CUBS Project Releases Gender Assessment Report and Awards Small Grants to Benefit Nigerian Orphans and Vulnerable Children
In August, 16 civil society organizations in Nigeria received over $150,000 USD (Nigerian Naira 27 million) from the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through USAID to improve and expand service delivery to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). The Community-Based Support (CUBS) for OVC project was officially launched with the announcement of these awards and the release of a Gender Assessment and Program Framework report, "Developing a Program Framework, Approach, and Activities to Address the Vulnerability of Girls, Young Women, and Female-Headed Households within the Context of OVC Service Delivery and HIV Risk Reduction."
Each of the organizations were given about $10,000 USD (Nigerian Naira 1.5 million) and is expected to use the assessment as guiding principles to reach 800 orphans and vulnerable children within a year. According to Dr. Audu Muhammed Liman, Chief of Party of the CUBS Project, the program "plans to reach about 50,000 OVC and 12,500 caregivers in 11 states with a comprehensive range of services by September 2014."
The Gender Assessment and Framework Report assessed the factors that fuel the spread of HIV & AIDS among vulnerable groups – particularly the girl-child and female heads of households – to determine best practices in reducing such vulnerability. Many orphans and vulnerable children live in severe poverty and are deprived of the basic necessities of life: dignified and sustainable access to food and nutrition, acceptable living conditions, psychosocial resources critical to development and health, legal and social protection, educational resources, wages/income, and affordable health care.
The report finds that interventions need to happen at three levels: individual, support network, and legal protection. The report recommends interventions on four key needs:
- education and vocational training;
- economic strengthening;
- psychosocial support;
- and legal protection.
The assessment "presents an enhanced gender-focused strategy to address the vulnerability of girls, young women and female heads of households within the context of OVC service delivery in the Northern and Southern regions of Nigeria," said CUBS Gender Advisor, Sarah Amahson.
The CUBS Project, funded by the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through USAID and led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and Africare, in partnership with the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development at Federal and State Levels, is improving the well-being of orphans and vulnerable children in Nigeria by integrating a currently fragmented OVC service delivery system, mobilizing community support, reducing stigma, and raising awareness of the issues and needs of orphans and vulnerable children. The project plans to change the way services reach orphans and vulnerable children by fostering an enabling environment where these children – mostly survivors of parents who died from AIDS – can thrive.