In-School and Out-of-School Pathways
In collaboration with ministries and departments of education as well as school administrators and teachers, we help design, build, and implement actionable systems and strategies in the following areas:
Part-time and Continuing Education: Offering accessible, practical education alternatives is essential to addressing the human economic, health, and social vulnerabilities of millions of out-of-school children and youth in Africa, who have left the formal school system. Through both DREAMS and Education Sector programming, we deliver evidence-based and mentored interventions that provide critical supports needed by out-of-school youth to get them back on a formal schooling track or help them embark on continuing education pathways. Trained adult and peer mentors and structured group activities in safe spaces lend support to youth and teen mothers, and liaise and advocate with caregivers and teachers, and support the re-matriculation of youth into the formal school system where possible.
Early Warning Systems: Across East and Southern Africa, we have piloted and rolled out Early Warning Systems to help retain children in school and reduce school drop-out. Based on the core ABC metrics (Attendance, Behavior, Coursework), our EWS model identifies students at risk of dropping out and provides robust case management and response protocols at school, caregiver, and community levels to retain children in school. Our Zimbabwe EWS has been adopted and scaled nationally by the Ministry of Education. In Tanzania, our EWS has been integrated into the government’s national online School Information System. We are currently developing an innovative mobile-based EWS in Tanzania to identify and support at-risk secondary school students, and supporting the government of Zambia to pilot and scale their own EWS.
HIV Education: In several countries, our work with education authorities and NGOs has focused on developing syllabi and curricula to deliver national, HIV prevention education in secondary schools, reaching 100,000 students annually. We support National Curriculum Centers and in-service teacher training, as well as education management information systems (EMIS) to monitor quality delivery.
Early Childhood Development and Stimulation
Our early childhood development (ECD) programming is fully aligned with the Nurturing Care Framework launched at the 71st World Health Assembly in 2018. We deliver learner-centered, responsive, and emotionally supportive programming to the hardest to reach group — MVC or most vulnerable children. With a special focus on families and communities as platforms, we educate and empower local volunteers and caregivers to provide nurturing care. Our ECD model further aligns with emerging best practices relative to place-based education, and connects ECD learning to communities through key partnerships.
Brain development is crucial during the first 1,000 days of life, and babies born in extreme poverty are at risk of disrupted development due to poor nutrition and under-stimulation. We offer an evidence-based community-rooted, and integrated package to HIV-impacted mothers and babies, as well as teen mothers, who are among the most vulnerable populations in Africa. Skills and knowledge on early childhood stimulation (ECS) and nutrition enhance parenting capacities, while economic strengthening initiatives (which incorporate drought-resistant permaculture gardens and access to nutritional supplementation for babies through savings and loan associations) empower these mothers economically. Mobile platforms reinforce ECS trainings and information, through a menu of interactive voice response (IVR) messages to mothers