Client(s): USAID, World Education, Inc.
Services: Assessment, Program Development, Training
Technical Expertise: HIV, Youth & Adolescent Health/OVC, Newborn and Child Health
Children First was a five-year program funded by USAID that strengthened proven programs and developed new models for care and support of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in Zimbabwe. The project worked with national and community-based organizations already providing support to OVC to help local partners significantly expand their reach and improve the quality of comprehensive care for OVC and families.
Children First used child-focused, community-driven comprehensive programming that addressed children's needs and incorporated cutting edge technical innovations while valuing the unique contributions of resourceful, creative community responses.
Children First's core services included a comprehensive approach to nutrition, health, education, legal support, child protection, psychosocial support, livelihoods, advocacy, and program sustainability, and interventions were based on a strong child rights and gender equity framework.
Through this project, managed through the World Education/John Snow, Inc. Bantwana Initiative, JSI worked directly with local health organizations to access, expand, and integrate HIV care and support to children and families living with HIV. Interventions lead by JSI included linking OVC and children at-risk to HIV clinical care, training clinical providers to service OVC and children at-risk, and expanding and establishing community based referral networks to ensure OVC and caregivers have access to essential health, HIV and AIDS services.
Children First reached more than 90,000 children annually with comprehensive services and operated in Matabeleland South and Harare’s urban, peri-urban, and surrounding rural areas.