Social Support for Orphans and Vulnerable Children
This has been done in partnership with We See Hope in Gulu, Mbale and Pader. The emphasis of the work has been to support OVCs to develop effective ways to address factors that predispose them to vulnerability. Working with and through the Orphans Affairs Council has been a major strategy that has been employed in this regard. The specific thematic area was socio-emotional support and Child rights interventions among OVCs and their caregivers. This effort has delivered outcomes in various aspects of the work:
- Increase in Self Esteem –There has been an increase in knowledge about Sexual Reproductive Health and Child rights and responsibilities among the OVCs. This has led to increased confidence and ability for them to make informed decisions about their health and life. This is a critical attribute to position them to address conditions that may expose them to risk, harm and vulnerability.
- Child abuse – It has been reported that there have been reduced incidences of child abuse in OVC homes that have been part of this initiative. This was partially due to the fact that some children took the step to report being ill treatment by their very own guardians and other family members. There has also been an improvement in the relationships between OVC and their caretakers as a result of positive parenting sessions conducted among guardians.
- Advocacy – Collective advocacy for the needs of OVC in communities by community leaders and community members has been realized. Community members realized the need to take action on behalf of children and particularly the OVC in their communities to offer psycho-social and emotional assistance. ACET has also seen an increased level of commitment of local leaders to the OVC cause. The local leaders were able to identify practical networking strategies to link the target OVCs to other relevant support systems such as the Church and local council authorities.