Increase number of adolescents and youth receiving package of EB socio-economic interventions;
Improve wellbeing of the households of vulnerable adolescents and youth by increasing their ability to better prevent and cope with shocks (social, health, and economic) and mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on the family;
Advocate and mobilize community support & resources to increase access to information, networks, and new technologies that build linkages to professional and community networks and reduce social exclusion.
The AFSA Bridge project aims to refer beneficiaries enrolled in the programme to services which benefit them. Local stakeholders include local clinics, CBOs, faith based organisations, government departments, Inanda, Ntuzuma and Kwa Mashu Business forums, recruitment agencies as well as local leadership such as ward councillors and traditional authorities.
The Bridge Project currently operates in Inanda, Ntuzuma, and KwaMashu in eThewini, South Africa. Beneficiaries of the Bridge project are between 10 – 20 years old and fall into at least one of the following subpopulations:
Single Orphan, Double Orphan, Children Living with HIV, youth living with HIV+ caregivers, Children of key populations, youth exposed to GBV and most vulnerable AGYW.
Programme Components: The project aims to retain and give services to all the beneficiaries enrolled into the program. Services include ART adherence support, referral for family planning, PrEP, VMMC, GBV, saving and budgeting and homework support. Service provision is separated into 2 components, namely:
The health component
The Economic strengthening component
The Health Component – 95.95.95. The first 95 seeks to determine how many enrolled beneficiaries are between 15 – 19 years of age and further how many are aware of their HIV status. The aim is to ensure 100% known status.
The second 95 seeks to encourage beneficiaries to join in on sessions for support. HIV- beneficiaries join in Vhusthilo 2 sessions designed to educate and provide tools for safe sex. HIV+ beneficiaries attend Vhusthilo 3 sessions, which include ART adherence and Disclosure support groups. These are implemented in local clinics and community-based organisations for peer support and adherence as well as treatment literacy education.
The third 95 covers the implementation of home visits which are conducted to ensure that beneficiaries are adhering to treatment, and to monitor viral load to confirm treatment response.
The Economic strengthening component – Financial Capability, Supporting access to tertiary education, Entrepreneurship, Employability
The financial capability intervention encourages behaviour change in beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are equipped with information and tools to understand the importance of saving, having a saving goal and the importance of opening of bank accounts. Supporting access to tertiary education is an important intervention for the youth of the INK area, it addresses concerns which many beneficiaries and their parents have about tertiary education. The opinion that a lot of matriculants have a little to no knowledge tertiary education is one that is a reality for beneficiaries of The Bride Project.
This intervention has been the most encouraged as the Bridge Project believes every one of its beneficiaries have these things in common: The desperate need to improve their standard of living, the love for making an income of your own, the desire to change things positively for your family and lastly the desire to see yourself make it in life and this is why this intervention has proven very popular among all the age groups we serve, it encourages young entrepreneurs to think beyond the chains that bind them, it also allows budding entrepreneurs to think creatively and to dream and actively work towards realizing those dreams. The project monitors 10 businesses that exist in the program, covering: catering, sewing, a car wash, hair dressing, grass cutting, a tuck shop, selling of traditional hats, poultry business, farming and beadwork. The employability intervention focuses on sharing information about employment opportunities, CV writing and job interview skills.
Grantees for Years 1 and 2 are situated in the uMsunduzi, Chatsworth, Mhlathuze, Hammarsdale and Kwanyuswa sub-districts, as well as the Umkhanyakude, UMgungundlovu, and Harry Gwala Districts in KwaZulu Natal; the Sarah Baartman, and the Mabhashe sub-district and Buffalo City Metropolitan district in the Eastern Cape; and the Nkomazi sub-district, and Ehlanzeni District in Mpumalanga. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic funding will not be granted in Mpumalanga province for Year 2.