President's Corner

March 29 , 2010

Results that Matter!

As I indicated last month, Africare is walking the talk on country ownership. Our experience demonstrates that using and investing in building local capacity empowers villages to improve their own lives and climb out of poverty.  Using local expertise and volunteers rather than outside experts helps make our support realistic and provides feedback for designing better programs in the future, as well as demonstrates to the local volunteers that they can really make a difference. Below are just a few examples of the work we are doing at Africare, of our approach and the kind of concrete results we are achieving on the ground. 



Africare has taken a comprehensive, community based approach to improving agricultural yields, post-harvest management and nutrition. 

Guinea- Conakry                                                                                             
In Guinea, this approach has helped lead to a 20% reduction in the number of children who are underweight in over 75 districts

Burkina Faso
It has led to a nearly 25% reduction in over 100 villages in Burkina Faso by almost doubling the availability of food.

In over 100 communities where we are working,  post-harvest losses fell by over 30% and food availability increased by 40%, resulting in a 7% reduction in the stunting of children between the ages of 2 and 6; and a 6% reduction in the percentage of children under age 3 who are underweight. 

Africare’s support for oilseed production and processing in 4 districts of Mozambique, more than doubled farmer incomes and reduced stunting of children under the age of 6 by 60%.


Our health initiatives follow the guiding principle of strengthening local capacity by working hand-in hand with communities to address their most critical health challenges.

Africare has helped Benin combat malaria which is a leading cause of sickness and death among children under five.  By training women’s groups to prevent and treat malaria within their communities and providing bednets, treatment of pregnant women and prompt treatment of children, the number of children under-5 dying of complicated malaria fell by half.

By providing block grants as part of our Community-based Orphan Care, Protection and Empowerment project (COPE), orphaned girls’ enrollment increased from 72% to 96%. In addition, orphaned boys’ enrollment rose from 80% to 97%.

Africare has worked with thousands of at-risk young women in Abuja, including commercial sex workers, to prevent and combat sexually transmitted diseases.  By increasing testing by 55%, symptomatic STD patients seeking treatment more than doubled and multiple sex partners fell by 33%.

These kind of results also have had an impact well beyond these innovative small-scale pilot projects.  They are being scaled up by others, including African governments themselves.  For example, our approach to delivering services to orphans, vulnerable children and their care givers and our success in Tanzania helped the Government of Tanzania develop its National Quality Improvement Guidelines for Provision of Care and Support Services to Orphans and Most Vulnerable Children (MVC), which is now used nationally to standardize the service delivery package for MVC.  Africare’s success in Uganda with its community integrated management of childhood illness was recognized as a model for child survival strategies for the whole country. 

We have a lot of work to do to help eliminate poverty in Africa but we also have a lot of success to build on and be proud of, including the fantastic recent recognition of our work by President Obama. Next month I will feature Africare’s efforts in combating malaria.

Until then friends, Pass it On!


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