The CINI Programme

Where does CINI operate, where is it based and how many people do you cover?
How do you identify your beneficiaries?

CINI thrives to include marginalised and poor women and children, normally residing in underserviced rural and urban areas, in its programmes implemented in the areas of health, nutrition, education and child protection. Identification of programme ‘beneficiaries’ – whom we prefer to call ‘partners’ – is made with the help of household surveys and social resource mapping carried out with the involvement of the community, in particular women’s self-help groups and children’s groups.

How do you ensure health of children in your programme?

Since the mid-70s, CINI’s core interventions have focused on the first critical 1000 days of a child’s life. In our project areas, we focus on pregnancy and new-born care, safe delivery, exclusive breastfeeding and correct weaning, growth monitoring and promotion, complete immunisation, treatment of childhood illnesses, prevention and treatment of HIV AIDS to achieve sound child and maternal health. Parents are made aware of basic hygienic and sanitation measures to prevent transmission of infections. They are encouraged to treat their children from common illnesses, at the nearest health centre and adopt low-cost nutritious diets. Families are visited at home by CINI trained health workers, who advise caregivers and monitor progress towards improving maternal and child health with the support of a Mother and Child Protection Card. Households are encouraged to drink safe water and use sanitary toilets to prevent gastrointestinal infections. They are also advised to sleep under insecticide-treated mosquito nets to prevent malaria and dengue. Special attention is given to the wellbeing of the girl child, who may be discriminated against from the time of her life in-utero. Adolescents are involved in peer-to-peer health education initiatives to strengthen their life skills, especially in the sphere of sexual and reproductive health.

How do you achieve appropriate nutrition in children living in poverty?

Adequate nutrition during pregnancy is promoted to ensure that mothers eat adequately to achieve a healthy pregnancy and deliver babies with birth weights above 2.5 kg. After delivery, exclusive breastfeeding is promoted up to at least six months of age to ensure that the child benefits from the best food for a newborn and receives antibodies to improve immunity. At the time of weaning, CINI promotes the introduction of solid foods along with breastfeeding. Diets based on low-cost and home-available food, such as home-grown vegetables, protein sources from home raised-poultry, fish from the local fish ponds are promoted in place of widely advertised industrially-produced packaged foods. The importance of frequent feeding and improving quality and quantity of foods is constantly emphasised. CINI has developed and supports the consumption of a cereal-pulse based low-cost product, Nutrimix, which is produced by social businesses sustained by local women organised in self-help groups.

How do you ensure that children go to school?

We motivate and sustain parents and family members in preparing children to enter school. Specially devised teaching and learning materials are used to facilitate enrolment and retention in school, particularly by first generation learners and other children who may find it difficult to gain access to primary education. Parents are guided to enrolling children – especially girls and children with disabilities – in government schools to ensure that no child drops out and all enrolled students attain at least primary education. We partner with children, parents, communities, teachers and the local government to create Child-Friendly Schools where pupils learn joyfully and are protected from all forms of violence and abuse.

How do you prevent children from ending up in child labour, being trafficked or becoming victims of violence, neglect and abuse?

Parents are motivated to enrol children in school, ensure completion of primary education and keep them away from child labour. We carry out several institutional and community-based interventions to prevent early marriage, assist children living and working on the street, protect children growing up in red-light areas, tea gardens and other risky environments, track children who may move out of their homes to ensure that they do not fall prey of traffickers and rescue those who have been trafficked. Special care is put in protecting girl children and adolescents. While we assist a large number of children in need of special care and protection, we prioritise preventive action by building Child and Woman Friendly Communities, where families, service providers and local government authorities work together to create safety nets to protect the most vulnerable community members.