According to the Kenya National AIDS Strategic Plan (KNASP), 2005/6-2009/10, approximately 2.4 million (12%) of Kenyan children below 18 years of age are orphans; approximately 1 million (42%) have been orphaned due to HIV/AIDS. By 2010, the number of orphans was projected to grow to more than 2.4 million. At the national level, the Department of Children Services (DCS) under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development in Kenya plays a major role in coordinating various sectors and stakeholders in responding to the OVC issues. At the regional level, DCS is represented through Provincial and District Children’s Offices which are responsible for coordinating community efforts in close collaboration with Area Advisory Councils (AACs) and Locational OVC Committees (LOCs). As of September 30, 2009, PEPFAR was supporting 568,811 Kenyan OVC with direct services.
In 2009, the Government of Kenya (GoK) merged all separate national policies on various profiles of children into the Kenya Children Policy which is currently awaiting cabinet approval. The national policy on children provides the framework for addressing issues related to children’s rights and welfare in a holistic and focused manner.
PEPFAR supported the development of the 2007-2010 National Plan of Action (NPA) for OVC that provides the framework for a coordinated multi-sectoral and sustainable approach to supporting OVC in Kenya. The NPA identifies the need for OVC programs to ensure access for OVC to essential services. This emphasis aligns with PEPFAR’s support to OVC through the six core program areas: education and vocational training; food and nutrition; psychosocial support; protection; health and prevention education; as well as economic strengthening support to households looking after OVC.
Building on the infrastructure developed in country, OLIVE LEAF Foundation Kenya incorporated another objective through the Regional Orphans Support Initiative (ROSI) program to support the capacity development of community based organizations to enhance their capacity to ensure comprehensive service delivery for OVC’s.
Through the, ROSI, OVC organizations have been technically assisted to access quality peer networks, relevant material, training, mentoring, coaching and systems/ channels for information sharing, learning and influential practice change. ROSI focus is on creating a culture of learning and sharing thus serving OVC programs through an approach that integrates and acknowledges both technical Organizational Service Delivery OSD and Organizational Capacity Development OCD.
OLIVE LEAF Foundation Kenya is awarded a follow on international donor award to carry out a program to support Increased care and support to Orphans and Vulnerable Children. The AID-623-A-10-00015 will be a reimbursement award for the period 1st July 2010 to 31st March 2011.
OLIVE LEAF Foundation Kenya will focus on programs targeting youth and children and partnering with Informal sector business trainers as well as a reputable University to provide holistic and cross sectoral programmatic approach encompassing life skills, economic empowerment, sound education for the children and parenting courses beginning 2011.