Bantwana staff talk with Zimbabwean Peer Leaders during a training

Our Approach

Our approach to development across Africa is grounded in making long-term investments in our countries. With the exception of our newer country portfolios (in Malawi and Mozambique), we have operated in each of our countries since launching the organization, now  a decade old. By making long-term commitments, we develop a comprehensive understanding of our countries’ needs, its people, and perhaps most importantly, we develop long-term working relationships with government and ministry counterparts who make change possible for the long-term, and at scale.

The Bantwana Initiative was born out of necessity. We saw orphans and vulnerable children being left behind by the AIDS epidemic– invisible at the time to the international community. We were among the first to address the manifold needs of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), innovating new approaches within communities to deepen our practice, expertise and evidence base before scaling successful models nationally. This approach remains central to all of our work — innovation and partnership for sustainable development.

Key Bantwana Approaches

  • Long-term partnerships with countries
  • Led and delivered by in-country nationals
  • Systems strengthening — partnerships with governments and local institutions for long term impact (beyond the life of a given program)
  • Capacity building at multiple levels —  national, provincial, district, and in communities
  • Human-centered design — layered approaches and integrated services to respond to the multiple needs of vulnerable populations and children
  • Leverage and contribute to evidence base of successful programming/approaches
  • Innovate, pilot, scale
  • Harness the power of new technologies to overcome barriers reaching vulnerable populations  
  • Compassionate care – PSS – mentorship — provide the critical supports that enable vulnerable populations to succeed

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