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Unleashing the power of girls_Carrie miller_10.14.11

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  • Two OVC programs were selected. Neither was designed with a girls lens, but provided services to communities, households, boys, and girls. These studies focused on interventions that we thought would be most likely to influence economic outcomes. For adolescent girls this is particularly important because as girls graduate or age-out of OVC programs they are often 18 – a risk time for HIV acquisition. HIV prevalence is highest among young women age 20 to 24. In addition, poverty is recognized by the WHO and many others as an important determinant of health inequality.By equipping adolescent girls with the knowledge to protect themselves coupled with viable livelihood options will reduce girls’ vulnerability to HIV and other STIs.We focused primarily on two activities – vocational training & savings group. Agriculture was also an important complement to these two activities. Depending on the programs, a range of other services were also provided.The main purpose of this research was to better understand what is working, challenges, and make recommendations for similar programs.*************************The studies’ were qualitative. We mostly spoke with the girls themselves – current participants as well as recent graduates, but we also spoke with project staff, caregivers, boys and a few non-participating girls. Overall we had more than 200 participants in group discussions and 50 key informant interviews. All participants gave their informed consent.Both programs in Rwanda and Zimbabwe targeted boys and girls, however, for the purpose of these assessments, we prioritized hearing from the girls themselves directly, rather than conducting a comparison between boys and girls.50+ in key informant interviews200+ persons total in group discussionsDescription of informants/interviewees:Current male & female adolescent program participants (16-20 years)Female and male project graduatesCRS staff; CRS’ partner staffFemale and male caregiversFemale and male community leadersGovernment officialHence: Preparation: Questionnaires, Identify participants, Informed consentSite visits: Rwanda: June 2010 and Zimbabwe: August 2010Site Visits: Rwanda June 8-12, 210 & Zimbabwe: August 16-21, 2010Data Collection: Local language; Group discussions; Key informant interviews; Document reviewData analysis: Synthesis of themes; VerificationRwanda: an estimated 130+persons in FG discussions (13 group discussions – on average 8-10 people, sometimes 20 people) + 20 key informant interviews=150Zimbabwe: 88 persons FG discussions (11 group discussions) + 26 key informant interviews=114Participants, Graduates, Caregivers, Community leaders
  • RWANDA1994 genocide3% HIV prevalence83% children classified as vulnerable Child-headed households, often girlsThese assessments were conducted in two countries – Rwanda and Zimbabwe:War, genocide, poverty and HIV have put Rwanda’s children in jeopardy. An estimated 2.8 million, or 83 percent of children younger than 17 are defined by the government of Rwanda as orphans or vulnerable.In 1994 the genocide created the world’s highest proportion of orphans to the total population.Today, HIV, with its 3 percent prevalence, is taking its toll on the country’s children; nearly one-quarter (22 percent) are considered vulnerable due to HIV and AIDS. Prominence of child-headed householdImportance of economic strengthening in supporting child-headed householdGirls in particular were households headsEven if older brother, girls may still be primary income earners for their householdZIMBABWE15% HIV prevalence1 in 4 children orphanedOut-of-School-Adolescents Project (2007 – 2010; Phase II pending)Long standing, innovative programming Engagement with formal private sector employersEarly adopter of savings-led microfinance for adolescentsEconomic crisis: 2000 – 2009Hyperinflation90% unemploymentRapid decline in microfinance institutions: 1700 in 2003 75 in 2008Emphasis on child participationEconomic decline of the past decade has further endangered OVC and their families, causing high unemployment (particularly among youth), significant out-migration, and food insecurity.Although HIV prevalence in Zimbabwe declined from 23.7 to 14.3 percent between 2001 and 2009, an estimated one in four children is an orphan. In fact, with over one million children orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV, Zimbabwe is among the countries with the highest number of OVC per capita in the world,5,6 with a majority between the ages of 10 and 17 years old.
  • Within CRS’ OVC programming there has been a priority placed on ensuring girls access to education and when appropriate vocational training. CRS typically provides some funding support to allow adolescents to finish primary schooling often times through support in school supplies and school uniforms.
