Twiyubake is a USAID funded program, also known as Improved Services for Vulnerable Populations (ISVP), being implemented by Global Communities, together with AVSI Rwanda, Path, Partners in Health, and a host of local partner NGOs.
Great strides have been made in Rwanda in order to combat poverty and the spread of the HIV virus, but there remains more work to be done. Many USAID programs, along with the Vision 2020 Umurenge Program (VUP) by the Government of Rwanda, are supporting vulnerable families in the country.
However, further steps need to be taken to meet the goal of Rwanda’s Second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2), which is to reduce poverty and to ensure that more children receive proper nutrition, education, and care against preventable communicable diseases.
Although the prevalence of adult cases of HIV has stabilized at 3%, the number of people with HIV continues to increase. Studies show that children who are orphaned because of HIV or are being raised by caregivers with HIV experience detrimental consequences.
The first component of Twiyubake’s approach is to enable vulnerable families to provide for themselves. This takes place through parental education activities that involve, family decision-making, nutrition and early childhood stimulation. These activities are also combined with economic strengthening activities, including VSLA.
Secondly, attention is given to the changing needs of families, including the facilitation of access to health care and protection services, along with ensuring the longevity of this access. The project will achieve this by building relationships among community services, community-based volunteers and service providers, and through training volunteers and households.
Third, the project will train local partners to strengthen their capacity with the expectation that they will assume greater leadership of these programs in the future.
Under PEPFAR, programs supporting orphans and vulnerable children have evolved towards family centered and integrated approaches. These help link households with clinical services as well as other support services such as economic empowerment, nutrition, education, child protection and parenting skills.
Twiyubake is a prime example of an integrated approach to OVC care which has the cross-cutting goal of building the capacity of local organizations and the Rwandan Government to sustain strategic responses even after the project finishes.
Global Communities, the organization at the helm of this project, has brought together the international partners AVSI, Path, and Partners in Health, as well as a host of local partners, to contribute expertise and support the project’s delivery.
Twiyubake will begin working with 15,000 households in all 15 districts in the first year, focusing on three sectors.
Gradually, the number of sectors will increase and 20,000 families will be enrolled by the third year.
The final goal is to strengthen 50,000 households, so that the education, assistance, and intervention will build resilience.