The Healthy Outcomes through Prevention Education (HOPE) project started off at SJCC in May 2012 after USAID granted CHF international the four years award.
The Goal of HOPE was to improve students’ HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes and practices through peer, school, and community-based interventions.
To this end, HOPE( Healthy Outcomes through Prevention Education) project, was to carry out school and community-based HIV/AIDS prevention activities in approximately 400 primary and secondary schools in the informal urban settlements within Nairobi Province and its environs. The project was also to support the Ministry of Education to revise the Education Sector Policy on HIV/AIDS and equip personnel in the MOE and the 47 new County Education Offices for its effective implementation.
This program was to be implemented in Nairobi province due to the high HIV incidence and prevalence rates and also to complement USAID/Kenya’s expansion of education programs into Nairobi’s informal urban settlements.
The entire HOPE program therefore set out to achieve the goal through realizing the following outcomes
- Students’ HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes and practices improved through peer-to-peer support and mentoring
- Schools equipped with the capacity to provide HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, information and support through classroom instruction and extracurricular activities;
- Parents and community members promote healthy living through increased school involvement; and
- The Ministry of Education and new County Education Offices equipped to implement the Ministry of Education’s Revised Sector Policy on HIV/AIDS.
St. John’s Community Centre was mandated to realize outcome number three which is parents and community members promote healthy living through increased school involvement.
The Key Outputs we were to deliver include
Output 1. Establishing and strengthening functional school health committees in 180 schools
Output 2. Support schools to establish functional linkage with service providers and communities
Output 3. Empowered 4000 parents to be comfortable to address reproductive health and substance abuse issues with their children.
Closing down of the HOPE project
The partnership with USAID through CHF ended in June 2014. It is our hope that those we reached can continue implementing the school health program.
Implementation of HOPE started off in May 2012 and the official launch was done in January 2013.
Establishing and strengthening functional school health committees in 180 schools
The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health had already released the Comprehensive school health Policy and guidelines which were the primary instrument the government was using to ensure that schools address the eight thematic areas of school health with the participation of respective line ministries, development partners and the community.
We therefore set out to support schools implement the policy. Over 200 head teachers were sensitize on the Policy and we trained 133 school health teachers who were to be the actual coordinators of the implementation of the school health policy in their respective schools.
The Head teachers and the school health teachers were very instrumental in the formation of the school health committees. These committees were to be the main structure in each school that was mandated to steer the implementation of the school health policy.
Support schools to establish functional linkage with service providers and communities
The established School Health management committees have direct linkage with the local government health facility to access medical services for the school community and also linkages with the Local Community Health Extension Worker (CHEW) who would link the schools to the community units who are mandated to respond to factors that affect the health of all community members. The committee is also mandated to partner with community members, pertinent line ministries and development partners to address their school health priorities.
Empowered 4000 parents to be comfortable to address reproductive health and substance abuse issues with their children.
To realize this output the consortium chose to use the Families Matter curriculum for it was an effective program in realizing parent- child communication in matters of HIV prevention.
By the end of 2012, 16 (8 female and 8 male) Families matter trainers had been trained by CDC trainers. The trainings were organized by CHF and the trainers were recruited by SJCC.
Over 4000 parents were reached.
The schools that benefited were: Juja Road, Dr. Aggrey, St. John’s Non-Formal School, Mashimoni Primary, Mashimoni Squatters Primary, Olympic Primary, Stara Primary, Muthurwa Primary, Salama Primary, Drive In Primary, Ngunyumu Primary, Muthurwa Primary and Thika Road Primary. Enrollment took place Kariobangi North Primary and Kimbi-Githurai Primary although they were not taught due to budget cuts.
NOTE: the project was halted midway In June 2014 due to funding cuts by USAID. The school health program was the most affected negatively by the cut. However we achieved the following
- Of the 180 target schools 125 formed school health committees only but only 26 had submitted their action plans to SJCC and to the PHO & DQASOs Office by close of the project.
