The Comprehensive Assistance, Support and Empowerment of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (CASE-OVC) programme is a five year, USAID-funded grant implemented by Christian Aid in Kenya.
Reaching across 18 counties of the central and eastern part of the Rift Valley, the programme aims to reach 170,000 orphans and vulnerable children, from 52,000 households, who are affected or infected by HIV and AIDS.
The goal is to improve the wellbeing of the children and support them to be resilient and thrive within their homes and communities, by ensuring they can request and gain access to social services (health, nutrition, education, legal protection, psychosocial support and social protection). We are also working to improve their livelihood options so they can better care for themselves.
CASE-OVC also seeks to enhance the economic resilience of the childrens' households and caregivers and their ability to protect and care for these vulnerable young people.
The programme aims to strengthen formal and informal protection systems making them responsive, inclusive and accountable to the needs of orphans and vulnerable children.
Between July and September 2018, the project reached 151,368 orphans and vulnerable children with different services, including health and nutrition, education, protection, psychosocial support and economic support services for themselves or their households.
In the same period, CASE-OVC screened more than 3,000 children for HIV risk and worked with almost 6,000 children living with HIV and receiving care and treatment.
The programme organised child rights forums, community sensitisation barazas (public meetings) and provided child protection referral services. More than 50,000 children were reached with age-appropriate child protection messages. Other children were helped to get birth certificates.
CASE-OVC also provided education support, helping children to pay for school fees; menstrual hygiene packs for teenaged girls; life skills training and mentorship; and post-gender-based violence care and social protection.
The programme's work cascaded down to caregivers and to case managers through initiatives including village savings and loans associations, business development, model households, participatory market systems development and participatory vulnerability and capacity assessments.
18 counties of Kenya - Nakuru, Baringo, Samburu, Turkana, Narok, Laikipia, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Kiambu, Nyeri, Muranga, Nyandarua, Kirinyaga, Machakos, Kajiado, Kitui, Makueni, and Embu.
Orphans and vulnerable children, as well as their caregivers
Include the Department Of Children Services
- Improve health and social status of orphans and vulnerable children and their families.
- Enhance economic resilience, caregiving and protection capacity of households and caregivers.
- Strengthened formal and informal systems that are responsive, inclusive and accountable to needs of orphans and vulnerable children.
The program will provide services to an estimated 170,000 OVC and their households by three interlinked sub-purposes: increased health and social services for OVC and their families; strengthened capacity of households and communities to protect and care for OVC; and strengthened child welfare and protection structures and systems for effective response in the programme counties and sub-counties.
'One Monday morning on my way to my tailoring shop, I arrived to find my shop broken into. Everything had been stolen,' said Alice Wamuhu.
This incident set Alice back financially as she lost her main source of livelihood. She also had to repay some clients whose clothes and items were stolen along with hers. It was on the premise of her financial situation and her inability to properly care for her grandchildren that Alice was enrolled into the CASE-OVC programme.
'The burden of caring for the children was heavy. I was unable to take them to school as I had no money,' said Alice.
Alice Wamuhu has three grandchildren. Their father, her son, passed away and their mother left Alice with the children when she remarried. Since then, Alice has assumed the role of guardian for the children.
To boost her income, Alice was given a sewing machine as a start-up kit to enable her to grow her tailoring business and subsequently better care for her grandchildren. She now makes between £22 to £30 a week, with her dresses priced at an average of £7.50. She saves some of this money and uses the rest to buy food and pay school fees for the children.
Alice is also part of a village saving and loans association called Kirenga Market Self Help Group. The group has been able to invest in a tent and chairs which they rent out.
Alice’s household is part of 52,000 households who are part of in the CASE-OVC programme.
Christian Aid Kenya is based in Nairobi. We also draw on the expertise of colleagues from other Christian Aid teams across Africa and the world, INGO networks in Kenya and beyond, and staff at Christian Aid’s UK headquarters.
Rudia Ikamati. Acting Chief Of Party for CASE OVC: RIkamati@caseovc.org