Our new emergency fund!

Fast help that arrives where it is most urgently needed!

What is an emergency for the mothers, children and families of Child Destiny Foundation?

8 a.m. in the Kibera slum: it has been raining for days. The water level in the already miserably built mud hut continues to rise. The few possessions spread across the 30 square meters are in danger of being destroyed for good. For the mother of the house, this means a change of plan. Instead of taking her child with infantile cerebral palsy to the CDF’s therapy center for the necessary treatment and pursuing her work as a seamstress, the mother has to spend the day at home and use buckets to pour out the standing water in an attempt to save what can be saved. The water is going all over the walls and the furniture. She looks at her soaked mattress, knowing the damage will be big.

This is just one of many different cases of emergencies that can occur in Kibera. Emergencies, or unpredictable events relating to a global, regional, or local crisis, such as extreme weather events, are becoming more frequent due to the climate crisis, political instability and corruption in the country, which takes away people's trust and sense of safety, and inflation. Health or family related emergencies, such as domestic violence or loss of a family member are other examples of crises which families of CDF are facing.

Read more about examples of different areas of application of the emergency fund here:

Why are we setting up an emergency fund today?

First, the families of Child Destiny have already encountered many unpredictable events that have put them in danger or in even more precarity. Second, we know more unpredictable situations will happen. We are welcoming more families who are living in higher precarity, and the current state of the world and of the country are conducive to sudden economic, political, and environmental changes. Indeed, global warming is provoking more extreme weather fluctuations: more floods, more droughts, and increased temperatures and heatwaves. This will have direct consequences on agriculture, food prices, inflation, and Kenya’s economy in general.

Until today, we have not secured a fund dedicated to these time-sensitive and/or personal needs of families. This is because our goal has always been to dedicate our resources to our therapy and daycarecenter and activities around it, in order to give the same services to every child and family equally.
During the Covid pandemic, for example, when many mothers lost their job, stopped working, or exposed themselves to the risk of getting sick, Child Destiny decided to set up an emergency help program. We prepared help packages for every family containing essentials like diapers, soap, and food as these products were expensive. Furthermore, the members of Child Destiny in Kibera, notably our project managers Florence and Alex, are close to the families of Child Destiny because they show concern for their wellbeing. Some parents and mothers have asked them for money directly, in specific times of great need, putting Alex and Florence in complicated situations. Alex and Florence always made sure we help the best way we can. But we were lacking a long term solution. They concluded that we need a model change within our foundation to make sure we can respond to these needs faster. Indeed, we cannot sustainably continue with a logic of non-involvement.

For some mothers, Child Destiny is their only safe space. It is people they can trust and rely on. Our mission is to create a care-giving community for children with disabilities and their parents, and this fund falls perfectly in line with it. 

The operational upbringing of the emergency fund
Today, we are only able to transfer money to the center in limited amounts due to high transaction fees. This means that in the case of an emergency such as a flood, we cannot transfer money to Kenya immediately to help families whose homes were taken away by the strong waters. We have decided to change that. So, along with revenues to pay for stable costs like the rent for our center or salaries for our therapists, we want the revenues coming to this emergency fund to stay stable in time. In fact, our goal is to start by raising 100 euros a month. Stable funds means stable donations : the fund calls for donors who are willing to contribute regularly to this cause, even if it is just 3 euros. In fact, the more people involved, the easier we can reach our goal of 100 euros per month!

If you want to donate and wonder where the money you donate will go to, know this is a relevant question. 
As we have mentioned, there are emergency situations which have already happened, and which we can predict will happen again. This is why in the 100 euros, a part of it would help us save up for global emergencies affecting the whole community, and the other part dedicated to personal emergencies, which are more arbitrary. To give you an example, a month’s rent in Kibera is 10 to 30 euros per month, so between 10 to 30% of the fund. In the case of a mother suddenly losing her job as a seamstress because she arrived late to work, for example, we could mobilize the fund to pay for a month’s worth of her rent. In order to have an accurate understanding of the needs of each family and the risks and emergencies they could encounter, one of the social workers working with Child Destiny has introduced a needs assessment report - a comprehensive assessment on short and long term financial needs for each mother, parent, family member to fill out with the psychotherapist or with a social worker. 

When a donation is asked, its amount will be based on the cost of the emergency (hospital fee, rent, wheelchair, etc) and the resources the family can invest in this cost or not. Therefore, this fund is based on a case by case understanding of needs, even for emergencies concerning the whole community. Floods, for example, may have similar devastating effects on families of Child Destiny, but will target them in different ways. Some will have lost their home, in which case we will help provide them with a month’s rent to help them reconstruct their home or find a new one. While others may have been impacted physically, slipping in the mud while carrying their child on their back, in which case we would help contribute to the hospital fees if they require treatment. To make this fund one of our priorities would be to provide financial and mental relief for mothers, parents, and their children and empower them in the long run.