Service: Technical Assistance
Expertise: Life Skills Training, Microfinance and Livelihoods Development, Sustainable Agriculture/Food Security, HIV and AIDS
Since 2008, Bantwana has been implementing the Bantwana Schools Integrated Program (BSIP) in partnership with local NGOs, government technical line ministries, schools, and communities. BSIP delivers high quality, integrated, comprehensive support services to thousands of children orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS in the Lubombo Region of Swaziland. BSIP will reach approximately 18,000 students in 2013.
Children need access to a range of integrated services to thrive; BSIP works with schools as points of intervention for delivery of a full range of essential, comprehensive services, with a special focus on adolescents. These comprehensive services include nutrition, basic health care, psychosocial support, education, economic strengthening, HIV prevention, and child protection.
Bantwana launched BSIP in ten schools in 2008 with funding from a consortium of donors. As a result of its success, BSIP has been scaled up with additional funding to all 34 secondary schools in Lubombo region. Current funding of BSIP will come to an end by 2015, but Bantwana continues to actively identify other streams to continue this important work, with the goal of ultimately scaling up the model nationally.
BSIP has achieved significant community engagement by empowering teachers, principals, school committee members, community health outreach volunteers, local and traditional leaders, government officials, and children themselves with high quality, ongoing support and capacity building. In particular, BSIP’s work with school committees has created a crucial platform for sustained support of vulnerable children in the region.
- BSIP’s service package addresses the physical, emotional, academic, and social well-being of children.
- School income generating activities and student businesses have resulted in projects for and by adolescents, as well as by school committee members and teachers, to raise funds for OVC needs.
- Permaculture gardens established in all 34 BSIP secondary schools, as well as in vulnerable households, improve child and household nutrition and income generation.
- The school health outreach program has brought primary health care and counseling services to many students for the first time in their school careers.
- BSIP’s education interventions support schools with scholastic grants to procure pedagogical equipment.
- Protecting Our Youth clubs established in 15 BSIP schools provide youth with adolescent sexual and reproductive health information through peer-to-peer approaches.
- Corner libraries set up in schools boost students’ reading and writing skills, and some schools have supported teachers to conduct extra learning sessions.