By Josephine Agbonkhese
In a bid to address the lack of access to basic services which has long been identified as a major challenge facing orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) in the country, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has partnered the Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH) on a five-year project that would benefit 151,271 OVCs and 30,254 families in three states, including Lagos State.
Tagged ‘Local Partners for Orphans and Vulnerable Children’- LOPIN 1, the five-year project is specifically focused on enhancing accelerated and sustainable access to basic services such as education, health, nutrition, psychosocial, legal and social protection for OVCs.
Concurrently, their families will also benefit economic empowerment interventions to enable them effectively perform their roles as primary providers for their children/wards.
Accordingly, through the ARFH/LOPIN 1 project designed to model inclusiveness in programming for OVCs in accordance with the National Priority Agenda, the USAID recently provided stakeholders in Lagos State (community based organizations, LGAs and state government) with computer sets and accessories that would enhance timely and accurate coverage of the services to be provided to OVCs and their families.
The project goal, according to Director of Programs, ARFH/LOPIN1 Project, Mr Ogunmodede Matthew Rotimi, “is to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on children and their families in Lagos State with the objective of improving the systems and structures at community, LGAs and state levels in providing responsive care, protection and support services. We are also replicating this in two other states in the country.
“Other objectives include to improve organizational and technical capacity of local Nigerian partners to offer services to OVCs and their families, and to facilitate local Nigerian CBO partners to engage more effectively with LGA and private sector partners.”
The LOPIN 1 project is said to be partnering the Lagos State government through the Ministries of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Education, Health, Budget and Planning and Agriculture, with geographical coverage spanning across five LGAs namely: Agege, Badagry, Ajeromi, Kosofe and Ojo.