A new Child-to-Child (CtC) programme is now underway at Nyagondo primary school in Siaya Kenya. The school has a total of 640 students and 12 teachers who all contribute to the schools outstanding performance. Half the student body are orphans and come from homes where either one or both parents have passed away. These circumstances provide an extra challenge to the teaching staff, as they struggle to give extra support to these vulnerable children.
Ace learnt about the need for a CtC club at Nyagondo Primary through an Ace CtC trained teacher called Beatrice Obara who was transferred from another school in the area. Seeing the potential for the same initiative at Nyagondo, Beatrice invited Ace staff to meet the Head Teacher who was interested to learn more about Ace CtC programmes. The Head Teacher was impressed with the outcome and impact of similar CtC programmes in other schools as well as the benefits it could bring to the school and wider community.
The Nyagondo CtC club was established in June 2014 with an initial membership of 54 pupils who are mainly orphaned and vulnerable. Since the formation of the CtC club, both students and teachers continue to actively participate in their weekly meetings by sharing and discussing issues that affect them. The child-to-child concept has improved the teacher’s ability to facilitate psychosocial support for those children who are most in need. In turn, this is helping children overcome challenges they face as well as being able to raise their concerns about issues at home and at school in an open forum. Parents are not left out in the promotion of the rights of the children either. They have recognised the roles of the CtC teacher, children and other child rights defenders and contribute to solving pressing issues.
Prior to Ace’s intervention, only 7% of children at Nyagondo Primary school knew their rights, very few participated in household and village decision making and the majority of children would fear reporting any abuse case witnessed at home.
Under Beatrice’s leadership, the CtC programme at Nyagondo has allowed club members to participate in a variety of activities:
- Students have planted kitchen gardens at school: learning new skills and techniques. 40% of the children have embraced the techniques at a household level, which will prepare them for future tasks and responsibility.
- Improvised ‘leaky tins’ are also being used and have been installed next to toilets and classrooms to improve general hygiene. As a result of these practices at school, 69 households in the adjoining areas have installed leaky tins and dish racks in their homesteads.
- The Nyagondo CtC club has also involved 150 children in annual community tree planting events in school and community markets.
- Public sanitation outreach programmes such as conducting and participating in jigger removal and eradication campaigns both in school and affected households have also been actively entrenched in their activities.
Through the hard work and dedication of the teaching staff at Nyagondo, we hope to continue providing support to those children most in need. Ace also anticipates seeing more children at CtC clubs at Nyagondo and look forward to working with other schools in the area in the future as Ace continues to set up CtC clubs across project sites in Tanzania and Kenya.