The Active Inclusion project is implemented by Kisumu Medical and Education Trust (KMET) in five sites in the Kisumu municipality, where school access and retention rates are low and prevalence of HIV/AIDS is high, resulting in an equally high number of orphans and vulnerable children. The project seeks to increase access and retention to early childhood development and education (ECDE) and primary school among children in these communities. The project uses an integrated approach to build partnerships with the community and key stakeholders such as district education officers from the Ministry of Education, civil societies, and community leaders to drive change at the community level, enabling sustainable development.
The project has a multi-pronged approach that includes:
• social mobilization and advocacy strategies to engage the community in taking ownership for ensuring all children are attending school and completing basic education
• establishing one model ECDE center in each site, training ECDE teachers, and identifying children to enroll in ECDE
• re-enrolling teenage mothers in education by providing mentoring from the community and opportunities for catch-up lessons twice a week while day care is provided for their children
An innovative element of the project is "Nyanya Groups." With support from KMET, grandparents in the community have formed steering groups to identify, enroll, and maintain out-of-school and in-school orphans and vulnerable children in ECDE and primary schools. To facilitate this, KMET creates community conversations at the project sites to deliver sensitization around children and education and generate active participation of the target communities. KMET delivers training on children’s rights to the Nyanya Groups alongside school management committees and local leaders, religious and political. This is followed up with training on mentorship. Grandparents then transfer their learning to the community, where they sensitize families on the importance of education, identify children who have dropped out of school, and mentor them to encourage re-enrollment in ECDE and primary school.
Training the community, grandparents in particular, expands the ability of the project to be demand-driven, creating homegrown initiatives that take advantage of local knowledge and practices and promote community ownership and local resource mobilization. In this respect, it seeks to change attitudes away from donor dependency, which has been ingrained in these communities for a long time. Nyanya Groups meet weekly in the school compound and are actively engaged in identifying barriers to school in their community and, where possible, resolving these issues.
Members pay a small subscription fee to the Nyanya Group; these funds can then be used to ensure children remain in school once enrolled. In some instances, this may pay schooling overhead costs for a child; or, in one community, for example, the Nyanya Group runs a feeding program to provide lunch to children and to the outside community as a form of generating income. The project has also supported schools by providing infrastructure and equipment where deemed necessary in order to create a safe and productive learning environment for children.KMET identified 54 grandmothers dubbed "Nyanyas" and trained them on early childhood care. KMET also set up a remedial school for teen mothers who were keen to complete their primary education.
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CEI approaches in actionStudent supportIncreasing or sustaining enrollmentSchool supportCommunity Engagement21st century skills (soft skills)
Model details2012Not-for-profitComprehensive curriculumHealth/Nutrition21st century skills (soft skills)ActiveLong-term projectFree service or productUNICEFKenya Ministry of Education7,80030%70%
BeneficiariesOut-of-school childrenOrphans and vulnerable children
The project is implemented in low-income communities and regions with a high prevalance of HIV/AIDS and orphans and vulnerable children.
ScaleThe total number of children targeted by the intervention, including those newly enrolled through the initiative and those retained in school in the target regions, is 7,800.3232 ECDE teachers trained55 model ECDE institutions
54 Nyanyas trained in child health, nutrition, social and intellectual stimulation, emotional support, cultural values and norms, and attitude-changing tools.
45 teenage mothers enrolled for classes, 10 of whom have now completed Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations.
Monitoring & EvaluationYes
At the ECDE level, 4,269 of the most vulnerable children (2,741 girls and 1,528 boys) were identified, enrolled, and retained in 30 ECDE centers. The primary education (PE) compoenent, which targeted 3,900 MVC for identification, enrollments, and re-enrollment, surpassed this goal by 212 MVC. Furthermore, the PE component facilitated identification, re-enrollment, and retention of 2,622 girls and teenage mothers. As of 2012, the enrollment of out-of-school and in-school MVC stood at 13,281 MVC, which surpassed the baseline target of 12,700 MVC.