School Community Partnerships for a Better Tomorrow

The School Community Partnership Serving HIV/AIDS Affected Orphans and Vulnerable Children (SCOPSO) project, provides care and support for children in Ethiopia who have lost parents or otherwise been affected by the AIDS epidemic. See how SCOPSO has helped improve the lives of two of these children.

Related Resources

USAID Ethiopia: Education

USAID Ethiopia: Global Health Initiative

USAID Ethiopia: President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)

Video Transcript 
(00:22) World Learning has been working in Ethiopia since 1996. (00:35) With financial support from the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and… (00:40) …the United States Agency for International Development,… (00:43) …World Learning currently implements a school-led program model… (00:46) …to mitigate the impact of the AIDS epidemic on children and their families. (00:50) The school-community partnership serving HIV/AIDS affected… (00:53) …orphans and vulnerable children, also known as the SCOPSO project… (00:58) …focuses on developing the local capacity to improve the… (01:01) … overall well-being of children affected by HIV and AIDS. (01:04) The model engages teachers, communities, and the… (01:09) …child beneficiaries themselves in finding lasting, relevant solutions… (01:13) …to reduce critical barriers that often prevent these children from… (01:16) …enrolling in, attending and achieving in school. (01:21) (Tahir Gero) Our immediate focus is on the challenge… (01:23) …because we need to make sure that the child is going to school, … (01:26) …the child is attending regularly, and performing, you know, … (01:31) …similar to, you know, their peers. (01:31) We have 2,082 students in our school. (01:44) About 500 of them are orphaned. (01:46) Having lost a parent, and quite often both parents… (01:48) …these children live in very difficult circumstances. (01:52) The SCOPSO project directly supports 140 of the most vulnerable children at our school. (02:02) My mother died when I was very little. (02:04) I remember her only a little. She was tall and had dark skin. (02:08) When we observed Belete, we saw that he was really struggling. (02:10) He came from a very poor family and had no one to take care of him. (02:13) His behavior was unusual at times. For example, he would suddenly start to cry… (02:14) …or get up and leave the classroom during the lesson. (02:16) I used to not like going to school at all. (02:19) The other children were not nice to me before. (02:22) They would call me names, push me around… (02:24) …and sometimes even fight with me. (02:34) My mother is alive, but she does not live here with us. She lives in another country. (02:37) Since she does not call us, she does not know how I am getting along. (02:41) I remember that sometimes I would go to school hungry, without having any food. (02:44) But when I did not have books or a pen, I did not go to school. (02:47) I would not beg anyone. (02:48) I was afraid of what people would think, or say to me, if I did. (02:51) So I used to miss school very often. (02:54) There is a structure that we call (02:58) core group which identifies the children, (03:01) assess the specific needs of the children, (03:04) and plan, implement (03:08) and monitor and and and and continue the follow-up (03:11) on the I-30 process of improving the well-being of children… (03:15) …for better educational outcomes. (03:18) Belete would fail in school before. (03:20) Since he entered the program, he has improved a lot… (03:22) …and he passed to the second grade this year. (03:25) Now he can write well, and he can express himself both verbally and in writing. (03:28) When I was in the first grade, my teacher would spend time with me… (03:32) …advise me and check on how I was doing and how I was learning in class. (03:38) Now I do not interrupt anymore an di participate well in class. (03:46) Also when I am home, I am quiet and do not fight with anyone. (03:54) Before SCOPSO I used to come to school late, hungry, and did not get very good grades. (03:59) But now, my school grades are much better, and I score as well as the other students. (04:10) When I was in grade five last year, I would rank 21st in my class. (04:12) I am in grade six now and I am ranked 10th in my class. (04:15) Next year I want to compete… (04:17) …to be the best student in my class. (04:18) Schools have established various micro-enterprise models… (04:22) ...that help earn funds to provide basic support to those children… (04:26) ...who do not have other alternatives and would otherwise drop out. (04:29) We aim at building the capacity of schools... (04:33) ...to continue this program. (04:38) The project’s economic strengthening component reaches caregivers... (04:44) ...as well and focuses on improving household level income... (04:48) ...through transfer assets, such as domestic animals,… (04:50) ...tools, or small equipment and village savings & loans associations. (04:55) It is my grandmother who takes care of me. (04:57) The program helped her get loans. (05:00) With the money she borrowed, she started a trade and now she can make a profit. (05:06) She also learned about savings groups from my school. (05:09) We used to have problems, but since SCOPSO started she is also able to save money… (05:15) …and we have not had many problems. (05:20) Our program innovations also include child social and financial education… (05:23) …utilizing participatory child-centered methodology developed by Aflatoun. (05:29) It facilitates active engagement among the children so that… (05:32) …they can gain the important social and financial skills… (05:35) …they need to thrive as they grow up. (05:37) Our experience shows that with the appropriate support, … (05:41) ...local communities can take action on behalf of their children... (05:45) ...and create lasting and locally relevant solutions. (05:48) It also confirms that schools too have a role to play… (05:53) ...in the context of the AIDS epidemic. (05:54) It is fortunate that there’s one in just about every community... (05:59) ...in Ethiopia. (06:20) In the future, I want to finish school and become a pilot. (06:28) Since I want to find a cure for AIDS… (06:32) …I want to be a doctor.

Last updated: September 19, 2014

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