Case Study: Kenya | Integrated Economic Empowerment
Kenya has faced severe recurring drought at the same time as rapid population expansion, leading to scarcity of both food and paying work. In addition, preventable diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS affect millions of people, and children under the age of five are especially vulnerable.
In Kenya's western Nyanza Province, Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with the Anglican Church of Kenya and its humanitarian arm, Anglican Development Services (ADS-Nyanza), to improve health, agriculture and income generation among rural families.
ADS-Nyanza supports local farmers in increasing their harvests and income by offering access to seeds, tools and training through demonstration farms and tree nurseries. The program also offers training in livestock management and support for breeding and raising healthy animals. In order to expand the reach of the program and share knowledge, participating farmers act as promoters, showing their neighbors the improved farming techniques they have implemented on their own land.
Health activities focus on ensuring child survival, working through trained local volunteers and government health workers to promote maternal health, support early childhood development and prevent and treat diseases such as malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia – the three leading causes of death for children under five. The program uses the Integrated Community Case Management (iCCM) model with Social Behavioral Change Communication (SBCC) strategies to encourage families to adopt good health and hygiene practices and seek appropriate medical treatment when needed.
Enabling families to invest in farming and household well-being, ADS-Nyanza supports the formation of Savings with Education groups that empower members to build up their own savings and access a rotating loan fund for investment in agriculture and small businesses. Many of these groups are focused specifically on farming, offering training in how to market produce and create food products with increased shelf life and sale value. Savings groups are also exploring Community-Based Health Financing to make health care costs more manageable and increase access and use of local services. Savings groups and health financing activities specifically engage people living with HIV/AIDS, who face greater vulnerability and higher costs for ongoing care.