Active Inclusion of the Most Vulnerable Children in Education

UNICEF Winner
The Active Inclusion project collaborates with communities in 5 informal settlements in Kisumu municipality to ensure that children complete nine years of basic education.
2012Kenya

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting

Location Data

Nyanza, Kisumu CountyKisumuPeri-Urban

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.Shortfalls in budget and poor school infrastructure

Who we work with: