The Kenya Integrated HIV/AIDS Program (KIHAP) was funded by the United States Agency for International Development through a Cooperative Agreement for the period December 1, 2008 to November 30, 2011, and was implemented by AnandaMarga Universal Relief Team (AMURT).
Download entire report here: AMURT KIHAP Final
Goal & Strategic Objectives
The goal of the AMURT’s Kenya Integrated HIV & AIDS Program (KIHAP) was to prevent the transmission of HIV and AIDS, and to bring sustainable services to those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS in nine locations within three Kenyan provinces (Nyanza, Central and Coast). To achieve this goal AMURT developed the following strategic objectives:
- Mobilize local organizations and committees, and community members to create sustainable support structures for 3000 orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) aged 5 – 14 years, enabling them to become productive members of society.
- Improve treatment, care, and livelihood for 1000 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWA) in Nyanza Province
- Undertake an HIV prevention program that reaches 20,800 people (this target was added through a USAID modification) through small group interactive methodologies, including 2000 out-of-school youth aged 14 to 25
- Launch a mass education prevention and awareness program that reaches 270,000 people, to protect those who are not infected by HIV (the initial target of 998,000 people was changed though a USAID modification).
Through the life of the project, AMURT was able to surpass all of its targets, reaching 3191 OVC (6% increase) and 1187 PLWA (19% increase) through its care and support program; and reaching 22,927 people in small groups (10% increase), and 687,281 people in mass awareness (255% increase) through its HIV prevention program. Not only were we able to apply lessons learned in the early phase of the project to increase our efficiency, but we benefited immensely from the technical support provided by NuPITA, which was an integral part of our cooperative agreement with USAID. Hence, we fulfilled all of our obligations to the participating communities, thereby playing our part in preventing the spread of HIV.
Moreover, AMURT was able to guarantee the sustainability of its programs by securing funding from USAID-funded APHIA Plus primes for the OVC in our care throughout Kenya, and from Digital Opportunity Trust for training in IT and entrepreneurship at our nine youth resource centers. We have also transferred the care and support of our most needy PLWA to government programs through the District Hospitals and District HBC Coordinators.
Another sustainability measure is the income generation program for OVC and PLWA. AMURT formed 89 income generating groups, most of which have already started generating savings and providing loans to individual members. Through its strategic partner, the Equity Bank Foundation, AMURT has trained the budding entrepreneurs in management and enterprise development.
The 3191 OVC beneficiaries received support in four focus areas: education (school uniforms and school visits), health care (monthly check ups and referrals), psycho-social support (home visits and “fun days”) and legal protection (child rights clubs). The children’s morale was boosted when they were supported with uniforms and school visits, resulting in better school attendance. Their overall health also improved, due to the check-ups they received at the monthly meetings, with fewer OVC needing health-related referrals. And their guardians told us that their children were “happier” as they met new friends and had fun through the AMURT program. The 14 child rights clubs we started have taught children about their rights, resulting in several cases of abuse being brought to our attention by the children themselves.
Our home based care program for PLWA has been effective in helping our 1187 clients adhere to their medicine; resume an active life either by returning to employment, or joining a savings and loan group; and overcome the stigma of the disease. Many of the relatives of the PLWA now accept living with and supporting their PLWA, helping to reduce the pain of social isolation.
In its prevention program, AMURT has focused more on spreading prevention messages through small group interactive sessions, in line with PEPFAR’s Next Generation Indicators. USAID granted a modification to our targets, creating a new target of 20,800 people to be reached through small group work, and a modified target of 270,000 people to be reached through mass awareness. Our peer educators have been visiting schools delivering abstinence and general life skills teachings in creative ways through theater, dance and song. The teachers are happy that our messages helped to improve student behavior. Overall we reached 22,307 people through this methodology. We also continued mass awareness events, with the Ministry of Health welcoming our presence during school sports days and national festivals. Our nine youth resource centers provided youth with venues for creativity and skills building: 1139 youth were trained in MS Office software, with 56 getting jobs as a result, and six youth were selected by the Kenya National Youth Academy with our support. Hence, the youth resource centers have become islands of hope for the participating youth.
Challenges & Lessons Learned
Overall, the needs of the beneficiary population are far more than one organization can meet. Most of our beneficiaries lack food, proper shelter and access to hospital care. Our field staff experience immense pressure when facing people’s many demands which come outside the scope of our program. We have built partnerships, but not sufficient to deliver all the services that our beneficiaries require. One of our biggest challenges is ensuring that meritorious students are given the means to further their education at secondary school.
We have learnt that when one creates an atmosphere of hope, be it among staff, volunteers or beneficiaries, then people become more innovative and more engaged. Many members of the AMURT team have helped us launch programs that were not originally planned (child rights clubs, programs for prisoners, youth talent development), but which have served the beneficiaries well, and boosted the morale of the entire staff.
Download entire report here: AMURT KIHAP Final