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:
- Food prices have escalated following the severe 2017 drought
The 2017 drought left 3.4 million people severely food insecure and an estimated 480,000 children suffering from acute malnutrition. School attendance has declined because children assist in locating water and food, and families that are already struggling to feed their children can't stretch their income for school expenses.
- 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.
Can you imagine making the choice between feeding your children or sending them to school? Although primary and more recently, secondary education in Kenya is paid for by the government, families must still buy a uniform and school supplies. 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 ensure access to both proper nutrition and education. Proper and adequate nutrition positively impacts intellectual, physical and emotional development, influencing future economic opportunities.
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
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 10 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 group of rural women in 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 recently 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 much the opportunities presented early in life can affect 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 started with teaching in two Kenyan schools and, as a Williams College Summer Fellow, conducting research on topics relating to children and youth in Kenya and South Africa. Doris is currently based in London, working as a Business Associate at an investment management company.
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.