WASHINGTON and WARWICK, R.I. – Plan International USA, in partnership with Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team, Childline Kenya, and mothers2mothers, has been awarded a five-year cooperative agreement from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support at-risk children in Kenya. The project, known locally as Nilinde, focuses on improving the welfare and protection of the most vulnerable households affected by HIV and AIDS in Nairobi and the Coast Counties.
Over a five-year period, Nilinde will work with local partner organizations to increase household resiliency and empower parents and caregivers to make investments that will improve the health and well-being of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). Through greater community involvement, better referrals, and improved paths to essential services, Nilinde will also increase access to health and social services. Working at both local and national levels, Nilinde will work to support government efforts at strengthening child welfare and protection systems so that children can grow in safe, secure, stable, and healthy environments. Plan and its partners expect to impact more than 185,000 children and their households in six counties of Kenya.
“While Kenya has made great progress, real challenges remain. In too many cases, those with the greatest need for support are unable to access services,” said Tessie San Martin, President and CEO of Plan International USA. “Nilinde, which means ‘protect me’ in Swahili, is designed to foster a new generation of Kenyan children moving towards HIV-free status, empowering them to pursue full and productive lives.”
Nilinde deploys an evidence-based approach to strengthening the capacity of caregivers and communities to increase their ability to provide for children’s basic needs. This includes a strong focus on core interventions, with household economic strengthening initiatives as the entry point for targeting parents and guardians.
With this approach, vulnerable households are identified and referred into the program through multiple channels – including through community and health facility-based programs of local partner organizations. During the enrollment process, the level of vulnerability of each household is determined. This information in turn guides case management that links household members to critical government, NGO, and private sector support and services that address their unique needs, with particular focus on the needs of girls and women.
Nilinde’s holistic case management approach connects health, nutrition, HIV services, psychosocial support, and education to economic strengthening services designed to graduate families out of program support by developing their ability to grow and sustain their assets, income, and skills. These services include community-based financial initiatives, life skills coaching, technical skills training, financial literacy training, entrepreneurship, and small business management training.
In Nairobi County, the project will focus on informal settlements where the majority of the OVC reside. In Coast Counties, the project will work in both informal settlements in urban areas and in rural areas where larger OVC populations live.
About Plan International USA
Plan International USA, headquartered in Warwick, Rhode Island, is part of the Plan International Federation. Plan is a child-centered development organization that believes in the promise and potential of children. For more than 75 years in over 50 developing countries, Plan has been breaking the cycle of child poverty. Everything Plan does – from strengthening health care systems to improving the quality of education, to advocating for increased protection and beyond – is built with, and owned by, the community. The result is a development approach designed to improve the lives of the youngest members of the community for the longest period of time. For more information, please visit https://www.PlanUSA.org.