Private Sector and Corporate Partnerships
UNICEF Kenya has had the honour of benefitting from a robust engagement with Kenya's private sector since 2004. This has been in the embodiment of Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), the umbrella body for all private sector associations and professional groups. This has been facilitated largely by the Government of Kenya in its recognition and promotion of the interests of its private sector as the engine for growth and as a key partner in realizing its Vision 2030.
The corporate sector is also being encouraged to plough back part of their profits for social development within the communities in which they operate. In kenya, this is referred to as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or Corporate Social Investment (CSI) in Kenya.
UNICEF Kenya encourages a strategic debate on children’s rights and needs, as well as mobilizing resources from key corporate partners for programme priorities. These partners include Barclays Bank, Vodafone, DHL, Safaricom, Nakumatt, Toyota East Africa, Grundfos, Coca Cola, The Village Market, Imperial Bank and many others.
The Advocacy and Partnerships Section's contribution to the new Government of Kenya (GOK) -UNICEF Kenya Country Programme (2009-2013) focusses on raising resources and delivering results for children. The Kenya Country Office has also expanded the range of partnerships to include media and Faith Based Organizations (FBOs). FBOs are extremely important platforms in mobilizing communities in every part of Kenya to teh grassroot levels, to take action for the well being of children. They have come on board through the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya, the IRCK,w ith whom UNICEF have partnered for the third year on a row in the Child Alive campaign focusing on Chld Survival.
UNICEF is also working closely with KEPSA to promote and influence the social budgeting agenda in favour of Early Childhood Education (ECD) and Maternal and New Born Care.
Although UNICEF Kenya places emphasis on corporate giving, it is also moving into innovative ways of fundraising by appealing to the Kenyan public directly to support the cause of children. In collaboration with the IRCK and key corporate partners (especially Safaricom, Mobile Planet and Toyota East Africa, UNICEF held very successful fund raising and advocacy Radiothons and Telethons in 2007 and 2008, also part of the Child Alive campaign. Chidl Alive will continue with the corporate sector in 2009-2010.
Furthermore, UNICEF is working with key corporates and shopping malls such as Access Kenya and The Village Market to use their billboards, light poles and marketing networks in strategic locations to promote child survival messages. UNICEF has also joined hands with the National Food Fortification Alliance (NFFA) to engage key corporate partners in salt iodization as well as flour, oil and sugar fortification. This is a very successful initiative and results so far are promising, as a result of UNICEF’s advocacy efforts.
As far as child friendly practices are concerned, UNICEF encourages key corporates to make their work places child-friendly. Safaricom, the largest corporate in terms of revenue in East Africa, has already initiated breast feeding spaces in several of its call centres. Others are being encouraged to incorporate child friendly policies such as Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (of HIV) maternity leave, paternity leave, etc, in their Human Resource manuals.
UNICEF is also piloting the use of technology to communicate key advocacy messages through mobile technology. Safaricom has come on board and has availed its Short Message Service (SMS) services to send bulk SMS mailings on hand washing to their over 14 million subscriber base.
Finally, UNICEF through the sale of greeting cards and products raises local funds for children’s programmes. Through the sales, UNICEF reaches a broad range of corporates who become loyal supporters of UNICEF Kenya. The cards and products also help to create visibility for UNICEF in Kenya.