THE EAST AFRICAN CHILDREN’S FUND MISSION
East African Children's Fund (EAC Fund) partners with community leaders to feed more than 1,000 orphaned and vulnerable school children and youth. Every day, our partners serve more than 4,000 meals. EAC Fund targets two interrelated issues: a growing young population and food insecurity.
EAC Fund’s current projects are located in Kenya, East Africa, where:
The population is both growing and young
Population growth in Kenya is one of the highest in the world. The population has more than tripled in the past 30 years, reaching almost 48 million today. Children comprise almost half the population: 30% of Kenyans are below age 10.
The agricultural sector is critical to Kenya’s economy
More than 75% of the Kenyan population relies on agriculture for food and income sources even though only 20% of the total land area is arable. Almost all agricultural output, both crops and livestock, depends on rainfall, making the small-scale farmer especially vulnerable to drought.
Food security and education are competing priorities
According to The World Bank, “A child born in Kenya today will be 52% as productive when she grows up as she could be if she enjoyed complete education and full health.”
Can you imagine making the choice between feeding your children or sending them to school? Although primary school in Kenya is paid for by the government, families must still buy a uniform and school supplies. Secondary, or high school is not free. As a percent of income, any of these fees are high. It’s common for a child’s education to be interrupted until after a harvest of cash crops can be sold to cover these costs.
School feeding programs lift this burden. School meals provide better nutrition to vulnerable children. School feeding programs promote access to education, especially for girls and young women. These programs also boost local economies in the agriculture sector when staple grains are purchased locally. Proper and adequate nutrition positively impacts intellectual, physical and emotional development, influencing future economic opportunities for vulnerable children.
Our partners’ farming programs support school feeding programs: fruits and vegetables, small livestock and fish are served in the schools. These programs also lift local communities by teaching farming best practices and employing community members. School youth gain valuable life skills by participating in the farming programs which in turn, they share with their home communities.
According to the UN World Food Program “A sustainable school feeding program that incorporates nutritious and diet diverse meals linked to smallholder farmer production is a key strategy for the achievement of the Zero Hunger Challenge and the Sustainable Development Goals.”
EAC Fund supports these projects focused on improved nutrition and health for orphaned and vulnerable children and youth in school programs in East Africa:
Purchasing locally-grown, highly nutritious food staples: beans, flour, and maize
Health and Hygiene
Purchasing clothing, mosquito nets, and health test kits
Supporting vaccination programs and deworming initiatives
Educating children and youth in the importance of proper nutrition, health and hygiene, including HIV/AIDS awareness
Purchasing seeds, fertilizers, and small farming equipment and tools
Engaging in resource management: drip irrigation and rainwater harvesting
Providing technical expertise: training in horticultural best practices
Building and maintaining fishponds
Raising pigs, rabbits, chickens, and goats
Training youth in best practices and sustainable farming techniques for their own sustenance and so that they can teach other members of their home communities
Supporting our partners' entrepreneurial projects of income-generating activities of excess crop, fish, and beekeeping production to support food security programs, education, and health and hygiene of the children and youth
LISA CRACCHIOLO PERACCHIO
President and Treasurer
A former CFO for an automotive manufacturing supplier, Lisa applies her skills in finance, management, and administration to support sustainable solutions to poverty alleviation. With more than 20 years’ experience in community-based development, Lisa specializes in monitoring and evaluation within the project cycle, upholding the values of transparency and efficiency. After teaching beekeeping in 2011 to a women’s group in rural Kenya, she became interested in food security as a path to effective development for both current and future generations. Lisa holds a B.A. from Connecticut College and a M.B.A. in International Finance and Investments from The George Washington University.
Doris was born and raised in Meru, Kenya and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Williams College. She has worked with children and youth in Kenya, and has seen firsthand how the opportunities presented early in life impact future outcomes. As such, she is keen on working to promote access to the tools children need to reach their full potential, particularly proper and adequate nutrition. Her commitment to children and youth began while teaching in two Kenyan schools, and as a Williams College Summer Fellow, conducting research on topics related to children and youth in Kenya and South Africa. Doris works in the financial services industry in Boston.
CAROL LAUB, PH.D.
Carol is a clinical psychologist with over 25 years in practice. Her work has focused on improving the lives of at-risk and vulnerable children and adolescents, and strengthening their families. Carol specializes in the treatment of anxiety, depression, trauma, chronic illness, emotional and behavioral dysregulation, grief/loss, and developmental challenges. Carol graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Psychology and French. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Michigan State University, where she also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Pediatric Psychology through the College of Human Medicine. She is an adjunct faculty at M.S.U., assisting in graduate-level training. Carol enjoys volunteering her time in her community including mentoring children and teens to be more self-confident leaders in their local and global communities.
James was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya and deeply believes in the importance of education achievement as a tool for economic empowerment especially in the developing world. Given this belief, he took a year off and taught mathematics at a primary school in his hometown before attending college and continues to volunteer with organizations that serve children through a foundation at his current employer. James is currently based in Chicago working as a business development and consultant relations professional at an investment management company. He holds a BA in economics and political science from Williams College and is currently pursuing his MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
For more than 10 years in Africa and the U.S., Tara has dedicated herself to improving leadership and organizational programming within community-led nonprofits in order to create more dynamic, effective learning organizations. Working across sectors and a wide demographic, she steers organizations towards sustainable programming through on-going training and mentorship. Drawing upon her M.S. in Development Studies (School of Oriental and African Studies, London, UK) and extensive experience across Eastern and Southern Africa, Tara mentors partners in employing qualitative and quantitative data to develop and assess their programming and budgets, improving overall effectiveness and impact.
Katie is a former corporate attorney who now dedicates herself to pro-bono work, with a focus on human rights and international advocacy projects. She has a longstanding interest in supporting African development which began after spending three months in the Central African Republic in the mid-80s. In 2016, Katie spent several months in Tanzania teaching groups of rural women about their rights under Tanzanian law. As a past board member of other local non-profit organizations, including as the former chairperson of a food pantry in Detroit, as well as a former director of special events for a major national non-profit corporation, she brings extensive experience and enthusiasm for development work to our board. Katie holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and a J.D. from Loyola University of Chicago.