Community capacity to care for orphans is increasingly overstretched as the number of needy children keeps rising. At the end of 2007, Uganda was home to an estimated one million AIDS orphans.
The Strengthening the Ugandan National Response for Implementation of Services for OVC (SUNRISE-OVC) is the culmination of six years of collaboration between the US Government, the Government of Uganda and civil society (via the International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Uganda).
Previously, under the CORE initiative, the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development in Uganda received capacity building support to enable them to lead and coordinate the national response for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and expand HIV prevention services for young people.
The new project - SUNRISE-OVC - will take this work forward. It will focus on strengthening sustainable local government and community systems that will improve access, use, coverage and quality of comprehensive services for vulnerable children across the 80 districts of Uganda. Specifically, Alliance Uganda will provide technical support which will strengthen the community systems upon which OVC service delivery relies.
Leonard Okello, Director of Alliance Uganda said: ‘Important challenges remain in the national Uganda response. Services are not well coordinated and often fail to reach rural communities. Many local organisations are under-funded and lack the capacity to make a significant impact. Many people living with HIV are not accessing services due to lack of awareness, transport difficulties or inability to pay fees’.
Kate Iorpenda, Senior Advisor for Children at the Alliance commented: ‘This project builds on the Alliance’s wealth of experience implementing programs for vulnerable children across the world, including Uganda. Over the years, we have developed rigorous approaches to OVC service delivery that put children and families at the centre of the OVC response, engender local ownership and deliver results through indigenous structures.’
Alliance Uganda will implement SUNRISE-OVC in partnership with UWESO (Uganda Women’s Effort to Save Orphans, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) as well as a range of local partners and private providers who will be called upon to provide services and support as needed.
Read more about the Alliance’s work in Uganda, including the earlier achievements under the CORE project.