U.S. celebrates 5 years of caring for orphans and vulnerable children and empowering young people through USAID Kizazi Kipya

Dar es Salaam – Today, representatives from the United States Government and the Government of Tanzania participated in a conference to celebrate achievements of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Kizazi Kipya (“New Generation”) activity. Participants discussed opportunities to further improve care for orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) and effective approaches to empowering young people. Dr. Grace Maghembe, the Deputy Permanent Secretary for PORALG was the guest of honor.

The estimated number of OVCs in Tanzania is 3.2 million; and a quarter of all 5–14-year-olds are working, some in the worst forms of child labor. Family is the foremost protective asset for children, but the linked forces of poverty and disease undermine families’ ability to care for children. As a result, many children under five experience high rates of preventable illness, stunting, and other development delays.

The five-year $163.3 million Kizazi Kipya activity enabled Tanzanian OVCs, young people affected by HIV, and their caregivers to utilize age-appropriate HIV-related services and improved health, nutrition, education, protection, livelihoods, and psychosocial wellbeing services. The activity generated a sustainable demand for HIV services, reduced barriers to access and uptake of HIV services, and ensured tracking to reduce the number of people living with HIV who discontinue treatment. Over the last five years, Kizazi Kipya worked with the Government of Tanzania and local partners to support 1.2 million OVCs and approximately 470,000 caregivers to ensure that these youth received age-appropriate HIV-related service as well as services to improve their overall quality of life.

For example, through Kizazi Kipya, more than 12,200 savings and lending groups, namely WORTH Yetu, were created. To date, these groups have a cumulative savings of 26.6 billion Tanzanian shillings ($11.6 million). By accessing these savings, families were able to overcome the economic barriers that often preclude children from getting the basic services they need to lead healthy and positive lives.

Speaking at today’s event, USAID Mission Director V. Kate Somvongsiri remarked, “When children are healthy, well-nourished, educated, and supported by their caregivers and communities, they will have the necessary foundational skills to become productive young adults, well-positioned to pursue and achieve their aspirations. This is a priority for the governments of both Tanzania and the United States.”