Effectiveness of the programs undertaken by Compassion International in improving the living conditions of local communities in Kilifi District Kenya
Kivava, Phyllis N
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Good living conditions promote peoples' sense of wellbeing. NGOs play an effective role in many people oriented programs such as health, family planning, environmental conservation and education. NGOs also have many programs, functions and roles which assist communities to become empowered and eventually attain sustainable development and Compassion International has not been left out. The study sought to establish the effectiveness of the programs undertaken by Compassion International in improving the living conditions of local communities in Kilifi District. The study about Compassion International was carried out because of the many criticisms that have faced NGOs. Such criticisms include misappropriation of funds, corruption, poor governance and indulgence in various irregularities and malpractices. More specifically, the study's three objectives were to determine the extent to which Christian teachings offered by Compassion International (C.I) influence the improvement of living conditions of Kilifi District local communities. Secondly, to examine the effect of healthcare interventions by C.I on the improvement of living conditions of Kilifi District local communities and thirdly to determine the extent to which education support given by the same organization affect the living conditions of the same local communities. The study surveyed literature based on the three objectives and this was done by organizing the objectives into key themes such as Christian teaching on economic empowerment, Christian teaching on physical and mental health, benefits of good health, benefits of education to an individual and the society, effects of poverty and culture as a precondition for any process to improve living conditions. A conceptual framework was used to summarize the literature review. A descriptive research design was used because the researcher desired to acquire first hand data from the respondents so as to formulate rational and sound conclusions and recommendations for the study. The study employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches to collect data. Two types of data were used, primary and secondary data. Primary data was derived from the questionnaires while secondary data was obtained from published documents and literature. The questionnaires and focus Group Discussion questions were pilot tested before they were issued to a purposively drawn sample of 303 respondents (150 children, 150caregivers who have a child sponsored by Compassion and 3 project Directors). Three projects to be studied were selected randomly while the respondents were purposively selected to enable the researcher assess reliability. The study established that Compassion International moulds children' character and instills in them Christian values by offering Christian teachings to them. Another finding was that the organization supports children' education to a large extent by paying their school fees, providing text books, stationery, school uniforms etc. The study also established that the organization has contributed towards the improvement of the local communities health. Majority of the families of the sponsored children have access to clean water and have a latrine/ toilet. On the other hand, the study found out that many children don't study the Bibles they have received from the organization, fees allocation for secondary school children is not adequate, many families are not able to get enough balanced diet and lastly, parents don't receive adequate healthcare training from the organization. The study recommends that fees allocation for secondary schools be increased, the organization to improve the nutrition of the sponsored families, the organization to improve on trainings offered to parents to equip them with necessary healthcare skills and knowledge and also to come up with strategies of ensuring that children study the Bibles they receive from the organization.