MWENDO

CHV updating orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) files

Making Well-Informed Efforts to Nurture Disadvantaged Orphans and Vulnerable Children (MWENDO) is a USAID-funded project that targets 432,850 Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in 181,031 households across 17 counties. It focuses on improving the well-being of children orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV by increasing their access to health and social services; strengthening the capacities of households and communities to protect and care for OVC; and strengthening child welfare and protection structures and systems.

Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team (AMURT) implemented MWENDO project in Bondo Sub County of Siaya County from May 2018 to May 2021. The project has significantly improved the lives of 15175(7645F, 7500M) targeted orphans and vulnerable children living in 7036 households using the case management approach in four domains: Healthy, Safe, Stable and Schooled.

MWENDO’s holistic, child-focused, and family-centered approach sees child wellbeing as nested within household wellbeing, community resilience and support to vulnerable children, and social service systems. Specifically, the project supports Kenya in reaching the 90-90-90 targets1 by strengthening HIV and social support system from the household to the national level, and across systems and sectors, with a specific focus on protection, household economic strengthening, health and HIV, and the intersections between them.

AMURT in collaboration with the GOK line Ministries including: the Department of Health, Department of Agriculture Siaya County, the Directorate of Immigration and Registrar of Persons under the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, the Directorate of Children’s Services (DCS), together with care and treatment partners; Centre for Health Solutions (CHS), Kenya AIDS Response Program (KARP) and  other relevant stakeholders continued to offer key services to the project beneficiaries. With a close relation with the Facilities, we have been able to identify and enroll Children and Adolescents living with HIV (CALHIV) and HIV Exposed Infants (HEI).

Graduation of field agents

Through case management processes, the project offered targeted services to OVC; NHIF support, Transport facilitation, School visits, Dignity Packs, School fees payment, birth certificates processing, Pill Boxes, Wrist watches, School uniform, Scholastic materials, tracking of lost to follow ups, tracking the CALHIV viral load, offered other efficient services to help in Suppression and prevention of HEI from turning positive.

The OVC households were also supported to care for their children through; emergency fund, business grants, and productive assets. Caregivers have been enrolled in savings groups (SILC or VSLA) to ensure their economic sustainability at the household level.

Partnering with the banks in training the groups on financial Education has been a great success and with the introduction of Child Optimized Financial Education (COFE) in the program the beneficiaries were able to know how best to make informed financial decisions.

Caregivers with OVC below 9 years were taken through a 14 weeks training on ECD and positive parenting to improve their parenting skills. SINOVUYO teen careering families program for parents and teens was also offered to those caregivers with OVC above 9 years.