Institutional facilitation of child development in Tharaka rural community in Meru South district: a case study of Materi Girls Centre.
Ibari, Gerald Kirimi
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This research was a study of institutional facilitation of child development in rural Tharaka community in Meru south district, Eastern Province of Kenya through a case study of Materi Girls Centre in form of longitudinal survey. After a preliminary visit to the centre and its various organs, a study was launched into its facilities and other activities which are related to development and other requirements of children. To obtain data, interviews were held with the co-ordinator of the centre, educational, medical and health personnel serving in various organs in the centre. In addition diary, questionnaires and participant observation methods were used to help in getting more information. Also several documents were available and these were studied and the relevant information was obtained. Data presentation took the form of tables, diagrams, graphs and charts. In addition description and discussion were used in the presentation. Thus the data from various instruments and methods of the study was organized into a systematic format for the final report. It was found that there are several facilities put in place for child development. Not only that but also other requirements of children are met. It was also found that the centre is not a single institution but an integration of several international (NGOs) and donors which are working to reduce malnutrition, poverty, ignorance, illiteracy and poor health in the semi-arid area of rural Tharaka. The centre itself is meant to develop arid and semi-arid areas in this Eastern part of Kenya and is run as an NGO. Among its various activities there is an emphasis on improving life in the rural Tharaka population through promoting education of the girl child, welfare of women and raising the general socio-economic standards of living in terms of health care, food and nutrition, clean water supply and irrigation, entrepreneurship, awareness of human rights and employment. Development of marginal lands and environmental sustainability are also within this focus. It was concluded that the various facilities in the centre, whereas some are not necessarily designed purposely for child development, do contribute towards that development either directly or indirectly. Besides other requirements of children are met.
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