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