With support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and other initiatives, PCI is supporting the government of Botswana to improve the quality of life and self-sufficiency of vulnerable families in Botswana. PCI believes that communities best understand their own needs, and with the right support, can lead the way in developing appropriate, low-cost solutions to address HIV/AIDS, gender inequity and other challenges. To help communities help themselves, PCI provides its community-based NGO partners with the resources and skills needed to serve as a bridge between government services and households, extend services to where they are needed most, and become more sustainable. At the same time, PCI is helping to create a “safety net” of support for those in need by strengthening partnerships among government, private sector, civil society and communities.
BUILDING LOCAL CAPACITY TO SERVE VULNERABLE WOMEN & YOUTH
Through its USAID-funded Building Bridges program, PCI built the capacity of 11 local NGOs to provide care and support services to families affected by HIV and help families learn how to better care for themselves. Building on this successful program, in 2011 PCI received funding from USAID for the Tsela Kgopo (“Winding Road”) Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) and Gender Project. Tsela Kgopo is designed to contribute to the national agenda of addressing factors that increase the vulnerability of OVC, adolescent girls and women, such as HIV/AIDS, chronic poverty, neglect, exploitation and abuse. The program collaborates with government, universities and other educational institutions, the private sector and Civil Society Organizations to address the needs of OVC and their families with a focus on addressing gender issues. Through community mobilization, the program raises awareness about neglect, exploitation and abuse of children, adolescents and women, and supports communities to take action to address these challenges.
- In FY12, PCI reached over 3,700 orphans and vulnerable children with critical services including education, health, nutrition and life skills.
Furthermore, by facilitating the formation of savings-led, social empowerment groups using PCI’s proven GROW methodology, the program is supporting new livelihood opportunities for women and adolescent girls. Through this approach, the project seeks to empower 1,960 women and adolescent girls financially, socially and as community leaders over the next two years.
HIV PREVENTION IN THE BOTSWANA DEFENSE FORCE
Since 2010, PCI has been helping the Botswana Defense Force develop the skills and systems it needs to protect the military community from HIV and its negative impacts. With funding provided by the United States Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP), PCI is working with the Botswana Defense Force to understand the unique challenges and opportunities for HIV prevention in the military, and to help the Defense Force strengthen existing outreach approaches such as peer education and theatre-for-development. To date, 286 youth and officers have been trained to mobilize and disseminate information on HIV/AIDS. To ensure that the prevention program is institutionalized, PCI has trained 142 commanders in their roles and responsibilities to support HIV/AIDS work within the military. Together, the strengthened outreach and leadership team have successfully expanded prevention efforts, most recently mobilizing 3,471 individuals to test for HIV and 148 men to undergo safe male circumcision. With current DHAPP programs in Botswana, Malawi and Zambia, PCI has reached over 65,000 service members and their families since 2003.
PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT: Mobilizing Families & Communities Affected by HIV/AIDS
Through the USAID-funded Building Bridges program (2008-2011), PCI assisted 11 local NGOs to provide care and support services to families affected by HIV, and to help families learn to better care for themselves. Building Bridges assisted these NGOs to deliver education, psychosocial support, nutrition, health care, livelihoods, and referral services to people in need. PCI helped NGO partners learn to use “community mobilization” techniques that promote self-reliance by engaging community members in identifying their problems and addressing them using local resources. NGOs also learned how to assess and address the needs of the whole family, using a “comprehensive family care” approach.
United States Agency for International Development, United States Department of Defense and various private donors.
Click here to read PCI’s Botswana fact sheet.