Action for Children and Communities in Africa

Supporting street and acutely vulnerable children in Kenya since 2004.

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What we do

ACACIA UK’s vision is that every child in Africa enjoys a high quality education that embraces their differing abilities. This is achieved by lifting barriers to education for girls and boys in East Africa to enable them to reach their full potential.

Through targeted small scale grant making ACACIA UK supports projects in Sub-Saharan Africa that reach out to children and young people who have been left without an education. In particular ACACIA UK supports children excluded from education owing to developmental disability or mental health issues. We  work in collaboration with children, their families and their local communities to achieve a positive and lasting impact.

Supporting children through school

Through our field consultant in Kenya, ACACIA UK support a number of street children and children with disabilities to attend school in Thika.  Since the partnership with Rafiki Thabo Foundation, we have more than doubled the number of children we are supporting in this way and have also expanded the programme to include scholars with disabilities in Uganda.  Read more about one of these new scholars here.

We also work with three partner organisations in Kenya.

AIC Kajiado

AIC Kajiado work with rural Maasai communities in which children with developmental disabilities are highly marginalised, frequently viewed as a burden and kept hidden away. In 2019, with our support, AIC Kajiado completed a ‘Women’s Empowerment Project’ through which 56 Maasai women were socially and economically empowered in Kajiado County, Kenya. 58 of their children (with disabilities) benefited directly and 171 of their children (without disabilities) also benefited indirectly. We are now seeking funding for AIC Kajiado to scale up the project – drawing on the learning from the first project – to a further 800 Maasai women. We have already secured more than half the funding required so are optimistic that this new project will start soon.

Autism Society of Kenya

ASK works to create awareness of the existence of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Kenya and its management procedures. Among other things, ASK builds the capacity of parents/ guardians and siblings of children with autism to manage the condition, initiates programmes for children with autism and lobbies the government for appropriate policies and legislation in order to de-stigmatise autism in Kenya. We funded ASK to carry out a needs assessment for specialist autism support units in primary schools in Muranga County, Kenya, to ensure that children with autism receive an appropriate education to their needs. The assessment found that seven units should be established and these units would enable 280 children with autism to receive an appropriate education. We are now working with ASK to seek grant funding from trusts and foundations for the project.

Macheo

Macheo’s mission is to empower and protect vulnerable children and their communities, so that they can have a bright future. This year, we have supported Macheo to complete a ‘Therapy and Assistive Devices’ project. This project was identified as vital new work by Macheo, who had recognised from our previous project with them that a significant number of children with developmental disabilities were not able to access school because of a lack of physical therapy and mobility devices. The project was completed in March 2019 having reached 95 beneficiaries (58 boys, 37 girls) through 2,106 therapy sessions. Through the provision of therapy and assistive devices, the community has come to understand disability and importance of therapy. Macheo also reports that there has been increased ownership and participation from the community and other stakeholders. In addition, 51 children with disabilities were provided with assistive devices (e.g. crutches, special shoes, back slabs etc), 11 of them receiving more than one assistive device. 11 parents/ guardians were able to contribute financially for the assistive devices, others gave in-kind payments. This suggests they have ownership of the programme and have understood the importance of assistive devices. We are exploring further collaboration with Macheo on a follow up project, which aims to roll out more therapy sessions and assistive devices, drawing on the lessons from the previous project.