Quality education is key to sustainable development, especially at such a crucial stage in a world infected with the virus. Sudden adaption to children’s’ educational needs included moving learning online, but what about communities who do not have the resources to do so?
Kidogo is one such organization working towards the development of young children in Kenya with a vision to empower “Mamapreneurs”, to start or grow their own childcare micro businesses in their local communities.
They have so far successfully trained 68 of them!
Introduction: Kidogo Innovations Ltd (Kenya)
Kidogo was co-founded by Sabrina Habib, author of Backwards and Forwards: My journey through Africa, with a vision to improve access to quality, affordable Early Childhood Care & Education in low-income communities. Sabrina is a passionate global health practitioner & social entrepreneur who has been leading social innovation initiatives across East Africa. She has also been recognized globally as a Top 30 under 30 by Forbes, as Canada’s Female Entrepreneur by ELLE Magazine and as an Echoing Green fellow.
Driven with the motive that every child should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential no matter where they are born, they operate a small number of ‘centers of excellence’ across Nairobi. They train female entrepreneurs on early childhood care & education and health & nutrition to improve the quality of services offered to young children.
Why the need?
Thousands of working mothers in East Africa’s informal settlements drop off their young children at unlicensed and congested “baby care” centers, compromising the health, growth, and development of children and thus, resulting in them being interlocked in a cycle of poverty. A lack of childcare services also resulted in mothers having to compromise on consistent employment and a good quality of life.
Their motto is ‘more is less’ but that certainly does not mean a compromise on quality. Their programs aim to be financially sustainable, community-driven & culturally appropriate. Kidogo approaches work with curiosity and playfulness, hence, creating a light-hearted yet challenging environment. They even achieved 45% increase in emotional regulation.
They are ambitious with a touch of transparency to ensure maximum impact and scope to learn from mistakes, therefore, setting a good example for their students. 98% of Kidogo kids were top five in their class upon joining the primary school.
What is the Kidogo Way?
The Kidogo way is a framework that guides their training and curriculum in their network.
Beginning with creating a communal healthcare system to ensure nutritional counseling and hygienic practices. They support cognitive learning along with physical domain through fun activities in a safely designed space for children. They work closely with mentor caregivers and parents to ensure healthy practice and development. And lastly, providing solutions to adopt best practices and run profitable businesses. Kidogo even provides solutions to companies and organizations to implement childcare solutions.
How did they respond to COVID-19?
The socio-economic challenges posed to Kenya due to COVID-19 caused a greater crisis, more so for low-income families as they relied on daily income to survive and 60% of Nairobi’s the population lives in densely populated slums where physical distancing is not possible.
The Kidogo team responded with the best of their abilities to regulate the impact of the virus on the vulnerable communities with the launch of initiatives to support them –
- Play Packs – Distribution of play material and guides for children to ensure continued learning.
- Handwashing – Partnering with Lifebuoy to provide free soap to families and spreading the importance of washing hands.
- Micronutrients – Distribution of micronutrient supplements to at-risk children and providing support for daycare feeding programs.
- Digital Caregiver – One on One support to parents with young children through SMS, Whatsapp, and Facebook.
Quenteer- Kidogo Parent
“My child is now quite social and can now play peacefully with other children. She is more courageous. Every day I come home she has something new to tell me. They (Kidogo) never shout at children; they reason with them. I have learnt to be patient with children and to give them time to listen to their ideas and treat them the same way caregivers treat them there.”
What can you do to support them?
Purchase one of their kits through their donor box platform and get in touch with them on their website. Most importantly, spread the word!
If you want to share a story for a better future, get in touch now.
We can all make a difference for a better future. We need people like U&i.