USAID 4TheChild, a USAID-funded program in western Kenya, has signed a five year partnership with the Kenya Post Office Savings Bank to improve the lives of about 152,000 children, adolescents, and young women in western Kenya. The program will particularly target those in households affected by HIV/AIDS in the five targeted counties of Kisumu, Siaya, Bungoma, Kakamega and Busia.

The program, which is ran by the Moi University College of Health Sciences (MUCHS) and other agencies, will work to improve the wellbeing of the children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. This is by ensuring that the children under their care can gain access to quality county-led social services including health, nutrition, education, legal protection, and psychological support.

Speaking at the signing of the partnership agreement in Kisumu, Post Bank Managing Director, Raphael Lekolool stated, “On our part, as Postbank, we will offer the OVC caregivers good financial services and training and ensure that the savings program that they wish to undertake comes to fruition.”

Make Me Smile Kenya, a non-profit organization in Kisumu County working with adolescent girls and young women is part of the implementing team. According to the organization’s Managing Director, Simeon Peter, the partnership will further support 34,000 girls and women in Kisumu County targeted under the Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe (DREAMS) program.

“Economic disparity related to gender inequality is an ongoing and complex driver of HIV. This partnership will provide life skills to strengthen their self-efficacy and decision-making power and deter them from early, unintended pregnancies and HIV/AIDS,” noted Peter.