Village HopeCore International (HopeCore) is pleased to announce it has selected by Amplify, through Open IDEO, as one of the organizations to receive funding and design support for its Maternal and Under-5 Health and Education Clinics.
The maternal and child wellness program has grown from 15 years of experience in villages along the slopes of Mt. Kenya. HopeCore recognized a gap in their health programming and that was that they were not accessing mothers or children under 5 years old. HopeCore continually receives awards from the Sub-County Government recognizing their contribution to the school system and the health of the local children. Now the international community is supporting and recognizing these unique efforts.
HopeCore launched a health program in May 2015 aimed at improving the health of communities along the slopes of Mt. Kenya. The program focuses on four modalities of maternal and child health: educate, prevent, treat, and advise. It has begun with 40 primary schools with the hope to expand to all 133 primary schools in the Maara Sub-County of Kenya. A health hotline will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to any community members with health-related questions or concerns as well as a program to support the most vulnerable families, including pregnant women.
In November 2014 HopeCore accepted an online challenge conducted by Amplify and IDEO.org, through OpenIDEO (openideo.com) aimed at generating creative, innovative, and collaborative solutions to the world’s problems. The challenge was, “How might parents in low-income communities ensure children thrive in their first five years?” There were 441 ideas submitted to this challenge. Over the next 2 months, HopeCore staff worked collaboratively with experts from around the world to respond to questions and refine their ideas.
Out of all the participants, only 31 ideas were chosen for greater refinement, including HopeCore. In January, HopeCore was one of 10 “Top Ideas”. By then HopeCore was able to show results being seen through pilot programs and interviews with community members. Through this process, anyone in the world was able to write comments and questions to refine or clarify the idea.
Working with an international audience, HopeCore was able to make the program clearer and potentially more effective. This all paid off as in May 2015, HopeCore was chosen as one of five ideas to receive design support and one of only three ideas to receive funding for an idea.
This major international recognition will provide HopeCore with design and funding support in addition to bringing them onto the international scene of global health. One member of HopeCore staff will travel to San Francisco in July 2015 for a design bootcamp aimed at developing strategy and learning new approaches to problem definition and problem solving. This bootcamp will assist HopeCore in becoming more effective in developing and implementing programs that improve the lives of many communities in Kenya.
Another part of the IDEO.org award is a grant that will support the program. This grant will allow HopeCore to fully implement the program and provide life-saving education and treatment to mothers and their children under 5 years old.
“This is a great day for us as it marks the moment that our programs have entered the international health and development arena and have been selected by an international jury to be the very best of the crop,” said Dr. Phil Rasori, Village HopeCore International Medical Director and Board Member. “Our organization that started with twelve women, two men, and five thousand dollars is now beginning to affect how health and development is conducted far beyond the Chogoria area.”
By introducing the mother and child wellness program as part of their health program, HopeCore is working toward prevention from an earlier age so parents will have fewer health concerns and expenses related to their children, thus allowing them to focus on economic productivity. This new program will affect 22,000 mothers and their children, building on the 45,000 children already handled through other health programs. With the support of IDEO.org, this project seeks to grow to impact 100,000 individuals in 516 villages.