Abstract presentation by Melody M Chikumbu - ZCDA Project title :Community Based HIV Response among Children Target Population :Mobile and Vulnerable Population/IDPsGeographical coverage : Kwekwe District: Ward 4- Tiger Reef, Blackman and Chiundura B Informal Settlements
Project description•The project aimed at training 25 peercounsellors and 50 peer educators.•Main targets for training - children betweenthe ages 12-17 and adults representingparents.•Raising awareness on HIV/AIDS, Child abuse,reporting procedures within threecommunities with around 2000 households.•Under the Zimbabwe National Action Plan forOrphans and Vulnerable Children (NAP forOVC), the children would say “ Anything for uswithout us is against us.’•Project therefore sought to meaningfullyinvolve children through building theircapacities towards responding to HIV and
Description of context •Informal settlements due to mine closures,farm invasions and displacements•High HIV risky behaviour and increasedchild abuse cases.•Over-crowdedness, poverty, high birthrate, high prevalence of HIV as well asmultiple concurrent partnerships.• Such a situation is detrimental to thenormal development of a child.
Key interventionsTraining of Peer Child Counsellors and PeerEducators on basic counselling skills, HIV relatedchild issues, formation of Child Support groups, childabuse, knowledge of functions of variousdepartments and ministries and reportingprocedures.Holding community awareness campaigns withVictim Friendly Unit, Department of Social Services,Childline, NAC, Mobile clinic, on their functions aswell as encouraging HIV testing and adherence totreatment Distributing IEC material to participants andcommunities on HIV and child abuse issuesFostering a culture of tolerance to reduce Stigmaand Discrimination at all costs.
Approaches, Methodologies and strategies usedParticipatory approaches - Children andadults were all given the platform to participateduring workshops and at community gatheringsduring the awareness campaigns.Multi-sectoral approaches – Stakeholdersfound an easy platform to link with communitiesand make them aware of the functions ofrespective departments for continued
Approaches, Methodologies and strategies used(cont..)Rights based approaches - Childrensrights were highly emphasised such as rights toprotection, survival, treatment, care and supportas well as participation in all maters that concernthem.Evidence based approaches - evidencegathered during the Community Based PlanningProcesses(CBP) conducted by ZCDA in 2011 inthe specific operational areas where childrencame up with their own plans with regards to
Resources used •RATN financial contribution through the ALUMNIGRANT•Facilitators from Government ministries, NGOs,ZCDA and technical support from CONNECT-ZIST•IEC material produced and sourced from otherorganisations
Challenges and counter- strategies employed •Trainings were conducted during weekends toaccommodate children.•Project ignited a lot of protection issues withinthe short timeframe but established reportingstructures and referral links through the multi-sectoral approach employed. Evidence of success and achievements; •Strengthened Child protection committees•Established synergies between communities andother stakeholders.•Raised community consciousness.
Lessons learnt •Child participation is instrumental towardssteering communities to be proactive inmatters that concern them.•There are still knowledge gaps on issues ofPrevention of Mother to Child Transmission aswell as Anti-Retroviral Therapy for children /Paediatric HIV.•Multi-sectoral approaches pulls knowledgetogether with minimum resources for greaterimpact.
Conclusions and why it is a best practiceInvolving children in matters that affect themhelp in understanding issues better and canpositively influence other children in waysthey understand.It is important to create synergies betweencommunity and district stakeholders.The project should be replicated in otherwards for greater impact as the littletimeframe has yielded far reaching results.
SustainabilityThe foundation for change has been laidby the project and information flow is tocontinue as the links had been establishedbetween the relevant departments andcommunities.Stakeholders who include the childrenvowed to keep the ball rolling though theycited issues of resources as a possibleconstraint.
Details of what otherswill gain from the model. •Partners and organisations shouldacknowledge each other’s competenciesand collaborate for lasting impact thanindividual effort.• Evidence based approach makes peoplequickly identify with project thusenhancing ownership.• Community ownership of a project helpsin meeting of set goals as there is boundto be high stakeholder involvement.