- We interacted with county officials from the Ministry of Health and MoEST from Nairobi and Kiambuu county and we had them resolve that they will enforce the formation of county steering committee, the sub county steering committees as well as the divisional level committees. These committees will be instrumental in coordinating and supporting the school health management committees for a long time.
- Our target was to train 4000 parents in Families matter but we exceeded the reach and trained 4252 parents (3944 mothers and 308 fathers )
- We realized fathers needed an attitude change session before having them enroll for families matter but we could not do much with reduced funding.
- The FMP pilot project was highly rated by the participants. A high number of parents hoped that it would be scaled up. None of the FMP participants rated the program poor. When asked about the general success of the project many said it was hugely successful. The pre& post training showed that only 8% of parents could comfortably respond to questions on sex when by their children but after FMP training 81 % confirmed that they were comfortable in responding to sex questions when asked by their children. This shows that the model of FMP was highly rated and can be replicated in other places to salvage the lives of the youth.
NAME: BAROLINA KHAMILIA IBWAGA
Am 31 yrs old, married with two children, 11yrs old daughter and 1yr 8 months old son. Before I was educated about families matter at Muthurwa primary school, I never knew that it was okay for me to discuss sexual matters with my children especially my 11 yrs old daughter. I used to think that my girl was still very young to be taught about this issue. In the past I had some few incidences with her like one time I heard her narrate to her friend what she saw her parents doing at night on their bed.
I was filled with fury on hearing what they were discussing. I went out, started beating my daughter and asking her what kind of stories they telling each other? I told her to go inside the house and chased her friend away. Another incident, she was outside the house sitting alone holding something in her hand, when she saw me, she tried to hide it. I snatched it from her; it was a piece of paper which had some writings on it which said.
Sharly would you be my girlfriend? I love you so much. Love U. Mwangi.
I never even took time to let her explain, who or where she had gotten that note from. I just started beating her and told her to take me to where she got that note from. She took me. I talked to the mother of that boy and he was also punished. But since I joined FMP I came to realize that I was doing the wrong things and this would drive my daughter away from me and she wouldn’t have me as a mother to teach her about what she doesn’t know about living a healthy sexual life. So I started drawing her closer and making time for her and advising her, also tried to know her more and the changes and challenges she is experiencing at her young age. I can say its really working for both of us. She has opened up to me and the things I never knew about her like “she has started growing her pubic hair, and the breast on her chest” now I know because we talk about it. She is free with me when it comes to matters like SEX, DRUGS and as for me, am also free to discuss with her the negative effects of early sex, uses of drugs especially at her young age.
I want to thank the FMP for having such a program which gives us parents a chance to be educated, so that we can also educate our loved ones, not only our children but also our young brothers, sisters, neighbors and other parents who haven’t heard about this families matter program.
- MARTIN LUTHER PRIMARY SCHOOL HEALTH STORY.
Martin Luther primary school is located in Makadara sub-county of Nairobi City County. The school health teacher – Madam Jane Njuguna, was trained by HOPE program SJCC in October 2013. After the training, she was able to sensitize the teachers on school health program and importance of the policy implementation in the school. In the course of time, they noticed one student who had a medical condition. The child had a urinary problem. He had a hole in the stomach from where the urine would leak. The constant stench around him made learning almost impossible in class for other children and the teachers.
The teacher got concerned and approached the other committee members. They decided to take action. The mother was called and she explained that she was not in a position to take him for surgery to correct the problem since it was very costly. The health teacher contacted the area Health Promotion Officer who also contacted an organization that deals with the medical issue. They came, inserted a tube in the stomach with a disposal gadget. This was a temporary measure as they looked for long lasting solution. The students were sensitized on parade on the disease so as to reduce stigmatizing of the boy.
The school health program has brought concerted effort in handling health issues and having a participatory approach in handling children.
We appreciate USAID for granting CHF international the grants to implement the HOPE project. For the 2 years you supported us we reached parents and school committees and we believe the schools are better prepared to address the health issues affecting access to education. God Bless you.