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World Vision awarded prestigious Millennium Development Goal Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Nominated by community feedback for work in poverty eradication, access to education, gender empowerment and health
  • Unique initiatives include solar-powered water pumps, community-managed irrigation systems

Media contact:

Lauren Fisher
World Vision Media Relations Manager
206.310.5476 (c)

Nairobi, KENYA (April 26, 2013) World Vision was recently awarded the coveted 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Trust Fund in Kenya for sustainable programs that directly contribute to the realization of the MDGs.

School children in Kenya enjoy clean, fresh water.The Christian humanitarian organization was honored for its outstanding contribution to poverty alleviation through advancing the attainment of MDG number 1 (eradicating extreme poverty and hunger); MDG number 2 (increasing access to universal education); significant contribution to health-related MDGs; and supporting access to clean drinking water to the vulnerable children, families and communities in Kenya.

“This is a great tribute to World Vision’s programs and approach to development and the determination of communities we work among to improve the quality of their lives,” says Pauline Okumu, the World Vision’s deputy national director in Kenya.

World Vision was the only institution recognized that did not put in submissions for the MDG Awards. Instead, acccording to the MDG Trust Fund coordinator, Mr. Omondi, it was through positive community feedback gathered country-wide by a market research company that World Vision was nominated for its contributions.

“In the midst of growing questions as to the effectiveness of international aid and doubts that humanitarian organizations are delivering on their promises to donors, this award recognizes that good aid works. Effective aid helps save lives and transforms communities,” said Girma Begashaw, the World Vision’s national director in Kenya. “The award makes a case for aid organizations, encouraging us to do aid better by working in partnership with communities, addressing root causes of injustice, and measuring aid work by its contribution to the quality of life and the rights of the most vulnerable.”

“As we look ahead toward the future,” says Begashaw, “we reassert our commitment to continue the work we’ve done in Kenya for almost 40 years in serving alongside the poor, seeking justice and advocating to those with the means to join us in this transformational effort.”Liffetime Achievement Award received on behalf of World Vision.

World Vision began its operations in Kenya in 1974 and currently operates in 36 of the 47 counties. The organization is committed to improving the lives of children, especially the most vulnerable.

Key activities include:

  • Promoting health care
  • Building capacity of families to improve nutrition
  • Working with partners to improve access to water and quality basic education for all
  • Ensuring improved household incomes and access to markets, information and financial services
  • Offering disaster relief

One of World Vision’s best-practice projects in enhancing food security is the irrigation systems and community-managed water supplies in Morulem and other dry parts of Turkana in the northern region of Kenya. Morulem is inhabited by pastoralist and was once a site of regular droughts and hunger, frequently hitting emergency and crisis levels. Yet at a time when the food situation in parts of Turkana hit emergency levels last year, farms in the Morulem irrigation project flourished with an assortment of crops (maize, sorghum, kale and other traditional vegetables). The Morulem Irrigation Scheme currently feeds 3,000 families. The gravity-fed irrigation sits on 1, 500 acres of land and uses water from Kerio River situated about 10 kilometres away. Residents of Morulem manage the scheme entirely on their own and have not relied on relief food aid since 1996, unlike other parts of the region where relief food is the norm.

Through increased partnerships with the community, international and multi-lateral donors such as USAID/OFDA, and the Government of Kenya, more community-managed irrigation schemes and food security projects promoting various technologies and livestock improvement can provide sustainable solutions to household food insecurity in Kenya.

School children in Kenya enjoy clean, fresh water.World Vision in Kenya has also played a significant role in spearheading efforts to end drought emergencies under the umbrella of the Kenya Food Security Advocacy Group. Lobbying initiatives by the group culminated in the government signing a charter to end extreme hunger. The National Drought Management Authority was officially unveiled during a meeting organized by World Vision in Kenya.

In the area of health, World Vision is committed to its ongoing Child Health Now Campaign that seeks to reduce the mortality of children under five from preventable diseases like malaria. In collaboration with partners, World Vision in Kenya has been instrumental in reviewing key policies in the health sector which last year resulted in increased funding for the health sector.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) continues to be a priority area in World Vision’s work in Kenya. This year the organization facilitated the development of 343 water points, providing improved access to safe water to over 240,000 people, including 172 schools. Through a mix of community-based approaches, including health clubs and community-led sanitation interventions, children and communities realized improved hygiene and sanitation. One of the successful initiatives in WASH this year was the use of solar energy to pump water from boreholes instead of the use of expensive diesel fuel. The reduced cost enhances the sustainability of WASH projects.

With less than five years to go to attain the MDGs, a scaling-up of resources and partnerships is essential to accelerate the pace of development. By recognizing the efforts and sacrifices of organizations, the MDGs awards encourage greater participation by all players in realizing the goals.

The MDG Awards are the brainchild of the MDGs Trust Fund which acknowledges exemplary performers among government, development partners, private sectors, NGOs and individuals in the country for outstanding input, sustainable strategies, programme impact, financial viability and extent of innovation under each MDG. Previous winners include Amiran Kenya; Nobel laureate, the late Professor Wangari Maathai for her contribution in environmental conservation; and Safaricom, a leading telecommunications company in Kenya for opening up communications network in the country.

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About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews