Local Partners

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Local Partners Are the Backbone of Long-term Sustainability

ChildFund has chosen to work through local partner organizations because we believe local ownership of change is fundamental to the social change process. We also believe that by acting in partnership we have a multiplier effect.

Working together — sharing resources, knowledge and experience — we can have greater impact in the short term and work to build stronger communities and institutions for the future.

ChildFund partners with grassroots organizations made up of people who live in the area and who have a stake in creating the conditions their children need to thrive.

Through these partnerships, ChildFund reaches children directly while also involving parents, teachers, local government and larger systems in upholding children’s rights to health, nutrition, safety, education and more. The partnerships also help ensure that we respond in locally relevant ways to the challenges of growing up poor.

African proverb

Partner Profile: PRIDE India

PRIDE — Planning Rural-Urban Integrated Development through Education — is one of ChildFund’s 65 local partner organizations throughout India. Founded in 1982, PRIDE’s original vision was to promote the development of marginalized rural people, with an emphasis on health, education and empowerment.

One early initiative was the launch of three preschools. At that time, says Isha Mehra, PRIDE’s director, “no one knew what preschool was, so they trained the women from the community who had completed the seventh [grade].” Now, 26 years later, PRIDE reaches more than 20,000 children and their families across 40 villages.

“Our maternal mortality rate is practically zero now. Malnutrition was 60 percent, and it’s down to 0.6 percent now,” says Mehra. “At the preschools, we’ve had 100 percent attendance, and the parents want the children to participate in our program.” Mehra credits ChildFund with the deep roots of this growth. “ChildFund takes an integrated development approach, so we work with all the different areas,” she says. “So, we’re not just doing education, we’re not just doing health, we’re not just doing livelihood. I think the integrated program really works. I think when parents are working with us — and they have developed a trust in us over the last 26 years — I think they see the change in the child,” she says.

  • A family in India
  • two children talking
  • group of people
  • two adults talking
  • children in a circle
 

Not far away, in a village without PRIDE’s intervention, you can see what childhood looks like in migrant families who pull up roots to follow employment. The children are thin and disheveled, watching passers-by with wide eyes. “The children don’t have access to health,” says Virendra Kulkarni, program manager for PRIDE. “Most of them are malnourished, even severely malnourished.” He cites the example of a child from a similar tribe who lives in a village where PRIDE does have programs and who was the first of his village to pass India’s 10th-standard examination with good grades. “So it was a good story in which we can say that even children from that tribe can move ahead if they are given good opportunities and support.”

PRIDE has grown and changed, as well. “Every two, three years, we do something completely new with the communities,” says Mehra. “Right now we’re working strongly with child rights, through children’s clubs. The children can speak for themselves and say, ‘Listen, for me, not having a toilet in my school is poverty, and it’s my right to have a toilet in school.’ The children feel like that, and they can say it. And I think that’s with our intervention, with ChildFund and PRIDE working together.”

HOW CHILDFUND INTERNATIONAL WORKS...

ChildFund stats infographic

ChildFund International currently works in 25 countries; these statistics are based on 2016 numbers.

The Value of Local Partnership

Together, ChildFund and its local partners must be able to navigate the changing development landscape, building on existing strengths while also anticipating and positioning around shared insights about the future.

  1. Population Access and Influence
    Through local partner organizations, we have a more direct relationship with children and communities that are experiencing poverty, as well as the governments that serve them.
  2. Program Relevancy/Adaptation/Leverage
    When well selected, local partners understand their communities and work with them to identify priority issues to address through programs.
  3. Community Ownership
    Given their roots in the community, local partners can promote stronger local decision making and have a greater effect on the local power base. They are also best able to check up on the children on a regular basis – every six months, local partners make sure each enrolled child is still living in the community and participating in our programs, and check on his or her health and education status.
  4. Sustainability
    Local partners can more ably sustain efforts to support the well-being of children over successive generations, long after ChildFund’s financial commitments to them end.
  5. Efficiency
    Working through local partners leverages other resources.

 

Learn More

Get the details in our Local Partner Strategy Report.

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