Introduction

The Family Empowerment Program (FEP) works towards improving the situation of vulnerable children in the slums, by improving their family situation. The FEP empowers disadvantaged willing parents in becoming better caregivers. This program consists of a wide range of interventions tailored specifically to the family needs. These include seminars to educate families, counselling support, economic empowerment to start up an own business, support for children who never attended school and home visits to support families in reaching their goals. Last year 184 families and their children benefitted from the program.

How does the program work?

All families are identified through their children which are referred by the social worker, community members or other Macheo programs. Together with the social worker of Macheo the parents develop an intervention plan. We support mostly single mothers as their households are usually the most vulnerable. Women have less access to resources, knowledge, and work while simultaneously bearing full responsibility of raising their children. This greatly reduces their capacity and capability of providing a quality environment for their families to grow. Macheo offers a variety of interventions with the goal of helping them become a better parent for their children. The interventions used to improve the family situation are:

Seminars

facilitated by our staff in cooperation with the local government and equity bank officers depending on the seminar’s topic. Examples of the topics are; parenting, child abuse, child rights and applying for health insurance.
Counseling: in some cases vulnerable families need counseling to cope with difficult situations or tragedies such as death, sickness, crime or abandonment. The families will be referred to one of our counselors.

Economic empowerment

aims to improve the economic status of the families, enabling them to take care of themselves and their children. This involves mostly the startup of small businesses for selected families in FEP. Those families receive a one-time donation and intensive coaching on all aspects of starting a business.
Education Empowerment Program: to support children who have never attended school and are beyond school age. The children that are admitted into this program receive special attention from a teacher of Macheo, which enables them to catch up to children their age and enroll in a public school.

Home visits

social workers support families to reach the goals they have set together. They ensure that progress is being made, provide guidance to the family and help with dealing with setbacks.

Results

  • In total a 184 families were assisted through the Family Empowerment interventions in 2014.
  • 273 boys and 275 girls benefited either directly or indirectly from the FEP program in 2014.
  • In 2014 Macheo expanded the program from Kiandutu slum to the rural area of Iembeni Village.
  • Currently 27 businesses are running after 6-12 months and doing well.
  • More than 1100 guardians attended a total of 43 seminars, with most of the people attending to more than one seminar.
  • 25 children were reintroduced to public school in 2014 after following the Education Empowerment program.