With support from PEPFAR/USAID, FACT Zimbabwe is implementing Sustaining Prevention, increasing Access to Care and Empowerment for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (SPACE for OVC) to help communities and local institutions provide a comprehensive set of services to improve the health, schooling, safety and stability of HIV-affected and infected children as well as other vulnerable children and their caregivers.

To ensure efficiency and sustainability in OVC programming across the clusters, Technical Working Groups (TWG) were formed on various cross-cutting issues at the cocreation and each OVC Implementing partner was assigned to lead each of the TWG.

The TWGs include Climate Resilience TWG, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support TWG, Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce, Child Safeguarding TWG, Private Sector Engagement TWG, Human Resources for Health and the OVC, Adolescents and Paediatrics Leadership and Coordination TWG which co-ordinates the other TWGs.

From June 14 to June 16, 2023, FACT Zimbabwe and its sub-partners convened the first Leadership and Coordination TWG meeting with OVC implementing partners such as Bantwana Zimbabwe, Mavambo Orphan Care and HOSPAZ.

The meeting, which also included a look-and-learn visit to SPACE for OVC implementing districts Chiredzi and Gutu was attended by government ministries and other partners that included the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Recreation, National AIDS Council of Zimbabwe, District Development Coordinators, JF Kapnek Trust, ZHI, CesHHAR and Zvandiri.

The various TWGs shared updates on progress made so far since the cocreation and insights on how partners can ensure efficiency and sustainability.

Key Highlights of the TWG and Look & Learn Visit

  • USAID embraced the work TWGs, and Task forces are doing and appreciated the collaboration among partners to ensure OVC, adolescents and Paediatrics infected or affected by HIV are served.
  • Government ministries, departments and other partners in the districts visited (Gutu and Chiredzi) shared their experiences with SPACE for OVC, showing that there is good collaboration between them, and the program and they appreciated FACT and partners for complementing the government in serving vulnerable children and their families.
  • During the Look and Learn visit, partners had the chance to interact with project participants and community cadres who shared their stories of change.
  • Other OVC partners applauded FACT for the great work being done in districts.
  • The house agreed to convene every twice a year for the Leadership and Coordination TWG meeting and Bantwana will be hosting the next TWG meeting. Partners agreed to maintain the look-and-learn activity as it adds value to the TWG meeting.