The purpose of the project is to increase family resilience and self-recovery ability of orphans and vulnerable children, and of people living with HIV. The objectives by which this purpose can be met are meeting the affected people’s basic needs and minimizing future hazards, as well as increasing the capacity of the Eritrean Red Cross and its volunteers. The approach intends to make the families self-supporting through income that enables them to pay for and access community based support services. In Eritrea the national adult (15-49) HIV prevalence is estimated to be 1.33 % and an estimated 370 000 people live with HIV. Among young and unmarried people (especially in urban areas) the HIV prevalence is around 5- 10 %. Inadequate information and education on sex and reproductive health among young people, especially girls, is an important contributing factor to the HIV related vulnerability. Out of 105 000 orphans and vulnerable children, 40 000 are a result of HIV/AIDS. Stigmatisation and discrimination of persons living with HIV directly affect the wellbeing of children affected by HIV. The target areas are: Galanafhi Sub Zoba (Zoba Maekel), Massawa Sub Zoba and Ginda Sub Zoba (Northern Red Sea), Assab Sub Zoba and Arata Sub Zoba (Southern Red Sea).The choice of these areas was based on the number and vulnerability of orphans and vulnerable children in these areas. The poverty in rural areas has lead to increased movement of many young people searching for employment opportunities. This population movement has triggered sex work among young girls.
The existing peer education (training peer educators and setting up peer clubs) will be used in order to increase HIV prevention knowledge and skills among young people. Furthermore, the target groups will be provided with both scholastic and psychosocial support, the families will be supported through home based care (nursing care), advocacy for prevention of mother to child transmission, as well as income generating activities and life skills, and food security training, young people will be given vocational skills training.
Collaborating partners: The Netherlands Red Cross will be involved in providing financial support, as well as technical and monitoring support, while The Red Cross Society of Eritrea will collaborate with government ministries, and other stakeholders to build family and community response capacity to address stigma and discrimination. The beneficiaries of this project are children who themselves or their parents have been affected by HIV/ Aids. The peer education and community approach will indirectly benefit the entire communities.