Improving the well-being of highly vulnerable children in Ethiopia

April 2, 2014

Ethiopia is one of the countries severely affected by HIV and AIDS in Africa. The HIV/AIDS epidemic is more widespread in cities and towns than in rural areas. Sources estimate the number of orphans and vulnerable at 5 million; at least 10% of these children are vulnerable due to the impact of HIV and AIDS.

USAID/Ethiopia awarded Pact a $92 million, 5-year cooperative agreement in April 2011 to work with FHI360, ChildFund, government, and over 50 local implementing civil-society partners to improve the well-being of highly vulnerable children (HVC) in Ethiopia.

Yekokeb Berhan Program for Highly Vulnerable Children aims to ensure that highly vulnerable children and their families can access quality services and are empowered to lead healthy, productive, and fulfilling lives.

In order to achieve this, the program strengthens systems at the household, community, regional and national levels, while directly serving 500,000 HVC throughout Ethiopia during each year of the five-year implementation period. Services provided to children and their families include psychosocial support, shelter and care, health and care, educational support, food and nutrition, economic strengthening and legal protection.

Rather than focus primarily on deficits or gaps at the community level, Yekokeb Berhan builds on existing strengths at the family, household, community, and government levels in order to support its target population of highly vulnerable children (HVC). The focus of this approach is family-centered care management, which recognizes that the wellbeing of a child depends on the wellbeing of other household members. Since inception, the program reaches over 500,000 HVC and 250,000 adults every year with much needed services resulting to improved quality of life for HVC and their families.

The article and video below summarizes some of the project stories that capture its impact since inception.