Home to more than 28 million people, Mozambique is among the countries most affected by the HIV epidemic. As of 2016, there were 1.8 million people living with HIV. Mozambique has made strides in reducing the number of new HIV infections, and since 2010 new infections have decreased by 24% according to UNAIDS. However, more than half of the population (54.7%) is living in poverty and the country ranks near the bottom (178 out of 187) of the 2014 United Nations Human Development Index ranking due to poor access to knowledge, low life expectancy (at 50 years), and low standards of living. In this context, there are an estimated 1.8 million orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) who are made vulnerable due to their lack of access to quality education, health care, food, shelter, psychosocial support, and exposure to child labor, human trafficking, sexual abuse and exploitation, and violence.
We are implementing the USAID-funded Força à Comunidade e Crianças (Child and Community Strengthening) Project (FCC). Under this five-year (2015-2020) cooperative agreement, we are working across 15 districts in Mozambique’s Manica, Sofala, Gaza, and Zambézia provinces to reduce the socio-economic impact of HIV on more than 150,000 vulnerable children and adolescents and their caregivers.
World Education/Bantwana works in close partnership with the Government of Mozambique and a range of local implementing partners to implement the FCC program, which draws on care and support models we have tested in the region. FCC uses both schools and communities as platforms for service delivery.
Through the FCC project, we offer a comprehensive program that supports children, adolescents, and their families through child protection, early childhood education, and parenting education and support, health and nutrition, psychosocial support, adolescent and reproductive health, entrepreneurship and life skills, economic strengthening support, and cross-cutting gender-based violence prevention interventions. We offer a number of innovative and effective platforms to provide these services to children, adolescents, and their families, including Child Rights Clubs (for girls and boys age 10-14), Youth Economic Strengthening Clubs (for girls and boys age 15-24), Girls Empowerment Clubs (for adolescent girls and young women age 15-24), Male Peer Groups (for adolescent boys and young men age 15-24), and voluntary savings and loan association (VSLA) groups that target caregivers. Support specifically for adolescent girls and young women comes as part of our DREAMS Core programming.
We also work to enhance community-based case management in Mozambique by strengthening the cadres of community-based volunteers. We also help coordinate care, protection and support services for OVC households across government, NGO, and implementing partners in the country. All of our interventions contribute to the UNAIDS 90-90-90 strategy for epidemic control. We have set up an innovative Mobile One-Stop Service Delivery program to reach people in their communities, which provides health services including HIV counseling and testing, nutrition services, and gender-based violence services—as well as referrals to the case management system.