Mozambique

Our Mozambique programs provide comprehensive, layered support for vulnerable youth and their caregivers with the end goal of increasing economic resilience, mitigating the effects of poverty, and preventing and responding to HIV and AIDS. All of our programs use evidence-based materials and approaches, implemented within the HIV and AIDS continuum of response.

Mozambique

We are implementing evidence-based interventions for populations at greatest risk in areas of highest HIV incidence. Our projects aim to reduce the socioeconomic impact of HIV/AIDS on orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), adolescent girls and young women (AGYW), and caregivers by enhancing the capacity of families and communities to support, protect, and care for OVC and by empowering AGYW to reduce their HIV risk. We implement a comprehensive package of services and activities in education, health, child protection, and household economic strengthening.

We work with more than 15 local implementing partners and collaborate closely with clinical partners and government agencies. The backbone of our implementation strategy is to enhance an HIV-sensitive, community-based case management system. We specifically focus on strengthening community structures and expanding the number of trained community cadres to support a locally driven referral system across 15 districts and 4 provinces in central Mozambique.

INNOVATIONS:

We are introducing and scaling up: 1) a 12-day, community-based nutrition rehabilitation program, improving the nutritional status and overall health of HIV+ infants and young children; 2) a mobile One-Stop event that brings together government, community, clinical, and private sector partners to provide a comprehensive package of sexual and reproductive health services;  and, 3) the “OVC fund,” lead by established savings groups to reach OVC with financial support.

Health and HIV

Despite the initiatives the Government of Mozambique has taken to combat the health issues, half of the country’s population still lives below the poverty line and lacks access to health care, HIV testing and treatment, and reproductive health services. In this context, there are an estimated 1.8 million orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) who are made vulnerable due to their lack of access to quality education, healthcare, food, shelter, psychosocial support, and exposure to child labor, human trafficking, sexual abuse and exploitation, and violence.

We work to increase OVC access to primary health care, improve OVC access to HIV counseling, testing, and treatment, increase access to youth-friendly reproductive health services, and increase the uptake of and adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART). We also work to enhance community-based case management in Mozambique by strengthening the cadres of community-based volunteers. We also help coordinate care, protection and support services for OVC households across government, NGO, and implementing partners in the country.

Livelihoods

Recognizing the extent to which poverty impacts vulnerability, economic strengthening is a key driver in our programs in Mozambique. Through the FCC Project, we are strengthening the resilience of adolescent girls and young mothers through layered economic strengthening support, which includes Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA) and Youth Economic Strengthening (YES) Clubs, which link directly to the HIV clinical cascade by addressing the specific needs of vulnerable, out-of-school youth.

Our VSLA groups support more than 8,600 caregivers of vulnerable children and AGYW, and 1,583 youth are enrolled in YES clubs. Our project data shows that the young women in these clubs are immediately applying their new knowledge and skills to positively impact their lives, by improving on their savings, establishing or expanding income-generating activities, and contributing to household expenses. These skills and contributions are having a positive ripple effect as young women report gains in respect and inclusion in family decision-making. The VSLA and YES club models have become powerful platforms to layer on additional services, including HIV prevention and sensitization, HIV and gender-based violence screening and referrals, adherence support, home gardening and nutrition education, entrepreneurship and job readiness, parenting education, psycho-social support, and life skills.  

Education

We work to mobilize communities to support and reintegrate vulnerable children and adolescents into the formal school system. We engage caregivers, school council members, school authorities, district and provincial education and social action officials, as well as our local implementing partners and the community care workers they support in activities to identify, advocate for and support orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in their communities. We have trained 1,054 school personnel on OVC care and support.

We provide school block grants to of 100 schools in four provinces to allow them to further improve their school environment, and we offer direct education support, including subsidies to vulnerable children and adolescent girls and young women who are at risk of dropping out of school or who have been reintegrated into school.

We also have supported the creation of 142 School-based Child Rights Clubs (CRCs) for children ages 10-14 which create a safe place where children can speak out and take action to build children’s awareness of their rights and responsibilities and gain knowledge and skills to help them make healthy and informed choices. Our development of community-based Girls Empowerment Clubs (GECs) for adolescent girls and young women ages 15-24 also equip adolescent girls and young women with information on HIV prevention, reproductive health, leadership and life skills. In two years, our education services have reached over 56,800 boys and girls across all 15 districts where we work in Mozambique.

Social Protection

We support ongoing Government efforts to enhance the coordination care, protection, and support services for OVC households. Through systems strengthening and capacity building of existing structures, we aim to bolster an HIV sensitive, community-based case management system that integrates health and social protection services.

To support the development of community structures and build their capacity to support vulnerable children and their families, we have recruited and trained over 1,000 Community Case Care Workers to proactively identify and assess children, support the development, implementation and monitoring of individual support or care plans, and refer or link them to needed services from prevention to rehabilitation. Our efforts are in line with and support the Government’s national strategy to reduce poverty and vulnerability to build an effective social security system that includes a “comprehensive approach for the social protection of the poorest groups.”

involved in savings and loans groups

and young women engaged in Girl Empowerment Clubs

reached with critical health and social services

Success Story

Happy and inspired Regina

Regina Alberto, age 16, became the head of her family when she lost her mother to a long illness in 2017 after her father had long since passed away in 2003. Regina and her two younger sisters, ages 13 and 6 months, now live with their grandmother in the Chamba-Manga neighborhood of Beira in the Sofala province of Mozambique. Formerly a small-scale farmer, her grandmother is currently unemployed due to physical health problems and hearing impairment, so Regina’s sisters still depend on her for care and support. She had lost all hope of attending eighth grade since her family no longer had any source of income, nor would she have had the time to study and socialize with her peers.

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

Testimonials

Força à Comunidade e Crianças (FCC) is different from other projects I have seen before because the focus is not on giving handouts, but empowering us through knowledge and skills that enable us to sustain our own families and stand on our feet. I will continue to attend all the sessions because I have realized that knowledge is power!

USAID
Isabel - beneficiary