A Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Women and Youth Awareness Empowerment Network (WOYAEN), based in Kaduna, has disclosed that it has improved the livelihood of 1,847 Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in Kaduna State in 2017.
Executive Director of the NGO, Dr Rakiya Shonekan said on Monday in that the OVCs were reached through 700 caregivers in 680 households, with basic health services, nutrition, shelter and care, education and psycho-social support.
According to him, the economic status of their caregivers were also upgraded to be able provide basic needs to the OVCs that would ensure uninterrupted development to adulthood.
Shonekan added, that the project was carried out in nine project communities namely Kakau, Nasarawa, Goningora, Trikania Unguwan Sule Unguwan Lusawa, and Kudenden all in Chikun local government areas of the state.
She said, the project, designed to improve the livelihood of the OVCs, protect and give them a sense of belonging in the society was supported by Save the Children’s STEER project, funded by USAID.
“On health issues, we provided the OVCs with deworming tables, vitamin A, zinc and supplement, HIV testing and counseling as well as care and support and referrals among others.
“For shelter and care, we reintegrated the orphans into family, provide clothing support and foster parenting among others.
“We equally encouraged school enrollment and retention, particularly the girl child and carried out awareness campaign on gender equality to fight against discrimination.
“We would also encourage recreational activities, life skills support and train caregivers on positive parenting skills and provide legal services, create gender awareness under interventions in child protection and social support.”
On nutrition, she said that the NGO has improved the capacity of vulnerable households to produce a variety of nutritious foods.
She added that the NGO also cultivated soya beans, groundnuts and orange flesh potatoes to support the most vulnerable households in some selected communities.
“We equally carried out sensitisation to caregivers on the importance of adequate infant and young child feeding.”
The director added that the caregivers were equipped with vocational skills for income generation, and were trained on how to exploit livelihood opportunities and financial literacy focused on micro enterprise fundamental skills.
She identified the skills areas as negotiating skills, record keeping, and value addition with a view to help their businesses.
“We also carried out series of advocacy visits to mobilise relevant stakeholders to support ongoing effort toward improving the livelihood of women, youth and OVCs in communists, “Shenekan said.