Environment and Sustainable Energy
Environment is a critical crosscutting issue in Kenya and the world as a whole, with important linkages to other national priorities like poverty reduction, productive capacity, economic diversification and growth, as well as Health and Education. Environment degradation affects living conditions of the poor households in rural area and urban area alike. Kenya’s households strongly rely on natural resources, as basis for farming, fishing, energy production, and housing among others.
Out thematic areas in this program includes:-
• Agricultural policy review, planning and integrated programming in the light of the multifunctional aspect of agriculture, particularly with regard to food security and sustainable development to the care givers;
• Ensuring people's participation and promoting human resource development for sustainable agriculture;
• Improving farm production and farming systems through diversification of farm and non-farm employment and infrastructure development;
• Land-resource planning information and education for agriculture;
• Land conservation and rehabilitation;
• Water for sustainable food production and sustainable rural development;
• Conservation and sustainable utilization of plant genetic resources for food and sustainable agriculture;
• Conservation and sustainable utilization of animal genetic resources for sustainable agriculture;
• Integrated pest management and control in agriculture;
• Sustainable plant nutrition to increase food production;
• Rural energy transition to enhance productivity;
Education: The primary focus centers on education aimed at sustainably reducing the number of children aged 5-17 years old engaged in and at risk of child labor in the weaving, agricultural, and other sectors in the target areas.
ARK Center OVC program’s support efforts to reduce educational disparities and barriers to access among school-age children through sustainable “systemic” interventions by:
1. Ensuring children have a safe school environment and complete their primary education
2. Promoting access to early childhood development (ECD) programs
3. Ensuring personnel create child-friendly and HIV/AIDS- and gender-sensitive classrooms
4. Strengthening community- school relationships, including partnering with out-of-school programming
5. Consider supporting post-primary school programming and especially the transition for girls from primary to secondary school
6. Implementing market-driven vocational training only when previous lessons learned are integrated into intervention designs
Health and Nutrition: We’ve centered our health strategy on mothers and young children through a continuum of care and life cycle approach to promote health and nutrition practices and prevent major causes of disease. We uses an eclectic of various integrated approaches in its health programming for the well-being of children and management of childhood illnesses through immunizations, community case management of diarrhea and acute respiratory diseases, and promotion of bed nets for use against malaria.
ARK Centre recognizes that comprehensive responses spanning prevention, treatment, care and support, and impact mitigation are required to address the vast needs presented by HIV. Within this broad spectrum, ARK Centre is focusing on the areas of, prevention of mother to child transmission, 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 youth, and ending stigma and discrimination of people living with or affected by HIV in slums and rural areas.
This strategy is in alignment with our goal to help meet the health-related to reduce deaths of children under 5 years of age; reduce maternal deaths; and combat HIV and AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, neglected tropical diseases, pneumonia, diarrheal diseases, and other infectious diseases in accordance to the Millennium Development Goals and Kenyan Vision 2030 .
Our approach focuses on improving the availability, accessibility and to establish healthy physical and developmental growth.
These interventions include:
ARK Center OVC programs aim to improve children’s and families’ access to health and nutritional services through:
1) A child-focused, family-centered approach to health and nutrition through ECD and school-based programs
2) Effective integration with existing or planned child-focused community- and home-based activities, including PMTCT, treatment and child survival
3) Reducing access barriers to health services through HES and social protection schemes, such as health insurance opportunities
4) Establishing linkages and referral systems between community- and clinic-based programs
5) Basic medicines and products used to prevent and treat illnesses at the community level
6) Working with local health workers in the communities
7) Providing products, training, supervision, and Tratment at our health facility
8) Addressing under-nutrition, which contributes to 45 percent of deaths of children under 5
Under health and nutrition we also provide children and families with the means to fight hunger and achieve food security and self reliance. Food security means that families will know where their next meal is coming from — and that it will be enough nutritious food to live an active, healthy life.
