Eswatini

As a partner to the government of the Kingdom of Eswatini, we are collaborating to strengthen the national social welfare system, health and education sectors, and scaling sustainable, evidence-driven programming in Eswatini.

Eswatini

We are uniquely positioned as both a direct implementer of programming, as well as a key technical partner collaborating with government counterparts for sustainable development at-scale. We deliver programming that supports a range of education, health/HIV, and social protection outcomes. This in-the-field experience lends deep insight into communities, which in turn, leads to successful initiatives as well as the development of programming innovation that addresses the real needs of children and caregivers. As a technical partner to government, we are positioned to support long-term, sustainable change at a systems-level, supporting government at national, regional, and local level to improve its capacity to respond to the needs of Eswatini’s most vulnerable children.

INNOVATIONS: 

The programming team is currently innovating break-through approaches to retain adolescent girls in school through an Early Warning System; reach adolescent girls with protective assets through mobile technology, and; curb stunting and developmental delays of infants through approaches targeting the first 1000 days of a child’s life (Early Childhood Stimulation and nutrition).

Health and HIV

We work closely with the Ministry of Health (MOH), and the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) to deliver programming that decreases risk to HIV and increases resilience, strategically targeting and delivering programming across age bands and gender for optimum health outcomes.

With the MoET, we deliver in-school, HIV-focused Life Skills Education (LSE) programming to all secondary school students in the country (forms 1 – 5). Through the DREAMS Innovation Challenge program, we deliver a skills-based social and protective assets program to in- and out-of-school adolescents and hard-to-reach teen moms to increase resilience and decrease their vulnerability to a range of HIV drivers. We work to retain girls in school through an Early Warning System that identifies girls at risk of dropping out and provides them with supports to keep them in school and reduce their vulnerability to HIV. We reach HIV-impacted (PMTCT) mother-baby pairs with critical early childhood stimulation programming within the first 1000 days of baby’s lives to protect and nurture healthy brain development and decrease stunting. We decrease HIV risk for boys and men of all ages with Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision. We are a key implementer delivering Triple R (Insika Ya Kusasa, sub-grantee to Pact), building socio-economic resilience to the impact of HIV among key groups and increasing uptake of high-impact services for HIV, sexual and reproductive health, family planning and gender-based violence.

 

Economic Strengthening

With the realities of endemic poverty rife across Eswatini, we embed economic strengthening interventions into much of our programming, providing a layered approach of support to our beneficiaries, including vulnerable adolescents. These include village savings and loan models, financial literacy, entrepreneurial training, and income generating activities (IGAs), and more. Interventions are contextualized to the needs of the target population and empower participants to increase their economic independence, strengthen their social support networks, and help to curb the drivers of HIV for girls and women in particular.

Education

We work closely with communities and Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) to re-matriculate out-of-school youth into formal school and provide alternative educational pathways as needed. Our Early Warning System, being piloted through break-through mobile technology, works to identify youth at risk of dropping out, and provides the key supports needed to retain them in school. Our proven Mentor Program provides critically needed coaching and life support to youth to maintain them on their educational path. We are working to reach more adolescents at scale, delivering a mobile-based protective assets curricula, with built-in early warning system and GBV screening tools.

We collaborate with the MoET to deliver HIV-prevention and Life Skills Education to all secondary school students in the country (forms 1 -5), reaching over 100,000 students annually.

Our early childhood development (ECD) programming is aligned with the Nurturing Care Framework and with emerging best practices relative to place-based education, and our ECD Centers integrate elements of learner-centered, experiential learning, and connect learning to communities through key partnerships.

Our Early Childhood Stimulation (ECS) programming targets babies born in extreme poverty, who are at risk of disrupted brain development due to poor nutrition and under-stimulation. We employ an evidence-based program offering a sustainable, community-based, integrated package to HIV-impacted (PMTCT) mothers and babies, as well as teen mothers. Mobile messaging on ECS reinforces early childhood stimulation trainings and information, delivering a menu of interactive voice response (IVR) messages to mothers.

 

Social Protection

With the highest HIV prevalence rate in the world (27%), the impacts of poverty and the AIDS epidemic has been particularly devastating for children; the government estimates that as many as 71% of Swazi children are orphans and/or living in highly vulnerable conditions. We have worked hand-in-hand with the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) building a National Case Management System to strengthen government oversight and response to children in need of social protection and care.

The National Case Management System (NCMS) brings global best practice Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to the country and helps to operationalize the 2012 Child Welfare and Protection Act. We work with social protection partners and stakeholders across the country to increase coordination for care and management of cases and strengthen the DSW to deliver the NCMS, providing coaching and mentoring to strengthen the social service workforce.

Through our work with Triple R (Insika Ya Kusasa, sub to Pact), we deliver post-abuse/GBV case management and referral directly to children in 6 tinkhundla.

Systems Strengthening

We leverage long-standing partnerships with the government to strengthen systems to deliver effective programming to vulnerable populations, sustainably and at scale.

With the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), we collaborated to deliver a nationally endorsed HIV-focused Life Skills Education Curriculum, delivered as a part of the formal school curricula in all secondary schools, across forms 1 – 5.

With the Ministry of Health and the MoET, we collaborated to deliver the nationally supported School Health Outreach Program (SHOP) to bring basic health screening, vaccination, referrals, and health education to 18,000 children annually in targeted communities.

With the Department of Social Welfare, we collaborated to deliver a National Case Management System (NCMS) to bring global best practices in case management to Eswatini, aligned to national policy and provided onward training and mentoring of the social welfare workforce to ensure vulnerable children receive integrated health and social welfare services.

Adolescent Girls and Youth

We reach vulnerable in- and out-of-school adolescent girls and youth with a holistic suite of programming to aggressively address harmful gender norms, increase well-being, resilience, and access to healthy, stable futures; respond to gender-based violence (GBV) and post-abuse care, and; decrease their risk to HIV. Through DREAMS and other programming, we deliver evidence-based life skills and protective assets curricula, re-matriculate out-of-school youth into formal school and provide alternative educational pathways as needed. Our Early Warning System, being piloted through break-through mobile technology, works to identify youth at risk of dropping out, and provides the key supports needed to retain them in school. Our proven Mentor Program provides critically needed coaching and life support to youth to maintain them on their path to recovery. We are working to reach more adolescents at scale, delivering a mobile-based protective assets curricula, with built-in early warning system and GBV screening tools.

and young men tested for HIV and provided VMMC

and caregivers reached annually with HIV and gender-based violence services

reached annually with HIV and life skills education

Success Story

Happy to be in school

Sakhile Vilakati, age 21, lives in Siphofaneni in the Lubombo region of Eswatini. Since both of her parents passed away nine years ago, she has been living with her guardian, who is unemployed. After taking her Junior Certificate exams and passing only 3 of the 5 required subjects, Sakhile was not eligible to transition to high school, nor did she have the financial means to pay for her school fees. She dropped out of school in 2015 and then had a child in 2017.

When Sakhile’s Community Councilor informed her about the DREAMS Innovation Challenge, she saw the project as an opportunity to fulfill her dream of returning to school.

To learn more about Sakhile’s story, read our blog.

Testimonials

Without education, one’s life is doomed and more girls in the community want to be a part of the project. I am grateful, as this Dreams Innovation Challenge (DREAMS IC) project has fulfilled my dream of continuing with my studies.

Mother with baby
beneficiary