•Acting Chief of Party of the USAID-funded project, Kenneth Otieno, said OVC stakeholders were coming together to protect, invest in, and improve the health and education of children, adolescents, and young women.
• Postbank Managing Director said the bank will offer them financial services and training to mobilize savings for developing themselves and their households.
A USAID-funded program in western Kenya has signed a five years partnership with Kenya Post Office Savings Bank to improve the lives of 152,000 children, adolescents, and young women in western Kenya.
The Acting Chief of Party for USAID 4TheChild program said they will particularly target those in households affected by HIV/AIDS in the five targeted counties of Kisumu, Siaya, Bungoma, Kakamega and Busia.
Speaking in Kisumu during the signing of the partnership, Kenneth noted that the program is run by Moi University College of Health Sciences (MUCHS), working with other implementing agencies in Kenya, to improve the wellbeing of the children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS.
The program, he noted, will ensure that the children under their care can gain access to quality county-led social services including health, nutrition, education, legal protection, and psychological support.
“USAID 4TheChild is mandated to facilitate quality health and social services to vulnerable populations,” Kenneth said. “This requires collaboration and partnerships with public and private sector players with a common interest.”
Post Bank Managing Director, Raphael Lekolool stated that the bank will provide financial literacy and savings services to caregivers of the OVC that will complement the efforts of the project and its partners to achieve its objectives.
Lekolool said the bank staff in the Western Region will offer the necessary financial education to the OVC families that will be directly linked to the program.
“On our part, as Postbank, we will offer the OVC caregivers good financial services and training and ensure that the savings program that they wish to undertake comes to fruition,” Lekolool said.
Make Me Smile Kenya, a non-profit organization in Kisumu County working with adolescent girls and young women is part of the implementing team.
The Make Me Smile Director Simeon Peter says the partnership will also support 34,000 girls and women in Kisumu County targeted under the Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe (DREAMS) program.
He noted that the two partners will, therefore, offer skills on savings to the adolescents and women under the five-year project.
“Economic disparity related to gender inequality is an ongoing and complex driver of HIV,” Simon Peter said. “This partnership will provide life skills to strengthen their self-efficacy and decision-making power and deter them from early, unintended pregnancies and HIV/AIDS.”