“As we reflect on another challenging year, driven by major real-world issues like Covid-19 and accelerating climate change, it is gratifying that Aidlink has succeeded in continuing its mission of supporting those communities who are already the furthest behind, and who are falling further behind.” John Lynch, Aidlink Chairperson.
Schools in Kenya reopened in January 2021, and together with our partners, we welcomed back a total of 15,984 children to 28 primary schools. The focus of our programmes was to educate, empower and enable the poorest and most excluded children and their families in Kenya.
In response to climate-induced drought, Aidlink increased and extended its school feeding programmes to include a total of 44 schools and approximately 20,000 school going children, ensuring these children received a daily meal during the acute dry period in the run up to Christmas 2021. Currently, protracted drought continues as Kenya experiences its fourth consecutive failed rainy season, placing approximately 5 million people at risk of extreme hunger.
In 2021, Aidlink revived and expanded our programmes in Uganda. We continued our work in Napak, Karamoja, re-established our programmes in Masaka and launched a new programme in Kyankwanzi, Buganda, supporting a total of 6,360 vulnerable men, women and children with access to safe and clean water.
2021 also marked the end of Aidlink’s flagship, three-year Kenya Inclusive Quality Education Project (KIQEP) co-funded by Irish Aid. Over the course of the project, 20,837 children from 57 schools were supported to access quality and inclusive primary education.
A formal external end-of-project evaluation was conducted in early 2022, and examined both project impact and the effectiveness of the Aidlink-GCN partnership. It found that the project had largely achieved its targets, enabling schools to become more child, gender and disability-friendly, and empowering families and communities to embrace education for all children, especially girls and children with disabilities. We are heartened by the positive results, validating not only the benefits experienced by target communities, but also recognising the unique strength of Aidlink’s long-standing localisation agenda through our partnership model.