We are delighted to have received funding through the UK’s Department of International Development (DFID) for the first time. The two year project will support our work with partner Community Health Volunteers to:
• Deliver basic health and family planning services to poor rural communities in western Kenya.
• Help address the unmet need for family planning in Kenya where 1 in 5 women can’t access family planning services.
35% of pregnancies in Kenya are unintended which in poor families is strongly linked to poorer maternal and child health, and lower educational achievements.
Baroness Sugg, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Development, said, “CHASE Africa is transforming women’s lives in Kenya by empowering them so they can decide whether, when and how many children they have. That is a basic right that every woman and girl deserves. I am delighted that DFID will also be supporting this small charity to provide free, basic and life-saving healthcare to poor and marginalised women in Kenya.
“The Small Charities Challenge Fund makes it easier for small British charities like CHASE Africa to access UK aid, helping them to improve lives and reduce poverty around the world.”
Chief Executive Officer of CHASE Africa, Henry Pomeroy, said: “We are delighted with the funding from the Government’s Small Charities Challenge Fund which will enable us to provide free basic healthcare and family planning services to meet the high unmet demand in poor communities in Kenya.
“We will work with our local partner organisation in Kenya and support them to provide high quality services through two mobile clinics each month over 2 years .
“Our partner works closely with the Kenya Ministry of Health who provide the nurses and doctors at the mobile clinics.
“We are looking forward to working with the team from the Department for International Development as we work in a new County in Kenya, bringing these essential health and family planning services which are lacking.”
CHASE Africa has been working for over 7 years with local partner organisations in Kenya and Uganda to provide health and family planning services through mobile clinics. Some of the key problems that women in poor communities in rural Kenya face in accessing family planning include distance from clinics especially where transport is not easily available, and the cost of the services as healthcare in Kenya is not free. But one of the most serious obstacles to using family planning is local culture and misunderstandings such as “if you use family planning you will get cancer” or “using family planning means you will be barren the rest of your life”. Our local partner organisations spend a lot of time providing clear information through local staff so that women and men can make free and unpressured choices about the timing, spacing and number of children that they want to have and can afford.
When families can choose the number and spacing of their children, the economic prospect of the whole family improves as women have more time to grow food and to work. The resulting increase in prosperity means that children are more likely to attend school, as they are not required to help around the home or look after younger siblings, and in countries where education has to be paid for the girls are often left behind as scarce resources are often allocated to boys. Being able to choose the number and spacing of children has huge knock-on effects on the family’s chances, improving health, wellbeing and prosperity eventually leaving the cycle of poverty behind.