  • There has been a lot of debate on the value of vocational training. However, for certain populations of vulnerable adolescent girls, vocational training can be a powerful intervention. This is Sithandazile, at age 15 she became pregnant and was forced to drop out of school. Living with her grandmother, who was caring for 10 other children, Sithandazile needed income quickly. She decided to enroll in a vocational training program and learn to sew.Sithandazile’s case was similar to that of many other girls’ who are unable to continue with their education due to pregnancy, household chores or the cost of education there is a role.**********************In both Rwanda and Zimbabwe the government has prioritized formal education for all. In Rwanda primary education is free but the costs of secondary is prohibitive. In Zimbabwe girls faced similar challenges as they struggled to pay the necessary school fees and costs associated with completing their educationIn Zim with financial issues in country teachers are not being paid and schools are under equipped. As such supplemental charges through additional fees and levies are being charged even though primary schooling should be free.In both countries vocational training was seen as an essential component of skills building for girls. In Rwanda the govt has technical and vocational training track that requires entrants to have a secondary school education. For the girls that our program targeted many were unable to complete their primary education and needed a skill. They are having to compete with graduates of the governments technical and vocational training track.In Zim there is a policy that prohibits a girl who has become pregnant from returning to formal school as such their only alternative is vocational training…at least until policies change and are more favorable to young mothers
  • Center-based or Community-based6-month classroom trainingTechnical skill developmentE.g. Welding, sewing, woodcarving, poultry productionComplementary skill developmentE.g. health /hygiene, HIV awareness/prevention, life skills, children’s rights, etc.Local microentrepeneurs and former graduates6-month apprenticeshipLocal entrepreneursPrivate sector entityIn Zim the links with the private sector entities was much more structured. There was a concerted effort to ensure a long term relationship with businessGarment factoriesManufacturers of farming equip
  • Girls valued complementary skillsChild rights and protectionLife skillsHIV awareness and preventionBasic business development and exposure to financial literacyExpensive support systemMentoring and peer support through girl only safe spaces created through the vocational training facilitiesMentoring support from vocational trainers—girls felt the trainers where like bigger sisters and provided support to them particularly in understanding self worth and in providing important life skills lessons.Increased self-esteem and Less likely to engage in transactional sex******************Support from Caritas Kibungo and Community Volunteers: To ensure OVC safety, Caritas field staff and program volunteers from the local community worked closely to monitor and support OVC as they received their training. Focus group discussions held with the girls indicated that volunteers and Caritas staff regularly visited their homes and worksites to assess their situations and served as a sounding board for challenges the girls faced.
  • Vocation selections fell along gender lines. Despite the job counseling that participants received, girls and boys often chose to pursue skills along distinct gender lines. Most girls interviewed chose sewing. Employment and educational gender biases made it difficult for girls to earn a decent living or advance professionally. The labor market in Zimbabwe is highly segmented by gender, particularly at lower skill-level occupations. Occupations open to girls typically earn less than occupations favored by boys. For example, girls will earn US$20-$100 per month sewing clothes, while boys can earn US$160 per month in the welding or building trades.Lack of structured market assessments limits the ability of girls to choose appropriate skills Skills available to girls are limited by the availability of trainers in a rural region.Girls face greater constraints when choosing vocational skills due to:Proximity to homeTransportation and safetyGender biasesGirls still have to balance heavy responsibilities in order to participate in vocational training
