• Focus will be in rural ASAL areas and urban informal settlements
• ChildFund says rural towns are growing fast into urban centres without adequate infrastructure and services while exposing children to safety issues and youth to drugs
More than 100,000 children and youth are expected to benefit from safety interventions and education projects geared towards enhancing the quality of life.
This is after ChildFund Kenya launched a Sh5.6 billion programme that seeks to empower children and youth across the country.
According to ChildFund country director Chege Ngugi, the focus will be on highly populated informal settlements around major cities and municipalities.
Children and youth from traditional hardship areas where children suffer various deprivations are other major areas of focus.
Ngugi said the organisation will focus its activities in rural ASAL areas and urban informal settlements.
“In ASALs harsh climatic conditions and unpredictable weather patterns expose children to risks such as malnutrition, disease outbreaks, and poor access to water and sanitation services,” Ngugi said.
“Youth is the biggest cohort of our target group. Where youth have skills we will refer them to the market and empower those without skills.”
The new strategy covers the journey of children from birth to young adulthood across three stages which include infants and young children; children and young adolescents (6 to 14 years) and adolescents and young adults (15 to 24 years).
“Devolution is disrupting rural lives and presenting new lifestyle challenges for children and youth,” he noted.
The official reiterated that traditionally, rural towns are growing fast into urban centres without adequate infrastructure and services while exposing children to safety issues and youth to drugs.
He said most urban centres stimulated by devolution lack spatial planning and many communities are finding themselves living in deprived conditions.
The official said that urbanisation has brought in challenges of displacements to give way to constructions.
ChildFund, formerly Christian Children's Fund, is an international organisation with a focus on helping children achieve their potential in spite of poverty.