Programming for the Underserved
August 20, 2009 - 3:30 p.m.
|Presenters:||Kevin Willcutts, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Child Labor|
Tanya Gipson-Nahman, Peace Corps
Lynne Schaberg, USAID Bureau of Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian
|Moderator: ||Yolande Miller-Grandvaux, USAID Office of Education|
The underserved, including orphans, child soldiers, forced laborers, trafficked, and disabled children are frequently overlooked in programming. While the victims of trauma are increasing in most countries, their learning needs are not being addressed. Presenters gave perspectives of how their agencies provide effective programming for underserved children.
Kevin Willcutts, of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), presented the program, ‘Combating the Worst Forms of Child Labor’ which mandates a focus on child work issues by attempting to keep children out of unfavorable work circumstances. Education is used as a prevention method and non-formal education programs to bridge the gap between work and education environments. Targets are girls, street, migrant , at-risk and heads-of-household children.
Tanya Gipson-Nahman of the Peace Corps (PC) presented their mandate to work with the hardest to reach and the poorest of the poor, including disabled children. PC programs do not focus exclusively on vulnerable populations unless that need is specifically identified by the host government and local assessments. Peace Corps’ programs focus on vocational training, workforce development, training service providers, building awareness, and supporting communities.
Lynne Schaberg, of the USAID Bureau of Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA), Office of Displaced Children and Orphans Fund discussed how their program originally focused on HIV/AIDS children in Africa but broadened its mandate to work with all at-risk children, including orphans, displaced and disabled children, those affected by armed conflict, natural disasters, etc. They work with host governments to strengthen support systems (social services and networks), national police training, economic strengthening of families and communities, and social reintegration programs including education.
Key take away points emphasized the integration of activities with partners across all sectors to provide comprehensive coverage and the best use of resources, focusing on the cause of vulnerability rather than just on the children themselves, and the principle of ‘doing no harm’ to ensure that attention to vulnerable children does not exacerbate their situation in the long run. Presenters were firm on the opinion that programs using a large amount of resources in a short time to provide every service available for vulnerable children were harmful; rather programming in a holistic manner to build capacity, strengthen communities, and encouraging a supportive environment was more sustainable, valuable, and ‘normal’. The session encouraged insertion of programming efforts for vulnerable populations into regular programming.
To view the presentations, please click on link below:
USAID DOCHA, Schaberg :