Support to Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) through our offices in Calabar and Abuja
Gede’s support to OVC stretches back to 2003 when the Foundation was involved in the development of a minimum package intervention which was integrated into family settings through community-based support programmes across Nigeria. Within the National OVC support guidelines, Gede worked to secure the future of many vulnerable children through a life time investment which will enable them to acquire an educational, medical and psychosocial balance with their non-orphan contemporaries.
This work has been made possible through working with partners such as the Federal Capital Territory Action Committee on AIDS, the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Youth Development, Addax-Oryx Foundation, FHI-360 and the United Cement Company of Nigeria Limited (UNICEM).
Recently, working in rural communities in the Federal Capital Territory and Cross River State, 5000 orphans and vulnerable children and their households have accessed this support through two initiatives -
OVCs who have dropped out of school are reengaged with it through the provision of tuition, books, sandals and school bags. Other school based activities such as Peer Educators’ Programme, are routinely carried out in community schools to enable young people make informed decisions about their lives.
Income Generating Activities
In comparison to ‘ordinary’ children, OVCs are far more likely to move from being “affected” by HIV-AIDS to being infected with it. Within this picture, research also strongly suggests that adolescent girls are also more likely to become involved in highly dangerous sexual behavior – especially when this is seen as the only way to ‘make money’.
Gede supports child-headed households and older orphans to learn and acquire marketable life skills in knitting, tailoring, fashion design, computer technology, metalwork and hairdressing in order to provide avenues that could attract lasting income to households. At the completion of the annual Skills Training Programme, orphans are also given machines and equipment to start their businesses.
The long term goal of Gede’s OVC programme is to develop and strengthen community support networks which are able to link OVCs to available safety nets. Gede is also currently working with other agencies to assess the impact of specific mental health conditions (such as post traumatic stress disorder) on a significant number of OVC and, consequently, to design culturally validated tools related to diagnosis, treatment and care.
Livelihood Support to Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Mpape community