Our priorities: Ensuring the basic needs of children and youth are met

Our priorities: Ensuring the basic needs of children and youth are met | ChildFund New Zealand

At ChildFund New Zealand, we believe that change begins when the basic needs of children and youth are met: they are educated; they are healthy, in healthy homes and communities; and their families have secure livelihoods.

Improved access to water and sanitation.

Water is an essential part of our lives. However, access to safe, clean water isn't a given. In fact, one in three people worldwide struggle to find a safe drinking water source in their community. 

Without clean water and sanitation facilities, the risk of diarrhea, malaria and other waterborne diseases is very real, and very dangerous. 

ChildFund works to improve access to clean water and sanitation services. As part of our Road Mapping process, community members identify areas where safe water isn't available, and work to create a plan for sustainable change. 

In one area where we work in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, the problem of unsafe water is quite significant. That's why, after coordinating with local government bodies, conducting a thorough engineering assessment and working with community members, ChildFund has started working to improve access to clean water for 361 families in Batticaloa. 

Improved family and household income.

According to the World Bank, approximately 1 in 10 people around the world live on less than $1.90 per day. For ChildFund, a key step to sustainability in the dedicated communities where we work is to ensure families have the ability to earn a reliable and steady income. 

An example of this is in Emali, Kenya, a community where ChildFund has been improving family and household income by helping dairy farmers with milk production. Through improved genetics and better techniques, farmers are producing enough milk to warrant the establishment of a proper milk-collection system in their community.

ChildFund is currently building five milk-collection centres in the region, giving farmers a drop-off point for their milk, so it can be collected by larger dairy factories and distributed throughout Kenya. This will give farmers, mostly women, improved income to help provide for their families. 

Improved education for children and youth. 

A quality education provides children and youth with a solid foundation for the future. Better education leads to better knowledge and skills, and opens the doors for improved employment opportunities. 

Unfortunately, for various reasons, one in five children around the world don't complete primary school. 

At ChildFund, a key focus of our community Road Maps is to ensure all children can access a quality course of education. In Luangwa, Zambia, local schools haven't been adequately equipped to teach a range of students. To attend classes, children must either walk a far distance, or pay high fees to attend a boarding school. To address this issue, we have recently constructed additional classrooms in two Luangwa schools, extending the grade-range of teaching they can offer to students. Additionally, ChildFund has supported the construction of teachers' houses to help attract high-quality teachers to the school. 

Improved access to nutritious food. 

Inadequate access to nutritious food has a negative impact on child and youth development and learning. 

According to the World Food Programme, there are 66-million school-age children who attend classes hungry, worldwide. As part of our Road Mapping process, we aim to build sustainable programmes that help communities become self-reliant and able to meet their own needs. To do this, we help communities source their own food for the daily meals they provide to students. 

An example of this is in Emali, Kenya, where we encourage the production of drought-hardy crops and vegetables to supplement the diets of school-aged children. Orange-fleshed sweet potato, greens and eggs are now on the lunch menu for many students in Emali. 

To support this, ChildFund has fenced and irrigated gardens, built greenhouses, purchased chickens and trained community members on modern agricultural techniques.