WEMIHS is grateful to the Stephen Lewis Foundation for the partnership opportunity that has made it possible for us to implement the unique Grandmother Resilience and Nurturing Initiative (GRANI). Through progressive work from GRANI phase I and II, WEMIHS has continued to restructure her OVC care and support programs focused on reducing the negative impact of HIV/AIDS and poverty on most vulnerable households and particularly on the overwhelming burden of care and support among aged grandmothers living in abject poverty.
Phase III of the GRANI project highlighted the critical need to protect vulnerable children from abuse with special focus on sexual abuse among orphans and vulnerable adolescent girls. Further sharing with stakeholders indicated great concern for the numerous gaps at various levels (community, institutions of service delivery and policy program) all impeding children access to protection.
Phase IV is based on WEMIHS’ deep concern that a large population of orphans and vulnerable children from households most affected by disease and poverty, many in loss and grief of parents and under the care of poor grandmothers continue to suffer from sexual and emotional violence; a situation that further complicates their daily struggle for survival. Girls in particular are most affected and have limited access to justice mainly due to the complicated and non-child friendly legal systems and non-gender responsive cultural practices.
This project’s goal is to improve quality of life for children through demonstrated government commitment to implement policies and programs protecting children from all forms of abuse.
The National Survey (2010) confirmed the prevalence of child sexual abuse thus highlighting a critical need for collaborative action on child protection as proposed by WEMIHS’ phase IV which is the Watoto Wetu project. This project’s goal is to improve quality of life for children through demonstrated government commitment to implement policies and programs protecting children from all forms of abuse.