Our Pillars

Children for Health does not seek to have its own ‘projects’.

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Children at Josina Machel Primary School, Tete Mozambique

We work exclusively though established government and non government structures and systems. We only work with these partners when asked and even then we do quite a lot of work to make sure we are really needed. We believe that people living and working in the communities have all the answers so we see our role less as ‘expert’ and more as ‘facilitator’ or ‘coach’.

We distil the very best sources of health information for teachers and others working with children aged 10-14.

Although we do other things too, we describe our work as having 4 main ‘pillars’ and have project partnerships linked to each of these.

Pillar 1: The 100

We have created 100 MESSAGES for children to learn and share. We have numerous resources linked to these messages and topics. Check our Facebook page and Twitter feed and you will notice that we focus on one topic per month for 10 months of the year! We advocate the use of our Rainbow Stick for children to use to record and collect the messages they have learned and to demonstrate their learning!

The 100 Linked Projects

We have a formal understanding with Save the Children UK who have helped fund the development of the collection of messages and activities who wish to use the bank of messages as starting points for their work on many programme sin many different countries. We are doing some specific work with them linked to their programme in Nigeria and Pakistan (summer 2015).

We are working with Literacy Bridge to look at ways to incorporate a category for children on their ‘talking Book’ in their Ghana programme. The 100 and the related activities are source materials for this initiative.

Other users such as the Partnership for Child Development, Imperial College, London have told us that our messages and activities were their ‘go to’ content hub as they developed specific guidance for teachers and schools they support in Ethiopia.

As our content is free for anyone to use we know there are many others accessing and using the content.

Pillar 2: Programme Optimisation

We have a suite of services to help establish, strengthen or support programmes that aim to develop the role of children as health activists. Our staff have 26 years of experience in the field to draw upon!

Projects we are helping to Optimise

We have been working with the Government of Mozambique on their PCAAN programme since November 2013 – Children’s Participation in Learning and Action for Nutrition (PCAAN in Portuguese!). We are helping to evaluate the pilot in November 2015 and we expect the programme to scale in Tete province in 2016. Plans for this are already under-way. Please read more here.

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Illustration from Everyone Counts

We have developed a PCAAN Teachers’ Guide and a story book, Everyone Counts, based on one of the results from the Programme. We are developing 3 more story books and a children’s recipe book.

We have worked with Save the Children’s Pakistan ‘Signature Programme’ during the planning and inscribing process providing technical support on the Children’s Participation features of the programme..

Pillar 3: M Children

We are working with front line practitioners to develop meaningful teaching tips and tools that can be delivered on mobile.

Our first M Children project

With the help of a grant from ARM and United Methodists Communications, we have created a mobile website designed to reach practitioners working with children in Sierra Leone as they work to recover from the Ebola crisis.Ebola_04

It is called Safe Strong and Smiling! Click the link to take a look!

This is beginning to take root in Freetown with teachers working to establish school health clubs accessing the content. It has been a fascinating process to distil health education content for a mobile platform. We will be writing up our case study in November 2015.

We also have published an e-book, The Ebola Story.

Children for Health is represented on Sierra Leone’s National Social Mobilisation Strategy and we have authored a briefing paper for UNICEF on Children’s Participation. This is being distributed to all those involved in community mobilisation in the West African region affected by Ebola.Ebola_14

Pillar 4: Academic Partnerships

We believe its important to contribute to the evidence base that involving children as health activists is an effective and important approach in health education; is one that leads to behavioural change and that it has benefits for all children.

Our Developing Partnerships

We have links to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and are in going discussions with colleagues in the Hygiene Center. There is an enthusiasm to test the behaviour design process used in the SuperAmma campaign but focussing on children. We have also worked on a proposal with the LSHTM Eye Health team. We are wishing to explore the potential for children to contribute to the WHO – SAFE strategy to prevent trachoma.

We advocated for and are helping with the Action Research activities that are a part of the PCAAN programme in Mozambique. Field work will be conducted in November 2015 and we are in the process of building the design.

Boys discuss the dangers of bottlefeeding

Boys acting the role of fathers discussing the dangers of bottle feeding with the parrots acting as their babies!

We advocate for research on children as health messengers and facilitate connections between partners and academic departments whenever we can.

Every year we teach on the international health module attended by medical students at the Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge.

We are interested in the scope for mobiles to be used to collect field information on the progress of health education programmes in places which are hard to reach and we are working on using mobile for data collection with our colleagues in Mozambique and with the support of Frontline SMS.

Contact us to find out more about our Pillars of the projects we help to support.

Please note we do not have funding for any projects but we are often looking for funding to help us support partners.