Specifically, we help hungry children and families by:
• Increasing agricultural productivity through improved seeds and farming practices
• Improving access to markets so farming families can profitably sell their surplus food
• Teaching families and communities how to improve nutrition and dietary diversity
• Managing resources in a sustainable way to prevent soil erosion, maintain soil fertility, use water more efficiently, and protect the environment
Psychosocial Care and Support: ARK Center OVC programs prioritize psychosocial interventions that build on existing resources, place and maintain children in stable and affectionate environments through:
1. Counseling and therapies
2. Parents and family support programs
3. Peer and social group interventions
4. Mentorship programs
5. Community caregiver support
Household Economic Strengthening (HES): This aims to reduce the economic vulnerability of families and empower them to provide for the essential needs of the children in their care through:
1) Money management interventions for savings and fostering knowledge and behaviors for better family financial management
2) Integration of HES activities with complementary interventions, such as parenting skills
3) Income promotion using low-risk activities to diversify and stimulate growth in household income
Social Protection: ARK Center support for social protection aims to reduce vulnerability and risks, foster human capital development, and interrupt the transmission of poverty from one generation to the next through:
1) Supporting government to initiate, expand, or be innovative in their social protection initiatives at both the policy and operational levels
Child Protection: These are efforts to prevent and respond to abuse, neglect, exploitation, and other forms of violence against children and especially the most vulnerable.
We seek to create a protective environment around children, such that they not only survive but thrive in their communities. Our programs strive to ensure that physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs of the most vulnerable children are met within caring and protective families and communities, focusing on activities that prevent them from falling into crisis or harmful situations; protect those who are in immediate danger through responsive care and improved capacity of service providers to respond; and restore child survivors of abuse, exploitation, or violence through appropriate community based care (CBC).
ARK Center OVC programs aim to develop appropriate strategies for preventing and responding to child abuse, exploitation, violence, and family separation through:
1) Implementing child safeguarding policies
2) Integrating child protection activities
3) Supporting communities to prevent and respond to child protection issues
4) Strengthening linkages between the formal and informal child protection systems
5) Building caregivers, CHWs and local authorities capacity to carry out and improve child protection responses
Legal Protection: ARK Center OVC programs aim to develop strategies to ensure basic legal rights, birth registration, and inheritance rights to improve access to essential services and opportunities through:
1) Raising awareness about birth registration and succession planning
2) Linking birth registration and succession planning to other essential services
Capacity Building: ARK Center programs should prioritize within the country’s context the following capacity-building and systems-strengthening interventions:
1) Investing in efforts to build strong leadership and governance
2) Pursuing strategies to strengthen the social service workforce
3) Supporting strategies to improve financing for social service systems
4) Strengthening information management and accountability mechanisms of the social service system
5) Supporting coordination and networking within the social service system
Our Gender Equality Strategy
• educating girls
• increasing literacy rates among women
• increasing early childhood development interventions
• increasing women’s labor force participation and strengthening labor policies affecting women
• improving women’s access to credit, land and other resources
• promoting women’s political rights and participation
• expanding reproductive health programs and family support policies
Strengthen nutrition, disease prevention, and maternal health programs
Improve women’s and girls’ education and life skills
Expand women’s access to credit and economic opportunity
Capacity building and awareness-raising on gender equality and gender mainstreaming for both project staff and beneficiaries are essential in ensuring that gender analyses and planning are applied throughout the project cycle and used to inform project activities.
Capacity building should focus on clarifying key gender concepts, understanding the role of gender analysis and providing practical guidance on how to undertake gender planning for project and program activities
Capacity Building & Leadership Program
To fill the gaps left by the education system, ARK Centre created a capacity-building program, training youth & Women to establish personal goals, build self-esteem, seek solutions for social problems, understand sexual and reproductive health and develop study skills. The first four months of every year consist of weekly meetings where the students participate in a wide range of activities and exercises. The lessons of capacity building enrich and motivate students to become visible leaders within their community.
Income generation is an important aspect for the innovative youths & Women and this opportunity has been availed for the youth & women through provision of basic tertiary learning such as computer, tailoring and a future plan of hair dressing, manicure and pedicure Carpentry, welding and construction. This gives the youth and women the opportunity to advance their potential beyond the class curriculum. Due to the fact that we do not much financial support for the capital to the beneficiaries, we are looking options of linking them up with other financial institution to fill in the gap to engaging in micro-enterprises. This has also been coupled by thorough hands on training on managing the small businesses.
In addition ARK Centre also offers trainings and capacity building on Entrepreneurships, basic financial managements, starting and running a business, table banking and revolving scheme among others.
Life saving skills
In securing a future for the disadvantaged youths as well as orphans due to HIV/AIDS preferences in rural and urban slums, ARK CENTRE is establishing a Vocational Studies Centre where different courses are being offered and have equipped the youths with skills to engage in productive activities. Aside Training, The Vocational centers offers psychosocial support and care to youth and other related services and acts as their resource center.
ARK CENTRE offers counseling services to the women, children and youth to address their day to day challenges and create a source of support system for them. Aside counseling, ARK CENTRE has undertaken Career development sessions to individuals and youth groups in different institutions to broaden their career choices and prospects and enable them to make informed choices.
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