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Plan International USA Awarded $1.5M Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Grant

October 23, 2012

Plan International USA was awarded a $1.5M grant to improve the quality of life of children affected by HIV/AIDS in Mozambique and Kenya. The grant, awarded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, will fund community-led programs to protect children’s rights and ensure healthy early childhood development.

Leveraging similar grant funding from Plan Finland and Plan Australia, the grant will specifically be
used to:

  • Increase resources that address the needs of the youngest children living in communities with high prevalence of HIV/AIDS;
  • Integrate early childhood care and development (ECCD) programming into Plan’s other health, education, and HIV/AIDS efforts; and
  • Expand Plan’s reach to additional underserved communities.
The project will benefit approximately 50,000 children and their caregivers, as well as teachers, community members, primary schools, community‐based organizations, and government actors. It will specifically target communities with high HIV/AIDS rates in Kenya’s Nyanza Province and Mozambique’s Inhambane Province. The program will also incorporate regional-level exchange and coordination to ensure the capture and replication of best practices, both within the Plan International federation and among the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s other grantees.

In Kenya and Mozambique, the youngest members in disadvantaged families are not able to grow to their fullest potential because of deficits in health care, nutrition, and physical and emotional development. The effects of delayed development in the early years of a child’s life can be long-lasting, continuing the cycle of poverty for generations to come. But by incorporating ECCD programs in development initiatives, the full range of health, nutrition, and early education needs of young children are met, thereby ensuring a healthy start in life.

Plan’s mission -- to achieve sustainable improvements in the quality of life of children around the world -- is pursued through a child‐centered community development (CCCD) approach. Plan maintains a long‐term presence in 50 developing countries, building critical relationships with local governments, civil society, and community leaders. The foundation of the CCCD approach is that strong communities are capable of participating more fully in the determination of their own needs and priorities, and that community engagement leads to lasting and positive change.

“Plan’s ECCD model is a vital component of our overarching CCCD approach; early childhood development programs need the support of local communities in order to be sustainable and effective,” said Tessie San Martin, President and CEO of Plan International USA. “Community volunteers are at the heart of Plan’s ECCD model. Parents, community leaders, and village elders working together with Plan not only ensures program success, but ultimately the healthy physical, cognitive, and emotional development of young children.”

“Plan International’s approach to implementing early childhood development programs in high HIV and AIDS prevalence areas in Kenya and Mozambique presents an opportunity to draw attention to the special needs of children affected by the disease, and aligns directly with the Foundation’s initiative to improve the developmental outcomes for this population,” said Dr. Shaheen Kassim-Lakha, Director of International Programs of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

“We are thrilled to receive this tremendous support from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation,” said San Martin. “This is an incredible opportunity to not only ensure the healthy physical and emotional development of vulnerable young children, but also to ensure a healthy future for their families, communities – and ultimately -- countries.”

About Plan International USA

Plan International USA is part of a global organization that works side by side with communities in 50 developing countries to end the cycle of poverty for children and their families. Plan works at the community level to develop customized solutions and ensure long-term sustainability. Our solutions are designed up-front to be owned by communities for generations to come and range from clean water and healthcare programs to education projects and child protection initiatives. For more information, please visit www.PlanUSA.org.

About The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world's disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance abuse, helping children affected by HIV/AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton's support for the work of Catholic Sisters. Following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $1.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants, distributing $82 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2011. The Foundation's current assets are approximately $2 billion. For more information, please visit www.hiltonfoundation.org.

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