Orphans And Vulnerable Children Program (OVC)
The AMPATH OVC Program empowers orphans and vulnerable children, their families, and their communities to build a foundation of action and hope for a healthy and sustainable future by offering every eligible OVC within AMPATH catchment area access to education, protection, shelter, food security, psychosocial support, medical care and economic security.
The OVC program currently provides services to HIV-infected and affected children within seven AMPATH clinic areas - Eldoret (MTRH), Burnt Forest, Iten, Kabarnet, Mosoriot, Port Victoria and Turbo. Currently, there are over 20,000 children registered in the OVC program.
Our program provides a holistic and multi-disciplinarian approach to strengthen the capacity of families and communities to care and protect their OVC, first by prolonging the lives of the HIV-infected and then by supporting the children orphaned by AIDS. The program's emphasis is on assisting OVC within the family/community setting allowing the OVC to socialize, learn and address challenges within their own environment.
The AMPATH model assists the extended family by providing appropriate interventions to stabilize the children and family. Many of the OVC are taken in by elderly grandparents, aunts, uncles and, at times, the eldest child who becomes the head of the household. AMPATH OVC staff work with families on the ground to determine their needs using comprehensive household and individual assessments. Once a family stabilizes, frequent follow-up visits to households by an OVC Community Health Worker (CHW) and/or social worker allow proper monitoring and evaluation of the intervention(s) and their impact. Through this process, the OVC program is able to confirm that needs have actually been addressed and the interventions effective.
Finally, OVC families that are struggling economically are linked to AMPATH's Family Preservation Initiative (FPI) where they gain access to training on agriculture, income generating activities, and Group Integrated Savings for Empowerment (GISE - a form of village banking.) A combination of training, saving and borrowing capital allow long-term economic growth and security for the family.