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.
being implemented across 6 countries in 2018
receiving critical services annually across Malawi, Mozambique, eSwatini, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe
and young women supported by our layered interventions
We work in high HIV-burden countries in east and southern Africa: Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and eSwatini.
The HIV epidemic has created numerous vulnerable populations, the largest of which are children and especially 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. We deliver integrated programming for access to social and child protection; education; economic strengthening; health, HIV and post-abuse services. We strengthen individuals’, families, communities, and governments’ ability to respond to vulnerabilities and increase agency within resource-poor environments.
We work extensively with adolescent girls and young women, both in-school and out-of-school, to strengthen resilience; and also deliver impactful programming with youth and work readiness.
We develop and deliver comprehensive, family-centered, and differentiated service models that incorporate evidence-based practices and bring together civil society and government for meaningful sustainability and reach.
We build the capacity of communities, civil society, and governments to coordinate and deliver integrated, comprehensive services to vulnerable children and their families while strengthening the structures and service delivery for social protection and access to the HIV continuum of care.
Comprehensive Support for Vulnerable Children
We place the entire household at the center of our work. By strengthening the capacity of communities and caregivers, we aim to provide the supportive context within which vulnerable families and children can build healthy, more prosperous lives.
We combine proven-effective interventions with promising innovations to ensure that children and their caregivers have access to the full range of support they need. Working within the HIV continuum of response, our integrated, comprehensive model strengthens caregivers’ abilities to provide a nurturing and protective environment; reduces barriers to OVC access to education through household economic strengthening interventions, and ensures that children and caregivers access critical social services through HIV-sensitive case management.
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.
Vulnerable households often have multiple, complex, and interrelated needs. Our innovative, cost-effective, and efficient approach to case management works across sectors and at various levels to improve families’ access to critical services.
Building upon existing community efforts, volunteer caseworkers—who serve as a critical link between essential services and vulnerable children and families—are equipped with basic skills to address a number of critical care issues. Caseworkers are assigned directly to children and families and follow them along a referral pathway—often across multiple sectors and services—until their care and protection have been ensured.
Adolescent Girls and Young Women
We know that investing in adolescent girls and young women not only improves their lives but also supports communities and countries to thrive.
Our programs respond to the unique problems faced by adolescent girls and young women and provide them with the tools they need to protect themselves, establish healthy behaviors, and make informed decisions. Our evidence-based interventions improve educational outcomes for girls by enrolling and retaining them in school, provide them with information about their health and rights, and link them to services to reduce their risk of HIV. We also mobilize girls and young women to take action against issues such as gender-based violence and broaden their opportunities to build critical protective assets through in-school and out-of-school youth empowerment clubs.
Globally, women and girls experience gender-based violence (GBV) at staggering rates. GBV is linked to earlier school dropout rates and poorer health outcomes—especially among girls. We work across multiple settings to address gender norms and develop strategies that raise awareness of, prevent, and respond to GBV.
Our overarching strategy is aimed at preventing violence against girls and young women while increasing their access to response services. We work in schools, communities, and households to raise awareness of GBV, challenge gendered beliefs and attitudes, and empower girls with the skills and tools they need to take a stand against violence. We also link girls to GBV outreach services and collaborate with local service providers to develop clear reporting mechanisms and referral pathways for improved GBV response.
We strive to create opportunities that boost the economic resilience of vulnerable households— increasing household incomes and productive employment opportunities for women and youth.
Our programs target vulnerable households and caregivers with market-linked strategies that move families along an upward continuum of economic growth and stability—protecting and growing household assets and increasing resilience to shocks. Our interventions incorporate a range of social protection measures, increase access to financial services, and empower caregivers with entrepreneurship and business development training. We also provide at-risk and vulnerable youth with opportunities to start their own enterprises, access decent work, or pursue vocational training.
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 (ECD) is a powerful investment in a child’s future. That’s why our integrated early childhood programming engages communities and equips them to deliver comprehensive, quality services that support learning and development for the youngest learners.
We support community preschools and other service providers to deliver multi-dimensional services in education, health, psychosocial support (PSS), and child protection that promotes overall well-being, enhance school readiness for young children—including those with disabilities—and raise caregivers’ awareness about the benefits of ECD. We train teachers and develops teaching and learning materials that enable providers to introduce age-appropriate learning activities—expanding their reach and improving service quality. Preschools and ECD centers are also linked with other service providers in the community to strengthen referrals.
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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