USAID has granted the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ), a five (5) year project to implement a USAID Empowered Youth Program III (USAID EYP III) in Lusaka, Eastern and Western Provinces.
The program is expected to contribute to the mitigation of the impact of HIV and improve the health and wellbeing of Vulnerable Children and Adolescents (VCAs), through the delivery of high-impact, evidence-informed, and age-appropriate interventions customized for each VCA sub-populations using a comprehensive and family-centered approach.
CIDRZ and its consortium Technical Assistant partner Project Hope, will work hand in hand to ensure that VCAs in the three (3) Provinces, are healthy, safe, stable, and schooled by providing them with a comprehensive and tiered package of evidence-based health, education, livelihood, protection, and other social services.
CIDRZ will work towards improving the social and health outcomes of vulnerable households in seven high HIV burden districts across all three provinces through Direct Service Delivery (DSD) using community based platforms and referral linkage to static service delivery outlets within the catchment areas. The project will adopt a modified socio- ecologic model that centers VCA at the core of implementation and provides high impact differentiated services tailored to individual VCA and household needs.
CIDRZ will also work closely with USAID Zambia and the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) specifically with the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services (MCDSS), Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of General Education (MOGE), HIV program and Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) implementing partners, Faith Based Organizations (FBOs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and the communities themselves to enhance coordination, leverage available resources and maximize efficiency.
The Project will focus mainly on identification of different VCA sub-populations that are important for the HIV epidemic control goal. CIDRZ will implement differentiated service delivery approaches including a case management system with clear eligibility criteria, an evidence- informed package of services by sub-population, and PEPFAR graduation benchmarks. The service delivery for VCA will contribute to the HIV epidemic control goal in Zambia by achieving its activity objectives and helping mitigate the risk and impact of HIV and AIDS among VCA and their caregivers.
Furthermore, CIDRZ will closely work with organizations and structures at district and community levels to provide social protection and GBV prevention and care service and will also implement interventions that will help to improve the livelihood of the adolescents and the households on vulnerable children. CIDRZ will also closely work with potential private sector entities on improving economic conditions of the guardians of VCAs. In addition, CIDRZ will closely work with the Ministry of General Education and the District Education Board Secretaries to ensure that eligible vulnerable children are attending their school.
Chalachew Tiruneh and Dr. Lugano Nkhoma have been appointed as Chief of Party and Deputy Chief of Party for the program, respectively. The two (2) will work with a team that has vast experience in working with Vulnerable Children Adolescents.