  • Neither country had opportunities that allowed adolescent girls to earn and income while continuing her education. Many girls who wind up in vocational training programs have only completed primary school. Lack of a completed secondary or tertiary education limits long-term livelihood opportunities. Therefore, programs that are designed to allow girls to have the time to study, but also learn an income are essential.Market assessments are essential – both for the near term and longer term. Learning to be a mechanic in village with no cars is not recommended. Job counseling that helps girls know what to expect from different vocations related to employment opportunities and income earning potential is critical. Girls also need to be exposed to women engaged in non-standard options. This is Passmore, she decided to become a welder because her brother was a welder, so she knew its income earning potential. Creating linkages with the private sector for training and job placement increases the likelihood of employment upon graduation. Not only do trainees increase their technical skills, but also gain valuable job readiness skills. Facilitate linkages with the private sector for job placementIncorporate protection and children’s rights education and systems at every step.Provide girls with gender-transformative job counseling and opportunities to meet women in non-traditional female occupations.********************************************Build opportunities to continue formal education: “Earn while learning.”Reduce barriers - to education, training, and economic activity by ensuring access to :Good sanitation facilities Sanitary napkins Appropriate labor saving technologiesAdapt market assessments to identify appropriate skills to be trained on based on market needs At time when project was funded, in 2005, much less attention to importance of market assessments – particularly in case of Rwanda; as became important, funding mechanism wasn’t conducive for introduction of market assessment. These recommendations are cross-cutting across both case studies - Started putting pumps in schools in Ethiopia. Girls would bring containers to school and they could bring water home
  • Coming back to Sithandazele – she was hired by the training center who taught her to sew and makes clothes on the side. She is able to support herself as well as her family members. She also serves as a role model for other girls that have undergone similar experiences. *****************************Just as she had excelled in school, Sithandazile thrived in her sewing trainings at Siganda. She even won recognitionas the most outstanding student. Her success during the training led to a job at Siganda, helping to teach andmake clothes to sell. Now 20 years old, Sithandazile is earning US$200 per month making clothes, plus US$40per month making and selling cupboards.She pays for her brother’s school fees and uniforms as well as supplies her grandmother with groceries and other essentialitems. She even saves about US$10 per month with a plan to buy her own sewing machine in 2011.
  • A group of self-selected members 5-10 members in Zimbabwe20-25 members in RwandaMeet regularly to save, borrow & repayThe “Box”User-owned and self-managedDevelops constitution and by-lawsPre-determines interest rate and loan termsIndependent of rigid structures/outside investments
  • Formal financial institutions are reluctant to lend to youth and adolescent girlsAdolescents do not meet the age and collateral requirement.Provides access to financial services for PLHIV, caregivers and adolescents. Provides opportunities for asset protection and asset growth Important source of income for basic needs—food, medical insurance, clothes, etc.Ability to pay school fees and purchase school suppliesAdolescent girls often times are responsible for the financial needs of their families particularly those impacted by HIVProvides opportunities for girls to remain in schoolSupport immediate needs and fosters investments for the future
  • More girl than boy participantsImproved access to healthcare & education In Rwanda many adolescents used SILC to pay for mutuelle de santé, purchase seeds to diversify the crops Non-financial benefitsPeer supportIncreased self-esteemMentoring from adultsDevelopment of entrepreneurial and problem solving skillsPotential for reduced transactional sex for girlsIn Zimbabwe girls invested in own education. SILC reinforced math skillsImportant platform for other servicesLife skills educationReproductive health in alignment with Catholic teachingsPsychosocial supportImproved problem solving skillsYouth successfully managed finances during periods of hyperinflation in ZimbabweOther benefits from SILC participation:Sales from goats and veggies allow girls to pay for the mutuelle de santé, purchase seeds to diversify the crops produced in their kitchen gardens (for both home consumption and sale), purchase more goats, invest in their siblings’ education, and make incremental improvements in their housing.
  • Societal expectations, particularly related to households chores often overburden girls in going to school, participating in SILC and managing and IGA.Extremely vulnerable girls often held back for at least one SILC cycle before deciding to participate in SILC.
