Success Story: BLC reaches 63,000 Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Lesotho
More than one-third of children living in the small mountainous country of Lesotho are orphans, and nearly half of all households are caring for at least one orphan. In many cases, this is due to the country's HIV prevalence — 23 percent for people ages 15-49. Statistics like this are frequently publicized. However, do we stop to think about the impact on a single child? Do we consider how we could make a difference? For Megh Jagriti, the one is everything. "Each child is worth the effort, and preserving their dignity is essential," he says.
Megh is the OVC Senior Technical Advisor for the USAID-funded Building Local Capacity for Delivery of HIV Services in Southern Africa Project (BLC), which is supporting Lesotho's orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) response at national, district, and community levels. In fact, BLC's work in Lesotho is the largest single OVC project funded by USAID in the region. BLC recently surpassed its goal of reaching 63,000 orphans and vulnerable children—more than a year early. Along with the commitment of BLC's staff in Lesotho and sub-grantees to respond to the needs of children, Megh attributes much of the project's success to the use of implementation science in planning and making programming course corrections. Integral change, he says, is empowering caregivers to provide quality care without external support.