2015 Year End Review

We are delighted to let you know that Children for Health has gone from strength to strength in our third year of existence! Here are a few of the highlights of the year:

Website & Core Content – during 2015 our website has been upgraded, and our collection of health education  information is now available to anyone who might want to use it in their homes, classrooms or projects. The Collection focuses on 10 health topics and includes the 100 key messages for children to learn and share.

The website is continually updated with the latest news, activities and knowledge, ensuring that all the latest developments in health education are incorporated. In 2016, we will restructure the architecture of the website, making it easier to navigate and use. Please check out www.childrenforhealth.org and see what you think.

Stories for Health – one of our key strategies for the year was to launch this new set of materials.  Stories for Health are a little library of children’s health-focussed story books. Each story focuses on a topic and incorporates key health messages into the story lines. The stories star our mascots, ZuZu & ZaZa, the two scarlet macaws. So far, we have written and illustrated four Stories for Health which tie in to our “PCAAN” nutrition work, in Mozambique. (PCAAN = ‘children’s participation in learning and action for nutrition’. Stories are woven into the themes of ‘sharing food fairly’ (Everyone Counts), ‘The Rainbow Garden’, ‘Micronutrients’ (Why Thomas Loves His Football; and ‘Hygiene’ (The Puzzle).

Everyone-counts_14The PCAAN storybooks in Portuguese, will be completed and published in 2016, and we will alert our community on our blog as each one is finished. We expect to prepare an e-reader version of each story so it can be read on a mobile and we are working with a free translation service to provide these and other materials in more languages.

Field trials with children have demonstrated the books are popular and will be easy for children to read themselves and with younger children, sharing the messages as they share the stories.

The very first storybook in our library was developed by our close friend Dr Anise Waljee, who worked alongside Children for Health and colleagues in Sierra Leone to develop a sensitive story about grief and loss for children to read and share in the Post-Ebola phase.

Ebola_13We have several more stories in the pipeline and we are working closely with the Paleng Children’s Centre in Lesotho on new story lines.

We are seeking funding and sponsorship for all of our new titles. Each story costs approximately £3K to develop.

Pictures for Health – We are also working on a collection of Pictures for Health. These are poster-size visualisations of our messages and methods. They are proving especially useful in programmes where literacy is low, or as discussion triggers with teachers, health workers and carers. We are in the process of completing two Pictures for Health: one focused on the 100 messages, and another which illustrates the PCAAN programme in Mozambique.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our talented team: the designer David Gifford, our author Elisabeth Gifford and our logo designer Mark Pickthall – for all of their hard work and creativity. Have a look at one of our lovely new logos!

Stories for Health Logo

Children for Health Team is Expanding! – I would like to acknowledge here the dedication and fantastic support of our expanded Children for Health team: Amy Collins, Lisa Davis, Joshua George, Jenny Kowalczuk, Joanna Molgaard, and George Ruddock. Also, the recipients of the Children for Health, ‘Outstanding Partnership Award‘ –  Bibiche Sangwa and Lourenco Govate. Bibiche and Lourenco have demonstrated incredible commitment to the success of our technical work in Mozambique. We will be posting more information about these two in the New Year.

I would also like to thank our wonderful Trustees for their support, encouragement and involvement throughout the year.

Global Impact Award – we were delighted that our work work recognised in October by the Cambridge-based, Centre of Global Equality with the 2015 Global Impact Award for our contributions to international development. This was at an event where Professor Robert Chambers was the key note speaker, Robert is the pioneer of participatory methods in research and development. So, as an organisation wishing to build upon the great work that has been done in the field of participatory practice, it was very special to pick up this award in front of Robert. As well as a financial award, we also have won access to 12 months of mentoring from some of the CGE’s leading associates in Cambridge. This will allow us to continue to develop and expand our activities in the year ahead.

Mobis for Health – in 2015, we developed our first mobi-site “Safe, Strong And Smiling” as part of the response to the Ebola Crisis in Sierra Leone. The mobi-site gives Children’s Champions in the affected communities easy access to resources concerning Ebola, answering some of the basic questions they have, and help them cope with the tragic consequences of the disease for children in their families and communities. The experience of developing the site in conjunction with our partners Every1Mobile has given us the confidence to go on and plan for more mobi-sites in 2016, probably for HIV and Malaria.

The PCAAN Programme in Mozambique – after 2 years of intensive field work and with the support of DANIDA, we have  completed the development phase of the PCAAN programme and provided technical input for the evaluation phase. We have recently heard that the Provincial Government of Tete has been so impressed with the programme, that they are planning to roll it out in 2016.

Save the ChildrenPartnership with Save the Children – in 2015, we have been an active partner in Save the Children’s Signature programmes in Pakistan and Nigeria concerning Diarrhoea Prevention & Control…providing strategic and pedagogical training for master trainers, teachers and children. We hope that next year will see a further expansion of our involvement with Save as we look to build their internal capacity for children’s participation.

So, 2015 has been a very busy and most rewarding year for Children for Health, full of hard work and progress! We are delighted that ARM has agreed to become one of the key funders for our 2016 plan, and we continue to seek other funders who would be interested in supporting our work in the future.

All that remains is to thank you for your support and wish you all a very Happy New Year, from all of us at Children for Health!