Zimbabwe

Our programs in Zimbabwe scale-up innovative community-based integrated models—for health, HIV prevention and continuum of care, social protection, economic strengthening, youth livelihoods and education—a number of which have been taken up as national and regional best practice.

Since 2010, we have worked closely with the Ministry of Health and Child Care to expand OVC access to primary health care. Through our collaboration, we have developed an HIV-sensitive case management system that helps refer children to HIV services including testing and treatment; developed data collection tools, which includes assessing for HIV risk and tracking adherence and retention in care plans for HIV+ children; worked with the Ministry of Health and Child Care, to introduce training and clinical mentorship to rural health providers on diagnosis and management of paediatric HIV, counselling, ART initiation, and retention in care; and utilized Multi-Sectoral School Health Assessments to bring together critical primary health and child protection services to vulnerable children through head-to-toe screenings in primary and secondary schools by trained nurses.

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Our Youth and Livelihoods activities offer practical life skills training and entrepreneurship opportunities to vulnerable older youth. We combine income-generating skills training with “business coaching” and mentorship from successful professionals. Youth can choose from activities that include budgeting and management, family financial management, and access to consumer credit.

Our Household Economic Resilience and Savings model stabilizes families as they gradually progress along a pathway from vulnerability to resilience. This intervention combines Internal Savings and Lending Groups facilitated by Community-Based Trainers with market linkages and business skills training provided by private sector partners and coaches for Income Generating Activities.

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For non-formal alternatives for secondary school age children and children with disabilities for whom reintegration is more difficult, we provide life skills training, as well as a Part-Time and Continuing Education and inclusive education program, which includes the strengthening of community learning sites and advocating for inclusion of children with disabilities and older youth in the formal education sector. Due to our continued efforts to advocate for out of school children and those with disabilities, we have an existing Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to continue carrying out non-traditional education programs including supporting mothers to improve their parenting skills, linking children to community case workers through their school, and referring caregivers to income-generating opportunities to help them afford critical healthcare and educational services.

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We work closely with the Department of Social Welfare to build and deliver the National Case Management System, and intimately understand its functionality, strengths, weaknesses, and challenges politically and in the field. To date, we have trained over 1,300 community case workers (CCWs) to identify, assess, refer, and support vulnerable children and families to access critically needed social protection services (education, child protection, household economic strengthening, nutrition, GBV, and psychosocial support). We have introduced and tested HIV-sensitive case management training for CCWs and Department of Social Welfare Officers; we developed an expanded HIV/GBV risk assessment tool for CCWs to use during home visits with at-risk children, as well as their caregivers; and piloted an integrated HIV and social protection case management model in Zvimba District using these tools.

To further improve the National Case Management System, we launched the Management Information System (MIS) in conjunction with the Department of Social Welfare and Probation Services in 2015 to improve the efficiency and accountability of the national case management system. Through the MIS, we identified key challenges and risks, such as infrastructural limitations, shortages of human resources, and decreasing engagement among MIS users. We are now ensuring the system and its users have the capacity to generate and utilize evidence for planning and decision making from the National to District level.

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By The Numbers

377,781 children tested for HIV; 8,932 initiated on ART and 11,077 on pre-ART through Expanded IMPACT
235, 420 beneficiaries reached with gender-based violence (GBV) education, and 6,289 GBV survivors receive post-care services using Stop the Bus and other models
25,076 families assisted through Internal Saving And Lending (ISAL) groups layered with parenting, GBV, and HIV prevention information

Success Story

Margaret with her two children

Margaret Gwangara, a 20-year-old mother of two from Avado farm in Mazowe, Zimbabwe, is a participant in the Early Childhood Stimulation (ECS) program supported by the Bantwana Initiative of World Education Inc. under the DREAMS Innovation Challenge. Due to lack of school fees, Margaret dropped out of school at an early age and was married soon after. Eager to further her education and support her young family, Margaret enrolled herself in the Part-Time Continuing Education Program offered by DREAMS IC.

During the PTCE program, Margaret learned about the ECS intervention and was eager to equip herself with the necessary skills and knowledge to promote the growth and development of her children. Now with two children, Ratidzo (2 years) and Tatenda (7 months), Margaret attends the ECS sessions, and her supportive husband also often accompanies her because he recognizes the benefits the program has on their children. Because Margaret has participated in the Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission Program, fortunately, both of her children are HIV negative.

To learn more about how Margaret participation in the PTCE program impacted her family, read our blog.

Testimonials

The Work Readiness Program is a very good program. It helps youth gain a belief in their ability to become self – reliant and productive citizens. Many came into the training with a negative attitude about their future, but after the training, the youth have started making more calculated plans for their future and are ready to advance their careers.

Nutrition camp
anonymous beneficiary