What We Do
We work with dedicated and innovative community leaders and organizations to build, strengthen, and
sustain the services and systems that care for children.
case managed and referred to social protection and HIV services to date
receiving critical services annually across Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe
and young women supported by our layered interventions
We work in high HIV-burden countries in east and southern Africa: Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.
The HIV epidemic has created numerous vulnerable populations, the largest of which are children and adolescent girls orphaned or made vulnerable by the intersection of poverty, HIV, and gender-based violence. Our programming addresses the structural drivers of HIV, working with populations to increase their resilience, and decrease the risk for and impact of HIV, delivering integrated programming that delivers access to social and child protection; education; health, HIV and post-abuse services; and strengthening individuals’, families, communities, and governments’ ability to respond to vulnerabilities and increase agency within resource-poor environments.
We develop and deliver comprehensive, family-centered, and differentiated service models that incorporate evidence-based practices and bring together civil society and local government for meaningful sustainability and reach.
We build the capacity of communities, civil society, and governments to coordinate and deliver integrated, comprehensive services to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and their families while strengthening the structures and service delivery for social protection and access to the HIV continuum of care.
OVC Core Service Delivery
We have an exemplary track record of delivering integrated, comprehensive services that incorporate graduation models to move OVC households along a continuum towards reduced vulnerability to HIV, enhanced stability, and improved HIV outcomes. Using strengths-based and family-centered approaches tailored to the local context, we build the capacity of local NGOs, faith-based organizations, host governments, and community volunteer networks. We work closely with clinical partners to optimize program entry points and improve coordination between community-based and facility-based partners. Our cutting-edge evidence-based tools enable purposeful targeting and segmentation to ensure we reach the most vulnerable with tailored interventions that increase HIV diagnosis; improve HIV treatment adherence, retention, and viral suppression; and reduce the risk of new infection.
Health and HIV
We are committed to developing and scaling-up solutions that address the multidimensional nature of HIV. Our approach is driven by a proven track record of engaging with the most vulnerable communities in high HIV-burden countries.
We train community volunteers and work alongside government health service providers to expand access to a range of HIV prevention, care and treatment services—with a focus on reaching vulnerable children, women and girls, and young people and strengthening linkages between community-based and clinic-based HIV services. In alignment with the 90-90-90 goals established by UNAIDS, our innovative pediatric HIV and AIDS model facilitates rapid access and retention of children on ART and empowers caregivers through PMTCT (prevention of mother-to-child transmission) support groups.
Adolescent Girls Empowerment and Protective Asset Building
Drawing on our vast experience in life skills education, curriculum design, teacher training, capacity building of school management, participant-centered learning, and community mobilization, we deliver contextualized models that create safe and supportive environments for adolescent girls at school and at home. Our evidence-based programs promote access to services to prevent HIV infection among adolescents, including sexual and reproductive health and GBV services, HIV prevention education, and age-appropriate parenting skills to enhance parent-child relationships and communication.
Gender-based Violence and Norms Change
We engage men as partners in violence prevention and norms-change while simultaneously equipping women and adolescent girls with information and life skills related to GBV, HIV, and SRH to reduce their risk to violence and promote health-seeking behaviors. Prevention interventions foster dialogue around GBV and norms change, expand women’s support networks, and strengthen reporting mechanisms. We help teachers, school officials, parents, and community members to unpack and address harmful social norms and school practices perpetuate GBV.
Our GBV response interventions connect survivors to post-exposure services and medical, legal, and counseling support through a range of platforms, including drop-in centers, emergency shelters, a transport voucher system, and innovative one-stop service delivery centers that bring services to the doorstep of communities while serving as an entry point for referrals.
Economic Strengthening for Households and Youth
Our economic strengthening interventions include village savings and loan models as a core intervention to strengthen the ability of caregivers to meet their children’s needs, including school costs, transport fees to health clinics, or nutrition. We leverage savings and loans clubs not only as a means to provide financial literacy and promote a culture of saving and entrepreneurship, but also as a platform for additional services, such as parenting skills, GBV and HIV prevention, and support for girls’ education.
All savings and loan interventions are highly contextualized to the needs of the target population and empower participants to increase their economic independence and strengthen their social support networks. We also support village savings and loan groups for vulnerable adolescents.
Vulnerable children face a number of barriers to education—including poverty, chronic insecurity, harmful cultural practices, and violence. We work hand-in-hand with governments, communities, schools, and families to overcome these challenges and provide safe and inclusive learning environments for children.
Our comprehensive school-based models bring a range of needed services—health, income generation, child rights education, nutrition and psychosocial support (PSS)—into schools, which help children stay in school. At the same time, out-of-school study groups enable youth to catch up on academic and life skills so that they can re-enter formal school, while older youth are equipped with skills that prepare them for employment. We also work to strengthen the protective role of families—providing caregivers with critical communication skills and positive parenting techniques.
Early Childhood Development and Stimulation
Adopting a strengths-based family-centered approach, we support HIV positive mothers and teen mothers with practical parenting skills to promote health and education and to connect them to a comprehensive package of wrap-around services including improved access to nutritional foods to avert stunting and referrals to health and HIV services. ECS and ECD initiatives strengthen families by enhancing positive parent-child relations and mitigate child maltreatment and other forms of neglect and violence.
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.
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