Ana Patsogolo Activity (APA) distributes Bicycles to Community Cadres for Ease of Mobility
Community cadres are the backbone of most health and community development projects and such is the case for the Ana Patsogolo Activity (APA), a USAID-funded program addressing HIV and orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) needs, led by The Bantwana Division of World Education, Inc. (WEI/Bantwana). However, these cadres face a lot of challenges while reaching out to project beneficiaries in the community and one such challenge is mobility. Such challenges, if not addressed, negatively impact the quality of programming and intended outcomes of a project.
Having realized the transportation needs of its community cadres, APA, with support from USAID’s Mobility Fund, procured bicycles in order to ease mobility challenges of the community cadres as they conduct project activities in the community. The bicycles were officially handed over to APA community cadres by Malawi’s Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Honourable Patricia Kaliati and USAID Malawi’s Mission Director, Catie Lott at an event held at St. Martins Ground in Malindi, Mangochi. A total of 2,860 bicycles were procured and will be distributed to community cadres across all eight APA implementing districts. Community cadres under APA include Child Care Workers (CCWs), Child Protection Workers (CPWs), DREAMS Facilitators, Teen Club Facilitators, and Community Coaches. These community cadres deliver comprehensive HIV impact mitigation services, support linkage to HIV testing, care and treatment, offer adherence support to improve viral load suppression, as well as provide HIV preventative services.
The bicycles will enable the community cadres to increase the number of home visits and facilitated group education sessions they provide for children and adolescents living with HIV (C/ALHIV) and adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) at risk of HIV. Additionally, the bicycles will enable DREAMS facilitators in DREAMS districts to deliver services to AGYW through DREAMS clubs, reaching more at risk AGYW with social asset building and livelihoods services and clinical referrals.
In his remarks, a representative of the community cadres, Haroon Bakali, expressed gratitude for the bicycles, saying “the bicycles will help me and my friends a lot as we will now be able to reach out to more households unlike previously when we were limited due to long distances.”
Ana Patsogolo Activity is a five-year PEPFAR and USAID-funded project being implemented under the leadership of WEI/Bantwana in eight HIV high-burden districts in Southern Malawi namely Blantyre, Chikwawa, Zomba, Machinga, Mangochi, Phalombe, Mulanje and Thyolo. The project is implemented in partnership with the Catholic Diocese of Chikwawa, Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance of Malawi (GAIA/M), Global Hope Mobilization (GLOHOMO), Malawi AIDS Counselling and Resource Organization (MACRO), and Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO). In year one, APA will reach 123,482 OVC with a range of age appropriate evidence-based supports that includes a comprehensive package of services (HIV screening, testing, linkage to treatment, adherence support, disclosure support, household economic strengthening, parenting skills, education support) as well as delivery of HIV/violence prevention interventions. Both the comprehensive services package and the prevention interventions are delivered across eight districts covering 93 health facilities and their catchment areas. A total of 57,366 AGYW will be reached under the DREAMS program with expanded social asset building, gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response, economic strengthening, and youth employment and livelihood opportunities.