Florida Development Program
This Development Program aims to improve the well-being of children, especially the most vulnerable, using an approach that is long term (15-20 years), holistic, focused on children, and seeks to enable their families, local communities and partners to address the underlying causes of poverty. These root causes are not just lack of access to the basic necessities of life like water, food or health care, but also include inequities like gender or ethnic discrimination, or abusive practices like exploitation or domestic violence that affect a child’s well-being.
65 families were able to give their children a greater variety of nutritious food after starting backyard vegetable gardens. Six demonstration fields and 10 production fields were set up to help farmers learn new methods for growing staple foods such as grain. The farmers who work the fields established savings groups so they will have access to basic financial services such as interest-earning savings accounts and small, affordable loans to expand or improve their farms. Five healthcare workers and 30 community volunteers were trained to facilitate our Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) program, which seeks to prevent disease and promote proper hygiene and nutrition for children younger than 5. Through ECCD, 307 parents from 10 communities learned about children's nutrition needs during their first five years and how to prepare nutritious meals. 245 parents learned about the early warning signs of common childhood illnesses and what to do when children suffer from diarrhea, pneumonia, and other health problems that can be life-threatening if not treated promptly and effectively. We equipped ECCD facilitators with six scales so they can measure children's weight and nutritional status. Five children with serious medical conditions accessed healthcare services with our help. 96 families, including 190 children, gained access to clean water from a new water tank built in their community. With our help, community members designed and carried out two school improvement projects: a new roof for an elementary school and new roof for a preschool. 143 children who were struggling in school got help with their studies through our peer tutoring program. The program was implemented in seven schools with help from 87 peer tutors. Seven schools set up learning spaces where children can participate in fun enrichment activities that strengthen their math and reading skills and reinforce moral values. 25 young people participated in our youth leadership program, which is designed to equip young people with advocacy, management, and decision-making skills and engage them in community development efforts. 613 children and parents were trained in child protection and ways to create safe, nurturing environments for children, stressing the importance of early childhood education and the prevention of violence such as bullying.
Most Vulnerable Children, Gender, Environment, Advocacy