2002 ZAM: Report on the Evaluation of UNICEF-Supported Chikankata CBOSP & OVC Training Projects
Author: Mulenga, S.
The Community-based Orphan Support Programme (CBOSP) has been running since 1995 while the OVC training is just about two years old. Both projects are run by Chikankata's Salvation Army Hospital. There has been an increase in activities as well as an increase in the number of communities participating in the CBOSP programme, from the previous two to a total of five participating communities at the time of this evaluation.
Chikankata has submitted a project proposal in the hope that UNICEF could support both the CBOSP and OVC training in phase three. This evaluation, therefore, seeks to establish the basis for further support.
The evaluation was carried out through a process of visitations to selected areas where, in addition to physical tours, interviews were held with twenty-eight people who were directly or indirectly connected with the Chikankata projects.
Findings and Conclusions:
The affected communities acknowledge that HIV/AIDS affects them and that they need to be part of 'the solution to the problem'. The CBOSP project operating in five communities has a total population of 13,507, out of which 1,733 is an OVC population (representing 12.8 % of the total population) as of May 2002.
The successes scored in sensitizing the majority of the people in villages have resulted in the initiation of a number of activities that are aimed at improving the OVC situation using community efforts rather than individual household efforts.
The Chikankata Hospital, through its outreach programmes, has played a very important role in raising awareness on HIV/AIDS in its catchment areas. Through the CBOSP, Chikankata has continued to enumerate Orphaned and Vulnerable Children.
Since the last evaluation in 1997, the OVC situation has continued to worsen. Although the 1997 report of Poulter and Sulwe observes some errors in OVC registration at the time, Ngangula had 104 registered orphans while Nameembo had 56, giving a total of 160 between these two communities. The figures in each community in the catchment area show a general rise in the numbers of OVC.
The figures, however, have been fluctuating for various reasons, hence sometimes affecting the total OVC numbers downwards. For instance, the total figures have varied from 1,939 in November 2000 to 1,852 and 1,733 in February 2001 and November 2001, respectively. OVC weaned off by virtue of reaching the age of 18 will, by then, have been empowered through training in various practical skills such as Carpentry, Tailoring etc. and, therefore, expected to sustain themselves. Two communities in Nameembo and Ngangula contributed 9 sewing machines and 2 sets of carpentry tools for children to use for income generation in 2001.
At community level, there is evidence of commitment to the improvement of the quality of life of OVC through the initiation of Life and Practical Skills as well as Income-generating Activities within the communities.
Through the training programme, Chikankata has trained 154 OVC managers. These OVC managers have, in turn, trained other members of their organisations and thus, there is evidence of multiplier effect from the training. Chikankata plans to have achieved its objective of training up to 175 OVC managers by the end of 2002.
A number of organisations visited have performed very well after training from Chikankata. For instance, the Anglican Children's Project in Lusaka has developed a Child Abuse surveillance system and the results are overwhelming (see page 3). In Siavonga, a couple who had been trained at Chikankata have initiated an inter-denominational come together in which they congregate every three months to discuss and, together, generate solutions on the welfare of OVC in the community. In addition, this forum also raises food, clothes and take care of other needs for the needy OVC.
In Mazabuka, a participant has initiated training workshops for colleagues involved in caring for street kids especially those in community schools. She has also initiated Behaviour Change Process Workshops for former street kids who have been enrolled in their Community school. She further introduced a street outreach programme upon return from training at Chikankata and, through this, was able to identify six cases of sexual child abuse involving four girls and two boys. The girls were all infected with STIs.
In Lusaka, participants from the Anglican Children's Project are engaged in community mobilization and child abuse advocacy campaigns such as presentation of drama, theatre and group discussions, especially in markets in nine communities (Chibolya, John Laing, Kamwala, Misisi, Chawama, Kabwata, Libala, Chilenje and Arrackan Barracks). Through drama and discussions, 19 cases of various types of child abuse have either been identified or reported to the outreach workers. Of the 19 cases, 10 are sexual abuse cases involving all female children ranging from 6 months to 18 years of age.
In Kitwe, Mindolo Ecumenical Centre has started a project for orphans, offering education and food at their centre. This was initiated after training from Chikankata and, so far, the centre, in less than a year, caters for 450 OVCs.
- The major constraints in programme execution was seen in the apparent inability of the communities to select and run IGAs to the level of profits that could adequately cushion off some of the basic needs of the OVC, such as school requisites. This was mainly due to the lack of adequate skills in IGA selection and management coupled with inadequate initial capital.
- Community members lack skills in basic entrepreneurship and there is need to provide such skills in the near future. In addition, the communities do not have adequate resources to commence bigger and profitable IGA schemes. Entrepreneurial skills to project managers so that they could train community members.
- Inadequate transport affected the running of programmes especially the CBOSP, before UNICEF provided the Toyota Hilux currently being used for the CBOSP project activities. As a result of the lack of transport, some activities, though well-planned, could not be accomplished in the first, second and third quarter of 2001.
- A baseline study to establish the foundation data for the programme impact assessment was not conducted because there were neither the resources, terms of reference nor the human resource to spearhead the exercise. It is hoped that this will be facilitated in the near future.
- Community members responsible for running CHIN programmes at village level have not all benefited from the Chikankata training programmes. There is need to acknowledge that they are best placed to apply the skills directly to the OVC. The course, however, appears to have been set for very literate candidates.
UNICEF should reconsider its present policy of non-support to IGAs. It should provide start-up capital for properly identified IGAs.
There is need to include some older OVC at community planning level. This will not only serve as a form of training for them but will also improve project's impact and success since OVCs are the ultimate beneficiaries of the project.
In addition to any financial support that may be given to CHIN committees for IGAs, it will be necessary to empower the women that are directly caring for orphans with basic seed capital for them to grow crops, especially considering that most households have no food.
UNICEF should identify and engage an expert to carry out a baseline study. For the future benefit of the project, individual skills development and maximization on time, it is suggested that all project staff participate in this exercise.
There is need for Chikankata to work out an action plan to go around all communities on a re-sensitisation programme in order to raise the levels of cooperation from guardians and other OVC care givers.
Chikankata should work out a uniform CHIN committee structure for adoption by all villages involved.
Since the capacity already exists at Chikankata for OVC training, the project Management team should make an effort to learn about, and blend, all the available models of care across the country, with a view to strengthening the delivery packages.
Chikankata should identify trainable individuals in each community who, through UNICEF, could be sponsored for OVC training in order to bring skilled OVC care as close to the community as possible.
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