|First year of SCORE project shows new model effective to empower vulnerable households|
Designed to involve and accompany communities and families in their empowerment as the first line of prevention and response to children’s vulnerability, SCORE (Sustainable Comprehensive Responses for Vulnerable Children and their Families) program, funded by USAID and implemented by AVSI Uganda and a consortium of NGOs including CARE, TPO and FHI360, brings a great newness in its approach of strengthening community networks and providers and linking them with local referral mechanisms and government initiatives, rather than focusing on ‘handing out’ goods or services.
Among the successes in the over 16,000 households whose participation is detailed in the year 1 report below, we meet Josephine, a mother and single caretaker in her household “My family and I always had only one meal a day, but now thanks to SCORE with our community garden of carrots and a little crop at home, we eat two meals.” And there are hundreds more stories as families are helped to join village savings and loans groups where the equivalent of over $130,000 have been saved in one year, small income-generating businesses, networks to improve access to healthcare, integrated farmer field schools, nutrition classes and cooking demonstrations, and many more activities based on the need and the freedom of those involved. Read on for the facts and figures:
SCORE Year 1 Report Executive Summary
The SCORE project has reached the end of its Year 1 of implementation. The total number of households enrolled in the project (16,923) is 7% higher than the original target figures, and SCORE plans to further expand its number of beneficiaries, aiming to surpass 20,000 households enrolled in Year 2. True to its commitment to work on the reality and to “fit the project to the people”, SCORE used extensive analysis of project-generated data, and the vulnerability profiles of the SCORE beneficiaries, to inform updated activities, strategies and targets. In line with its multi-sectoral, family-centered approach, SCORE reached a total of 58,084 vulnerable people with one or more OVC Core Program Areas –CPAs. Out of these, 6,865 have received 3 or more CPAs beyond psychosocial support. SCORE has achieved nearly all its quantitative work-plan targets for year 1, often greatly surpassing them.
SCORE supported the creation of 626 Village Savings and Loans Associations, involving a total of 16,762 members, of which 8,427 are members of vulnerable households. More than 1,000 youth have already been identified by SCORE implementing partners as needing job placement support through an apprenticeship, and 863 have been placed. SCORE supported with farming (through the FFS model) and through horticulture training a total of 14,232 families. These activities are proving very useful in rural and urban settings alike, as a dietary diversification strategy and for income generation / savings promotion. An estimated 69 thousand people have benefited from behavior change communication in the areas of nutrition and food preparation. This was an area highlighted as needing strong attention from the baseline data analysis. About 2,500 community group members, LCs, police officers, health workers and teachers have been oriented on child protection issues of relevance to their area using a curriculum tailored to their roles, and on referral pathways that they have a duty to contribute to.
In SCORE-project areas, 302 schools have been targeted with capacity building and other initiatives to promote safety, protection, development and wellbeing for children. The implementing partners of SCORE have carried out a total of 20,138 home visits to beneficiary households. SCORE has actively engaged 18,412 beneficiary and non-beneficiary households from the same communities in dialogues and workshops aimed to strengthen their knowledge and skills in a wide range of areas, encompassing parenting and life skills, education, hygiene, sanitation, shelter, water.
SCORE has maintained close coordination with the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development (MGLSD), having a MGSLD permanent representative in the SCORE Technical Steering Committee and regularly involving MGSLD representatives in monitoring activities through SCORE Zonal Meetings. In addition, partnerships and coordination with other projects implemented by USAID and other actors in the area have helped to make the most or resources, minimizing duplication and overlapping efforts.