12 million children in sub-Saharan Africa have lost one parent to AIDS while the impact of HIV/AIDS has made many more children vulnerable. The Axios Foundation has designed and managed a number of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) programs by working with families, community based organizations and local governments. We focus not only on the children, but the families and communities caring for them to establish sustainable approaches that will continue after the formal program has ended.
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The Axios Integrated Community Strengthening Model
Our Integrated Community Strengthening Model is based on local ownership and developing feasible solutions to locally identified challenges to adequately serving OVC. The model includes focused technical assistance, organizational development, financial management assistance and capacity building. We engage stakeholders and incorporate best practices, training and periodic reviews to create sustainable and long-lasting impact. This model in Burkina Faso was an influence on national policy.
Lasting Impact through Capacity Building and Sustainability
In Burkina Faso, the Axios Foundation worked with Yeleen, a small women’s group, to develop sustainable local solutions and training in income-generating activities, numeracy and business management. Within two years, Yeleen had sent over 300 children to primary school and were sponsored by the Ministry of Social Welfare to provide mentoring to other women’s groups in other regions. Following the end of the program, Yeleen went on to secure funding on their own from UNICEF and the World Bank.
Legal Services and Protecting Rights
Partnering with the Mbambakofi Legal Center, Axios introduced legal services for OVC in Maramba, Tanzania by handling a number of legal cases around child abuse/neglect, school fees, domestic violence and general counseling. These paralegal services brought about a greater awareness of child rights in the community and provided a sense of social justice.