Sakha Ikusasa III
2010-2015 The Fund turned towards building a child rights movement seeking coordinated mobilization of all sectors of society for the championing of their wellbeing.
Initiation of Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital as of 2005 It was during this period, that the idea of a children’s hospital was endorsed by the resolution Board of the Fund on November 17, 2005 calling for a specialist referral health facility to change the face of health service delivery. Construction for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, as a legacy project in honour of our late Founder Nelson Mandela, is nearing completion scheduled for the end of 2016.
The year 2015 marks the 20 th anniversary since establishment in 1995. The road ahead to carve new strategic niche and areas of intervention to inform our work as the Fund for the five years 2016 -2021.
The fourth five-year period (2010 -2015) ushered us into Sakha Ikusasa III. The numerous actors in society and which together ought to act in the best interest of the child came to define what is known as our Theory of Change.
This theory of Change means, as of birth, the child’s wellbeing is dependent on a multiplicity of factors that are impacting on the child. In other words, it takes a circle, sets of people and institutions to make the world of children to go round. The immediate circle includes, mom and dad, the family and community. The doctor, priest, nurse, and care-giver would be another circle. So does the crèche, school, the church and state feature at every stage of the child’s development until age of majority.
The permanent sense of awareness of where and what is the status of the child at every stage of its development ought to be a given by all concerned. Failure to do so, not only suggests loss of track of where the child could be, but also leads to children straying into harm’s way. Harm’s way may render the child vulnerable. Vulnerability may be as a result of neglect, exposure to danger, abuse, molestation and even death. Proper discharge of responsibility to child safety, protection and care is the positive impact expected from all concerned.
The Fund’s status of the child report represents its share of contribution to highlighting children’s safety, care and protection and to ensure that every child is accounted for at all times.
To help influence broader society to act in the best interest of the child, the Fund geared itself to setting in motion a child-rights movement. The value propositions factored into this movement included:
- •Advocacy and strengthening of community responsiveness to children’s rights;
- •Creation of a safe, protective and nurturing child-rights environment; and
- •Enabling communities to hold those in power/authority and duty bearers accountable for children’s rights.
Sakha Ikusasa III strategy highlights
The year 2010-2015 has seen a measure of boldness. The 2010 Children’s Champion Campaign and Take a Stand gave the Fund a degree of confidence to test its convening ability of the sector.
The seven reports due for print to bring Sakha Ikusasa III (2010-2015) to a close, give a sense of comfort that assessment of work in the past five has a document source of reference. Advocacy work will be bolstered by evidence-based research.
Bold and ambitious as Sakha Ikusasa III has been, it had commendable flashes pointing to the need as well as definite steps to initiation of a child-rights movement. At a time when it seem nothing practical was possible, it had backing of a resource partner whose attention was not limited to projects or programmes but married to Sakha Ikusasa III strategy in its entirety. That shared vision between the Fund and Comic Relief for the period covering the years 2010-2015, fired both parties to find their way clear for implementation to occur.
As is with Comic Relief, all our resource partners embraced Sakha Ikusasa III with unflinching belief. At the heart of that belief, is living up to the challenges of the Fund’s perspective to give equal attention to the ‘problem child’ as well as ‘normal child’ as the risk factors that threaten their aspired wellbeing represent the total universe of reason why the Fund was established.
We remain committed to build a ‘New Normal’. This new normal spells better outcomes for children, calls upon us to refine clear choices from the strategy we are about embark upon and demands that we perfect our theory of change.
The knowledge of our practice has grown from the bottom. We seek to integrate what we want to achieve into the agency of the community that already exists. We strengthen what already works, what is ‘natural’, and adjust proposed solutions based on that.
We acknowledge that ours has been a journey moving us from the ‘broad’ model in which we tackled issues as diverse as:
- •HIV/AIDS in the quest for depth
- •Child Protection, safety and care
To become a true voice ‘activist voice’ on behalf of children indications are that we need choose ‘depth’ to extend our design initiatives to redefine the children’s agenda through identifiable and specific issues that will enable us to exercise desired depth.
Three dimensions come to mind when considering the most pressing obstacles in the way of children. These dimensions include issued in accordance to age, location and circumstance.
While there prevails ‘average’ understanding of issues facing children, we need a thorough data-driven inventory. This will enable us have deeper grasp of these issues and associated challenges to allow us to assess potential impact of interventions. This will in turn allow us to make choices as to where to concentrate.
In order to arrive at this desired position, we will be developing an integrated insight of the next 6-12 months. We will start by with mobilising and integrating what is already known so as to move to the desired state. This explains the April 2016 as commencement of the new strategy.
Tentative area of depth points us to developing insights allowing us to pick battles for yield and reach. This brings us closer to the famous ‘first 1 000 days’ focussing attention to:
- •Mother nutrition
- •Breast feeding
- •Child nutrition
- •Maternal mortality
- •Mother to child transmission (MTCT)
Upon completion of strategy development exercise will be the final guide as to confirm this tentative option as the final choice for depth. At that point we would then be in a position to engage resource partner on the basis of what has been conclusively arrived at.