ECD kinazi 500On November 24 2016, USAID/Twiyubake program staff visited Kinazi early childhood development (ECD) center.

The visit highlighted the collaboration between Kinazi Sector, Global Communities and the Rwanda Partner Organization Duhamic Adri in implementing USAID/Twiyubake ECD program and community youth clubs in the sector.

The visiting team was composed of Kinazi Sector Executive Secretary Vital Migabo, Duhamic Adri Executive Secretary Innocent Benineza, Technical Advisor Janvier Ugeziwe, and Program Manager Verene Nyirabalinda, and Global Communities Program Manager Abilene Seguin and Chief of Party Dr. Samson Radeny.

The below story is reported verbatim following an interview with one of the program beneficiaries. For the sake of confidentiality, fictitious names have been used and photos of the beneficiary cannot be provided.

My name is Drocella, and I come from Kigarama village, Mugobore cell, Simbi sector, Huye district. I am married and have two children. Since March 2016, I have been a Case Management Volunteer (CMV) in the USAID/Twiyubake program.

I used to be on ARV treatment, but interrupted the treatment because I heard false rumors spread about these drugs, which caused me to believe they were harmful to me. And overall, I had not accepted the fact that I had the disease. I felt depressed and I isolated myself from the outside world. I soon lost weight and became seriously sick. I had different opportunistic infections including cachexia. I could not perform my daily activities anymore and felt as if I would die very soon.

I was angry with my husband, blaming him that he had infected me with HIV as he announced one year after we got married that he was HIV positive. That was twelve years ago.

Once our household enrolled into the USAID/Twiyubake program, a CMV trained on referrals and linkages counselled me. She kept telling me that I needed to accept the condition and care for my children and family. She accompanied me to the nearest health center. Before, I used to go to a health center far away from my village as I was afraid that people in my village might find out about my HIV status. A nurse counselled me and put me on ART treatment, and I began to feel better.

kitchen gardenKalisa Innocent is 57 years old. He is married and has 6 children. He is one of the USAID/Twiyubake male champions.

A USAID/Twiyubake male champion is a man who is a role model for other men in the community. He sensitizes and mobilizes men on gender issues, child protection, and positive parenting in different USAID/Twiyibake groups such as savings groups, parenting groups, and any other opportunities where people gather together such as schools and in the community. He also encourages men to attend the parents evening forum.

Kalisa benefitted from trainings on positive masculinity and the construction of kitchen gardens. In addition, he has been appointed to be a Case Management Volunteer and follows-up 10 beneficiary households on a bi-weekly basis.

Twice a month, he visits a household and coaches couples where there is conflict. “I approach them and discuss the role of men in fighting gender based violence. To get best results, I need to build trust. When men understand their role in their partnership with their spouses they easily accept it”, he explained.

CMV 7A Case Management Volunteer is a USAID/Twiyubake Community Based Volunteer (CMV) who is following up 10 households enrolled into the program.

The guidelines on the case management approach were presented on November 21, 2016 to USAID/Twiyubake M&E Officers and Technical Advisors of AEE, EPR, YWCA, Caritas and FXB.

A CMV creates a care plan for each household and pursues it through bi-weekly home visits until key vulnerability issues are addressed and the household members progress far enough to close the case. To reduce their vulnerability, trust and strong relationships between household members are key.

In addition, CMVs guide beneficiaries through behavior change communication messaging and link them to the required social, health, and protective services delivered by the program or existing services in the community aiming at improving the wellbeing and resilience of the household.

In case a household member requires the attention of a more professional provider, a referral will be made to services such as HIV testing and counselling, treatment of opportunistic infections, treatment of other health conditions, gender-based violence, financial services, education support, nutrition education and support – including rehabilitation for severe/acute malnutrition, family planning and other reproductive health services.

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