  • Engaging adults e.g, caregiver, traditional leaders, and teachers in supporting adolescents involved in SILC. Sequencing matters – ensuring adults are familiar with SILC allows them to be supportive of the practice as well as provide advice to the girls about potential income generating activities.Ensure adolescents have sound child protection policies and practices in place particularly as they manage their finances.Ensure Field Agents and mentors are sensitized on these policiesAlso need to help girls select an activity that isn’t going to put them at risk e.g., selling vegetables in the diamond mining areaInclude additional services – life skills education, HIV and AIDS awareness and prevention, health education, business development skills
  • Psychosocial SupportIntentionally creating all-girl safe spaces in OVC programs.Protection of the girlImplementing a child rights approach to all programming Ensuring the existence of and adherence to child protection policiesLife skillsMainstreaming life skills training in all interventions will result in girls maturing into upright, responsible and resilient citizens
  • As with all OVC programming, participation of the children, or adolescents in this case is CRITICAL. However, adults in the community also have an important role to play.In promoting SILC to youth there are a number of key stakeholders (in addition to CRS program and partner staff) that are critical to the successful engagement of children and youth:Project staff – need to have the skills not only to work with the community stakeholders, but also have the skills and capacity to work with adolescents and youthParents and caregivers—one of the key lessons for CRS partner staff has been the importance of caregiver and parental support and encouragement of youth participation in SILC. Parents may provide the first savings, provide suggestions for IGAs, may help to support or subsidize the IGA, adjust household chores to allow time for education and IGAs. Community leaders also play an important role in supporting children and youth in SILC. This is done primarily through the management of the constitution and knowledge on child rights to ensure that children are protected as they engage in SILC activities. The community leaders help youth SILC members address loan defaults and enforce constitutions. They may also help children negotiate certain situations with adults. For example, when SILC first started one child was asked by his grandmother to take out a loan. She didn’t pay it back and he was left accountable to his SILC groups. The boy went to the community leaders, asked them to encourage the grandmother to join her own SILC group so she could earn money and pay back the loan. She did. Teachers—given that most youth only SILC groups are carried out on the school premises during breaks and after school, and many of the IGAs take place during school hours, the oversight of teachers are important. Teachers help to ensure that students are balancing their studies with their IGAs, SILC activities and their school work. E.g. students are only allowed to sell their wares during breaks and recess times and not during class periodsTeachers are also instrumental in support students in the purchase of supplies for their IGAs. When they go into towns such as Mutare to pick up their pay checks they are often willing purchase supplies for their students.
  • I think like many of you in this room, the reason we do the work we do is to be able to make a difference in people’s lives. At the same time what we often find out when we get to meet some of our project participants is that they have a lot to teach us as well. In conducting this research I had the opportunity to talk with many amazing girls however, one of them that really stood out for me was Francine.At the time of the interview, Francine was 19 years old. Her household had been enrolled in the program for five years. Two years ago, she was left alone when her brother moved to Kigali and her sister got married. She continued to grow potatoes and bananas on the family farm for consumption and sale. She often missed school on market day, until she could no longer balance her school work with her work at home. She eventually dropped out of primary school.Eventually upon the encouragement of a project volunteer, Francine enrolled in a vocational training program run by Caritas where she learned to sew. She also received training in bio-intensive gardening from the project and she began to plant vegetables – which were higher value than potatoes and bananas. With initial seed funds from her brother, she also joined a SILC group where she is the youngest member.When we spoke, Francine was using the interest earned on her savings to purchase cloth for her sewing business and to diversify the crops she grows in her garden. Even with the difficulties she faces, she is eager to give back to her community and help other girls like her. When I asked her what advice she had for girls facing similar challenges, she explained that girls don’t get a better life by sleeping with or marrying men just for the resources it could bring. She felt this was the way that girls and women loose value. On a more personal level, she explained that her mom had four children by four different men and still lived at home. That isn’t a life she wants to repeat for herself.
  • Sound M&E – not only sex and age disaggregated data, but make sure resources are available to track participants over time. Studies on the social determinants of health are methodologically challenging and can often be very expensive. However, our community could benefit from longitudinal studies that follow these girls overtime to get better outcome and impact data to know if these interventions are working as intended and have long lasting benefits.
