The Zambian Ministry of Community Development and Social Services (MCDSS) has officially launched the new Service Efficiency and Effectiveness for Vulnerable Children and Adolescents Initiative (SEEVCA) programme in 15 districts in Zambia, with the technical support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and made possible by $10 million from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
SEEVCA will address many factors contributing to the vulnerability of children and adolescents in Lusaka and Copperbelt Provinces, including household poverty, violence, family separation, lack of education, malnutrition, HIV infection, early pregnancy and child marriage.
“The situation of our children requires urgent attention and the need for basic care and support services,” said the Minister of Community Development and Social Services, the Hon. Emerine Kabanshi, MP.
The MCDSS-led initiative provides an opportunity to demonstrate the improved reach of services made possible by combining case management with social-protection programming to increase access to services for households caring for vulnerable children and adolescents.
Speaking at the launch, which took place on August 16, 2018 at Twatasha Primary School in Kitwe, UNICEF Zambia Representative Ms. Noala Skinner, said, “We hope this programme will lead to an impact that is worth far more together than the sum of the constituent parts – a multiplier effect. This will give families the best chance of breaking out of the cycle of poverty and exclusion, and contribute to preventing and addressing violence against children.”
The programme builds on USAID efforts to assist vulnerable children in Zambia, notably the Zambia Family programme, along with the Zambia Rising and Community Rising projects.
“SEEVCA will help to keep girls in school, reduce exposure to violence and family separation, improve food and security, and prevent HIV infection and child marriage, thus expanding opportunities for them to reach their full potential,” said USAID/Zambia Deputy Mission Director, Mr. Thomas Crubaugh.
The goal is for the Government to use SEEVCA support to enhance the capacity of existing structures and systems to provide ward-level case management, increase access to services, and strengthen household resilience. The project will help build knowledge and experience to lay the foundation for a wider roll-out of a comprehensive nationwide child and family welfare system.