah Obama Community Libraries.
IDAP Promoting ICT Programs
IDAP intends to set up Electronic School Resource centers and Rural Community Tele-centres to provide Satellite Internet services through the use of Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs). Due to the fact that many areas of the county are not served by electricity power on the national grid, solar power will be used as the main source of energy to run the machines in the interim.
For a long time, development practitioners, including state agencies, corporate sectors, the academia and civil society organizations, have been unable to appreciate the utility value, the empowering potential and poverty-reducing component of the emergent Information Communication and Technologies.
Development and the improvement of quality of life for rural people are often limited to the access to basic education, health services, water, and sanitation and, of late, access to credit for rural women. While these are important social development benchmarks, they nonetheless form the necessary and sufficient requisites for comprehensive response for the enhancement of quality of life of the rural populations.
There is no gainsaying that information and knowledge are vital building blocks of social development, particularly in this era of knowledge-led human progress. It is therefore saddening to observe that information and communication technological development has by and large given rural communities such a wide gap that it is impossible to believe that a herdsman in Turkana (some remote place in Kenya) or a fish-mongering woman in Nyatike of Nyanza in Western Kenya do share the same planet with an Internet buff and computer nerd at Silicon Valley in USA, the popularized refrain of our world being a global village notwithstanding.
Through information and communications technology, a borderless network of connection and affiliation between people is being woven globally at increasing speed, spanning the traditional information divides and increasingly bridging the ‘digital divide’. Communication’s lifeblood is information sharing and providing people with what they need to take effective action on both externally and internally. It is imperative that we invest in technology to further our mission, support effective action and achieve the growth and diversity we need.
A young school girl displaying an e-reader during the launch of these devises at the Siaya Community Library. The library
is part of the Education Program spearheaded by the Integrated Development Africa Programme (IDAP)
IDAP providing support for community development and education
IDAP seeks to engage Kenyans in development by providing support for community development, education and influencing local leadership. IDAP will spearhead promotion and improvement of Girl-child secondary school education in Siaya and neighboring counties.
Lack of sufficient financing and adequate facilities’ facing most secondary schools and other higher institutions of education is still a major handicap in their main goal of providing competitive and quality education. This has led to a situation where some regions gifted with well-equipped public secondary schools and the burgeoning high cost private academies tend to shine in national examinations in comparison to regions with pitiable secondary school systems.
These regional inequalities are more distinct in some areas like Western, North Eastern and Coastal Kenya, which are now trailing far behind because of grinding poverty. Innovative intervention strategies designed to effectively and urgently address and arrest some of the most common and serious root causes of the decaying state of girls’ secondary education system in the region are overdue.
Addressing the issues of access and quality of education are ongoing priorities for this Strategic Plan. Many of our current and past education initiatives, such as the establishment of a community library in Siaya, active schools’ participation in our outreach programs, emphasis on quality learning, and school improvement programs, have helped to improve infrastructure, community participation, enrolment and completion for girls and boys. Building on the experiences of those initiatives, we will improve our strategy and strengthen our support to education for two compelling reasons; first, it is a basic human right; second, it is crucial for the empowerment of children, young people and their communities in securing their human rights.
Development Education Strategy: This will have a crucial role in enlarging understanding of the local people on development issues and the underlying causes of poverty in the world, and how this links with the local situation. IDAP will facilitate the development of relationships between communities in Kenya and organizations overseas through communication, and involvement of the organizations in specific development projects for exposure.
IDAP has a strong base of supporters who are loyal and active. IDAP cultivates this supporter environment by engaging them in creative ways. One of the ways that IDAP does this is with new-media, engaging them through our interactive active website, as well as other web media such as Facebook and Twitter; linking them to events, campaign activities and educational information on pressing issues surrounding the poor and vulnerable.
Another innovative way that IDAP engages its supporters is through a mobilization course that we have developed called IDAPeople. This equips communities to respond to local poverty through an interactive course and by: promoting knowledge sharing and learning; documenting and disseminating knowledge resources, lessons learned and success stories and maximizing communications and technology to enable meaningful learning and performance.
Dr. Sarah Obama addressing students at the Senator Barack Obama Mixed Secondary School in Alego, Kogelo
during the official launch of Mama Sarah Obama Community Library, an offshoot of the Siaya Community Library. She was the
chief guest at the launch. Dr. Sarah Obama is also the patron of the library.
IDAP setting up and supporting community Libraries in Siaya County
The Siaya Community Library was the first community library of its kind in Siaya County and the entire the region. This was an initiative of IDAP in collaboration with a USA-based organization known as American Friends of Kenya (AFK Inc.). AFK is an organization that aims to promote literacy and a culture of reading among communities in Kenya. They supported this project through the donation of books and shelves. These items went towards partial support to the library.
IDAP then partnered with another organization to construct a modern Library, which is the current home of the Siaya Community Library and also serves as the IDAP headquarters. The Siaya Community Library has given birth to Sarah Obama Community Library in Alego, Kogelo and the intention is to replicate this model to other sub-counties around Siaya and then to other counties in Kenya.
These community libraries have three main functions, firstly, is to provide information to those individuals responsible for rural development programs through a Community Library Management Committee (CLMC). These individuals are responsible for interlinking the library to the community and also addressing social and development problems in the specific areas they originate from as well as bringing feedbacks. Secondly, the libraries support rural education programs, including adult literacy and rural schools and lastly, the libraries serve as centers for community education and culture.
The Siaya Community Library, which also serves as the Integrated Development Africa Programme (IDAP) headquarters.
Ms. Josephta Oyiela Mukobe (seated in red), the Principal Secretary for the State Department of Special
Programmes – Ministry of Devolution and Planning who was the chief guest during the official opening
of the Siaya Community Library. Seated from Left: John Ahaya, Director, Siaya Community Library, and extreme
right is Ms. Pamela Akello, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Education, Siaya County.