  • Bio-intensive kitchen gardens are designed for the Rwandan context where land is often limited. Bio-intensive gardens shaped are small mounds of enriched soil and make effective use of small spaces by going up rather than out.The program also provided goats to OVC households and older OVC, including adolescentgirls, in order to improve food security and nutrition. The program used two goatdistribution methods: (1) goat fairs and (2) a “pass-on” system.A goat fair involved CRS and its partners identifying goat vendors in a geographic areaclose to the fair location. OVC households were provided with vouchers of various denominationsand told when and where the goat fair would be held. Households then used theirvouchers to purchase goats. Goat vendors would exchange the vouchers for cash from thepartner. The sector veterinarian was invited to attend the goat fairs to increase awarenessabout proper goat care and ensure animal quality and health. (419) OVC households received goats through fairs.Because of limited funds, it was impossible to provide goats to all OVC through fairs.Therefore, the program used a “pass-on” system. When a goat gave birth, the first newbornwas given to or “passed on” to another OVC who did not receive a goat at a fair. A total of 441 OVC received goats through the pass-on system. Before receiving the goat, the Caritasagronomist sensitized the beneficiaries on how to care for them.
  • As with all OVC programming, participation of the children, or adolescents in this case is CRITICAL. However, adults in the community also have an important role to play.In promoting SILC to youth there are a number of key stakeholders (in addition to CRS program and partner staff) that are critical to the successful engagement of children and youth:Project staff – need to have the skills not only to work with the community stakeholders, but also have the skills and capacity to work with adolescents and youthParents and caregivers—one of the key lessons for CRS partner staff has been the importance of caregiver and parental support and encouragement of youth participation in SILC. Parents may provide the first savings, provide suggestions for IGAs, may help to support or subsidize the IGA, adjust household chores to allow time for education and IGAs. Community leaders also play an important role in supporting children and youth in SILC. This is done primarily through the management of the constitution and knowledge on child rights to ensure that children are protected as they engage in SILC activities. The community leaders help youth SILC members address loan defaults and enforce constitutions. They may also help children negotiate certain situations with adults. For example, when SILC first started one child was asked by his grandmother to take out a loan. She didn’t pay it back and he was left accountable to his SILC groups. The boy went to the community leaders, asked them to encourage the grandmother to join her own SILC group so she could earn money and pay back the loan. She did. Teachers—given that most youth only SILC groups are carried out on the school premises during breaks and after school, and many of the IGAs take place during school hours, the oversight of teachers are important. Teachers help to ensure that students are balancing their studies with their IGAs, SILC activities and their school work. E.g. students are only allowed to sell their wares during breaks and recess times and not during class periodsTeachers are also instrumental in support students in the purchase of supplies for their IGAs. When they go into towns such as Mutare to pick up their pay checks they are often willing purchase supplies for their students.
  • Transcript

    • 1. My Skills, My Money, My Brighter Future
      Highlights from Qualitative Research on
      Economic Strengthening Interventions for Adolescent Girls
      In Vulnerable Children Programs
      Carrie Miller
      Senior Technical Advisor for HIV
      CORE Group Fall Meeting
      October 14, 2011 - Washington, D.C.
    • 2. Focus & Purpose
      • Programs not designed with a “girls lens”
      • 3. Interventions most likely to influence economic outcomes
      • 4. Purpose:
      • 5. Successes
      • 6. Challenges
      • 7. Recommendations
    • Context
      PEPFAR Track 1 OVC program (2004 - 2010)
      Child-headed households
      Vocational training
      Adolescents integrated into adult savings-groups
      Out-of-School-Adolescents Project (2007 – 2010)
      1 in 4 children orphaned
      Vocational training: private sector apprenticeships
      Savings-led microfinance for adolescents
      Source: CIA Fact Book
      Source: CIA Fact Book
    • 8. Vocational Training & Skills Development
      Photo: Wendy-Ann Rowe
    • 9. Why Vocational Training?
      Pregnant girls not permitted to attend school
      Need to balance household responsibilities
      Prohibitive cost of school fees & supplies
    • 10. Vocational Training Structure
      Center-based or Community-based
    • 11. Successes
      Girls valued complementary skills
      Extensive support system
      Increased self-esteem
      Less likely to engage in transactional sex
      “My sewing machine is now my boyfriend. It is what gives me money.”
