Jirapa's Community News

Thanks to the generous support of donors, we’re making great progress toward the well-being of children and their families. These are a few of the areas we focused on in the past year: 

The Jirapa community is home to almost 90,000 people, many of whom live in poverty and earn a living through farming. Erratic rainfall, drought, and infertile soil mean that families often do not produce enough food. Almost 13% of children in the area are malnourished. For survival, families often resort to harvesting other natural resources, such as trees and charcoal. This practice is not sustainable, however, and if continued will quickly destroy Jirapa's natural resources.

There are few health clinics and staff available to care for children and families. Waterborne infection and disease are common due to improper sanitation and hygiene. Most schools do not have drinkable water or proper washrooms. Youth often drop out of school to earn money for their families, and some girls drop out as a result of early marriage and teenage pregnancy. Women cannot own land and have little control over their income and livelihood, and therefore must depend on their husbands or male family members.
  • 4,227 individuals learned about child rights and protection issues to help ensure children's safety and participation
  • 5 young people are leading or attending child parliaments to advocate for their rights and influence local decisions
  • 1 child parliament is empowering young people to advocate for their rights and participate in community decisions
  • 28 children received birth certificates, ensuring their access to basic rights and services like health and schooling
  • 45 people learned how to work with local authorities and influence decisions to improve services and child well-being
  • 5 community groups are engaging with local authorities to advance their rights and create positive changes for children
  • 19 children with disabilities were supported with medical care, accessibility upgrades and equipment
  • 5 children and youth are improving their learning through tutoring and extracurricular activities like clubs and camps
  • 1 club is in place for children and youth to improve their learning through tutoring and extracurricular activities
  • 800 children and youth were trained in essential life skills such as critical thinking, self-esteem and communication
  • 1 school was upgraded to provide a better learning environment for students
  • 1,400 people received vocational, business and finance training, improving their opportunities to earn a steady income
  • 1,400 farmers received livestock, seeds or tools to improve productivity and better provide for their children and families
  • 900 children and adults are members of savings groups, helping families meet their financial needs and access small loans
  • 10 savings groups are helping children and adults save money and access loans to grow businesses or cover basic expenses
  • 100 people were trained on practices to preserve and manage the environment and its resources
  • 4,127 children and adults learned about the importance of water safety, proper sanitation and hygiene to stay healthy
  • 1,250 children are developing vital language and motor skills at pre-school, setting the foundation for their education.
  • Community members are working to protect children and youth through workshops and formal programs like birth registration.
  • 2 district hospitals received essential medical equipment and health promotion materials.
  • 10 child welfare supervisors attended training to better equip them to monitor the well-being of children.

Explore Jirapa

current conditions

To protect the privacy of children, this map shows only the general area of the community, not the exact location.

The needs in Jirapa

In Jirapa, children lack access to quality education. The classroom environment is very poor, with outdated teaching methods, inadequate facilities and classrooms, and instructors who need more training. Most children do not have basic school supplies or materials. There are hardly any kindergarten teachers, and the lack of basic benefits makes teaching in general an undesirable job in the area. This often results in teacher absences. School supervisors don't check in regularly, and issues are rarely addressed.

These challenges have led to a high number of students who skip school or drop out altogether. Many leave the classroom in order to take up jobs and make money to support themselves and their family. According to a recent report, 64.5% of boys finished junior high, whereas only 46.5% of girls accomplished the same. Part of the reason for this large gap is because some girls drop out due to early or forced marriages and teenage pregnancy. This group of mothers has little or no skills and cannot fend for themselves or their children. Often their own children do not have their basic needs met, and grow up to repeat the same cycles of poverty and under education.

A key concern in Jirapa is the lack of nutritious food available year-round. Environmental issues such as unpredictable rainfall, bad soil, and drought affect harvests. Poverty limits famers ability to use better techniques to increase productivity and improve storage options. A lack of knowledge also keeps families raising livestock from earning as much income as they could if they received improved education. Additionally, families lack sustainable alternatives to farming and have turned to depleting the area's natural resources, like forests and charcoal, to provide for themselves.

Child Protection
In Jirapa, the community lacks understanding and support of child wellbeing. Without community leaders who are invested in promoting child rights and child protection, and encouraging participation, children remain voiceless and devalued.

One of the most prominent issues is the migration of parents looking for work because of poor harvests and ongoing poverty. Traveling away from home to find employment can often leave children vulnerable to unsafe situations and bad peer influence. Additionally, poverty can push community members to promote early marriage for girls as a way to ensure they are cared for. Early marriage is not only harmful to children's wellbeing, but it also leads to teenage pregnancy, creating health risks for young mothers and their babies.

Community Leadership
Another issue is the community's struggle to bounce back from natural disasters including drought and windstorms, which regularly destroy farms as well as houses. Community members need help to identify the early warning signs of these disasters and to create plans that will help manage the impact.
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Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Jirapa,  is in Phase 2

PHASE 2: Evaluate and grow

We monitor progress and make adjustments to meet goals. More community members become involved, lead projects and gain ownership of their success.