Detailed Mechanism Funding and Narrative

Details for Mechanism ID: 4989
Country/Region: Zambia
Year: 2007
Main Partner: Project Concern International
Main Partner Program: NA
Organizational Type: NGO
Funding Agency: USAID
Total Funding: $1,188,573

Funding for Care: Orphans and Vulnerable Children (HKID): $1,188,573

This activity relates to other Track 1.0 OVC projects, RAPIDS HKID (#8947), and HCP HKID (#8903).

The Project Concern International (PCI) Track 1.0 Better Education and Life Opportunities for Vulnerable Children through Networking and Organizational Growth (BELONG) project began in April 2005. Its goal is to increase the number of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) accessing quality services through sustainable, community-based programs that effectively reduce their vulnerability. In FY 2006, BELONG reached 63,124 OVC and trained 153 caregivers. In FY 2007, BELONG will reach 102,633 OVC, will train 5,318 caregivers, and will strengthen 417 community schools and community based organizations in providing OVC care and support. An additional 4,400 caregivers will be reached with economic strengthening initiatives, but are not included in the targets above.

BELONG is an active member of the USG/Zambia OVC Forum and will seek to collaborate and link with other OVC efforts such as the RAPIDS project, other Track 1.0 OVC projects operating in Zambia, and other donor supported and GRZ efforts. Partners implementing the BELONG project in Zambia include PCI as the prime agency, Pact Inc., Futures Group, Bwafwano, a pioneer of community-based care and OVC support, Zambia Open Community Schools (ZOCS), a local NGO supporting OVC in community schools, and other community-based organizations.

In FY 2007, BELONG will increase the availability of critical OVC support services, including quality formal or informal education, literacy and numeracy training, life skills education, medical care, nutritional support, and psychosocial support. Channels for reaching OVC include expanded collaboration with PCI's major local partner, Bwafwano, which will involve increasing Bwafwano's capacity to reach OVC through their home-based care program. Bwafwano will continue to work through the 37 established OVC committees and community leaders where it has an established presence (Chipata, Chansiniama and Tuchafwane in Lusaka Province; Mkushi District in Central Province). Training will be provided to 70 volunteer caregivers to strengthen their capacity to provide care and support for OVC in a community setting. BELONG will conduct community sensitization activities to raise awareness on the role of OVC committees and to address issues affecting OVC, including stigma and discrimination.

BELONG and its partners will bring essential support services to school children in approximately 113 community schools in Lusaka, Western, and Southern provinces, where it is expected to reach a total of 99,122 OVC, in addition to those reached by Bwafwano. These services will include access to education, nutritional support, HIV/AIDS and life skills education, psycho-social support, and other services in these schools. BELONG will support HIV/AIDS prevention through behavior change communication for children in target community schools, including an innovative approach involving HIV+ and HIV/AID-affected people in OVC program design and implementation. Caregivers at these schools will also be trained in psychosocial support, food and hygiene education, first aid, income generation, and school management. In FY 2007, BELONG will train 5,248 caregivers. BELONG uses a wraparound approach to leverage nutritional supplements from PCI's existing World Food Program school feeding platform implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, UNICEF, Zambia Community Schools Secretariat (ZCSS), and other key stakeholders.

BELONG will strengthen the capacity of households providing care for OVC, especially women and older OVC household heads, to support themselves and their children through economic empowerment initiatives. This component will increase economic empowerment of participating households by adapting the WORTH model in partnership with Pact. The model will be used in mobilizing and forming successful women's groups that generate income based on the principles of self-help and empowerment. Through WORTH, OVC caregivers will be provided with access to literacy training, savings-led micro-finance and the development of micro-enterprises. A range of learning materials that guide the groups in business management, savings-led credit systems and literacy skills have been adapted and translated into the local language, Nyanja, and will be provided to all members. To date, 4,975 women have been enrolled, and seven community-based organizations have been identified as sub-partners to work with PCI to support this program component, with technical assistance from Pact.

BELONG will continue to build the capacity of a network of local NGOs, CBOs, and FBOs to provide quality services to OVC. BELONG will work with Bwafwano as a primary partner to develop a detailed organizational capacity assessment plan which will be implemented in part through the "Centers of Learning" component and in part via other mechanisms of training, mentoring, on-the-job training, and technical support. A process of assessment will also be carried out with other identified local organizations that are selected for participation via a mapping process. The resulting capacity-building plans will include a variety of needs-based and cost-effective capacity building approaches. Linking organizations together will be actively promoted as a strategy for connecting partners with information and other needed resources to support on-going capacity improvement and generate new approaches to working with children. The capacity-building approach will include establishing a micro-grants program that will enable local organizations to apply for small amounts of funds to help them begin or expand OVC programming, test promising new approaches, document and disseminate successful approaches, and replicate proven approaches.

BELONG will work with select local organizations and increase their capacity to serve as "Centers of Learning" in order to facilitate rapid scale-up of services. This component forms a major part of the BELONG project's strategy for sustainability. The project will work to strengthen Bwafwano and other "Centers of Learning" to serve in this network of learning, improving their abilities to assess and respond to capacity building needs. These Centers of Learning will provide mentoring and coaching in their designated network to improve the quality of OVC care. BELONG will document lessons learned and successful methodologies for serving vulnerable children and their caretakers.

Building on the M&E system currently in use, BELONG will further strengthen its M&E system to track output and outcome indicators and also to ensure that duplication and double counting are eliminated. BELONG will build the M&E capacity of their local partners.

BELONG's sustainability strategy includes, an emphasis on working together with and strengthening the capacity of local NGOs, CBOs, and FBOs through technical and organizational support, joint capacity assessment and planning to address areas of technical and management needs (including strategic planning, financial management, resource mobilization, etc.), and networking (linking less well-developed organizations with each other and with more established organizations for mentoring through the centers of learning and with sources of technical support in government and the NGO community). BELONG's close collaboration with Zambia Community School Secretariat, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Community Development and Social Sciences, and its ongoing advocacy efforts to improve government support for quality education targeted at the most vulnerable children at community schools will also help schools sustain their support to OVCs.

Subpartners Total: $654,466
Pact, Inc.: $176,693
Palladium Group (formerly Futures Group): $294,000
Zambia Open Community Schools: NA
Bwafwano Community Home Based Care Organization: $91,606
Rufunsa Child and Family Helper Project: $14,503
Mutamino Child and Family Helper Project: $13,156
Kapete Child and Family Helper Project: $13,341
Chimusanya Child and Family Helper Project: $14,442
CHAINDA Child and Family Helper Project: $12,309
Chitamalesa Family Helper Project: $11,003
Mupanshya Family Helper: $13,413