In March 2005, Project Concern International began implementing the BELONG Project (Better Education and Life Opportunities for Vulnerable Children through Networking and Organizational Growth) in response to the growing number of OVC who lacked access to health and other support services essential to minimizing their vulnerability and addressing their developmental needs. The project was funded by PEPFAR through USAID and was planned with a life cycle of 5 years, ending on September 30, 2010. BELONG was implemented in Zambia and Ethiopia through local partners, using school- and communitybased platforms to reach OVC, and building on already existing PCI programs and partnerships within the countries. The project's objective was to increase the numbers of OVC in both countries accessing quality services through sustainable, community-based programs that effectively reduced their vulnerability. This was achieved by applying four strategies, as reflected in the Intermediate Results (IR). 1. Increased availability of critical OVC services such as school education, life skills training, medical care, nutrition, and psycho-social support. 2. Strengthened capacity of older OVC and the guardians caring for OVC, through socio-economic empowerment initiatives to support themselves and their children. 3. Increased efficiency of local NGOs, FBOs, and CBOs through capacity building to provide quality services for OVC. 4. Increased capacity of local NGOs to serve as "centers of learning" to facilitate rapid scale-up of services. A variety of channels or platforms were used to achieve these results, including formal and informal primary schools (such as government schools in Ethiopia and community schools (CS) in Zambia), women's groups, CBOs and CBO networks, and cultural and religious bodies. Most of the project activities were targeted to reach OVC directly with essential services like the WFP school feeding program, support in improving school infrastructure like classroom and toilet blocks, school furniture and black boards, textbooks and teachers guides, but also indirectly through training of Parent Teacher Associations, teachers, and care givers such as women's groups.
Record created by