ChildFund Team Conducts Scoping Study of Betio Village

12-18 August, Betio Village – A ChildFund Team comprising Shona Jennings (Director of Programmes) , Richard (Rick) Steel (Kiribati ChildFund Officer) and Graeme Nicholas from the Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited (ESR), conducted a series of workshops involving Betio Village communities’ representatives to finalise the design of a project that ChildFund, assisted by KiLGA and BTC hope to start in early 2017. The team also held meetings with officials of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), Ministry of Labour & Human Resources Development (MLHRD), Ministry of Women, Youth and Social Affairs (MWYSA), the Kiribati Police Service (KPS), among others. The project, which is yet to have funding confirmed by the New Zealand Aid Programme, aims to improve the social, physical and economic health for Kiribati’s children and youth. It will be piloted in Betio Village. “ChildFund’s model of working is to take an integrated approach in a small geographic area,” says Rick Steele, who will manage ChildFund’s programme in Kiribati. “In our experience, it’s better not to spread too thinly – to focus on just one community, and to work very closely with them to achieve the changes they see are important to them.” After two years it is hoped that the model will prove successful enough to adapt for other communities in Kiribati.

The partnership with KiLGA is an important way of engaging Mayors from across the country in the model, so they can take lessons forward to their own communities.

The project will include working with community members to improve water, sanitation, child nutrition, positive parenting, child protection, family financial planning and youth income generation. The three agencies have been meeting with the relevant Government departments and community members to discuss how best to achieve this. The pilot will focus on the Betio Village community. After two years there, it is hoped that the model will be taken to other communities through the partnership with KiLGA.

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