      - Adolescent girl vocational trainee, Zimbabwe
      Photo: Wendy-Ann Rowe
    • 12. Challenges
      Market assessments
      Constraints specific to girls in vocational training:
      Proximity to home
      Transportation and safety
      Gender norms result in many girls selecting “standard” professions
    • 13. Recommendations
      “Earning while learning”
      Market assessments
      Provide job counseling/modeling to support non-standard options
      Link with private sector for job placement
      Photo: Melita Sawyer
    • 14. Sithandazile’s Brighter Future
      Now employed
      Supports self and family members
      Serves as a role model for other girls
      Photo: Melita Sawyer
    • 15. Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC)
      “We’re orphans, and our guardians can’t take care of us. To keep going with our education, and to take care of ourselves, we decided to join SILC.”
      - Adolescent girl SILC participant, Zimbabwe
    • 16. What is a Savings and Internal Lending Community (SILC)?
      Group of self-selected members
      Meet regularly to save, borrow & repay
      User-owned and self-managed
      Independent of outside investments
    • 17. Why SILC?
      Asset protection and growth
      Transparent
      High return on equity
      Learn sustainable savings, lending, recordkeeping practices and entrepreneurship
      Simple, uses local resources, highly adaptable and easily replicable
      Platform for income generating activities, psychosocial support, life skills education
    • 18. Successes
      “There was a temptation before to have sex for food, but now if I’m approached, I say I don’t need it. Now I can pay for my own lunch.”
      - Adolescent girl SILC participant, Zimbabwe
      Financial benefits
      Improved access to healthcare & education
      Non-Financial benefits
      Peer support
      Increased self-esteem and confidence
      Mentoring from adults
      Development of entrepreneurial and problem solving skills
      Reduced transactional sex for girls
    • 19. Challenges
      Balancing multiple responsibilities
      Extremely vulnerable girls delay SILC participation
    • 20. Recommendations
      Engage adults
      Ensure sound child protection practices
      Include additional services
      Photo: Melita Sawyer
    • 21. Take Away Messages
    • 22. Economic Strengthening: Not a stand alone activity
    • 23. Work at all levels to create an enabling environment
    • 24. Acknowledgements
      Participants: All the girls, boys, caregivers, community and local leaders who generously shared their time with us
      Nike Foundation: Amy Babchek
      Partner staff: Caritas Kibungo, ORAP, ASAP
      CRS staff: Wendy-Ann Rowe, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Central and Southern Africa Regional Offices
    • 25. Thank you
      “Get all the knowledge you can, so you can stand on your own and earn a living.”
      Sithandazile
    • 26. Thank you for your attention
      Photo: Wendy-Ann Rowe
    • 27. Thank you!
      Photo: Wendy-Ann Rowe
    • 28. Parting thoughts
      Enhanced linkages with agriculture needed
      Sound M&E
      Quantitative measures of self-efficacy & self-esteem
      Longitudinal studies
      Results of vocational training
      STI & HIV acquisition
      Impact on marriage timing
      Parenting skills
    • 29. Disaggregate data by sex
      Add self-esteem and self-efficacy quantitative indicators
      Develop mechanisms to track graduates over time
      Employment status
      Socio-economic status
      Impact on girls’ HIV-related vulnerability and risk factors
      Monitoring & Evaluation
    • 30. What were the food security interventions in Rwanda?
      • Bio-intensive kitchen gardens
      • 31. Goat fairs and pass-on scheme
      Photo: Jean Claude Mugenzi 
      Photo: Rick D`Elia 
    • 32. What do adults have to do with it?
      • Adolescent & youth participation is essential, but adults are important too...
      Project staff
      • Skills & capacity to work with adolescents and adults
      Parents and caregivers of adolescents:
      • Encouragement & support - first savings, IGA ideas, assist with IGAs, time management
      Teachers
      • Create supportive environment for learning & earning
      Community Leaders
      • Legitimacy & enforcement of SILC constitutions
    • What we did...
      Population: program participants and key stakeholders
      Informed consent
      Data collection
      Local language
      Group discussions
      Key informant interviews
      Document review
      Data analysis
      Synthesis of themes
      Verification
      Photo: Wendy-Ann Rowe