We raise these children with them”: Enhancing father engagement in a parenting programme with and for street-connected families in Eldoret, Kenya

  Eldoret, Kenya
  May 2022 - August 2023
Award Recipient(s) Professor Frances Gardner (Co-PI, University of Oxford), Professor David Ayuku (Co-PI, Moi University), Kathleen Murphy (Co-I, University of Oxford), Dr. Jamie Lachman (Co-I, University of Oxford), Dr. Eve Puffer (Co-I, Duke University)
Partners Consortium for Street Children (Jessica Clark), Berur Street Care (Silas Koech), Tumaini Innovation Centre (Silas Kimani), Beruham Organisation (Eucabeth Owino), AMPATH Kenya (Justus Elung’at and Dr. Laura Ruhl), INUKA Pamoja Initiative (Bernadette Mecha), Arnhold Institute for Global Health, Mount Sinai (Dr. Lonnie Embleton), Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto (Dr. Erica Di Ruggeiro), Dr. Lina Digolo (Prevention Collaborative), Innodems Kenya (Christine Laetitia and Maryann Mueni)


In Eldoret, Kenya, street-connected young people experience severe physical and sexual violence, particularly women and girls. As such, many have children of their own and raise them on the streets. These children are at high risk of experiencing violence.

Using a multi-phase community-based participatory action research approach, this project aims to refine the Malezi Bora programme – an adaptation of Parenting for Lifelong Health – to engage both mothers and fathers, so that it can reduce violence against children and violence against women, and better support the wellbeing of street-connected parents and families.

Research activities include: a systematic review of qualitative literature on male engagement in parenting programmes, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with street-connected mothers and fathers, and interviews with community health and service providers who support the street community in Eldoret.


By working with and for street-connected mothers and fathers, we can understand how to strengthen the Malezi Bora programme so that it is effective in supporting positive parenting, reducing child maltreatment, challenging gender norms, and reducing violence against women; critical steps toward supporting the wellbeing of families in street situations.

How does this tie in with the GPI's overall goals?

Evaluate: Informing the refinement of the programme for the inclusion of street-connected mothers and fathers, in preparation for a larger-scale evaluation. 

Innovate: Exploring opportunities to leverage the GPI’s existing digital architecture to complement Malezi Bora in supporting street-connected families. 

Facilitate: Facilitate capacity-building for new research and implementation leaders at the community level in Kenya.

Advocate: Building a partnership environment to advocate for the sustained delivery of Malezi Bora

Accelerate: Engaging local and international organisations and governments to implement this programme in subsequent phases, while providing the scientific foundation necessary to apply for additional funding to support a larger evaluation. 

What comes next?

The next step will be to complete the finalised programme manual based on data from this research, and pilot the programme with street-connected mothers and fathers to test its feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness in reducing family violence.