Sustainable Comprehensive Responses for Vulnerable Children and their Families (SCORE) project ended after seven years of activities in Uganda; the national closure event on the 20th March 2018 in Kampala was a great moment to reflect on the work done during these years together with development partners, policy makers, researchers, OVC (orphans and vulnerable children) practitioners and beneficiaries. 300 people participated in the event, where the key programme success, challenges and lessons has been presented.
SCORE project aimed to reduce vulnerability of more than 125,000 critically and moderately vulnerable children (VC) and their families in 35 districts. Overall, the project reached 34,779 households with a mix of activities including broadly: socio-economic strengthening, food security and nutrition, child protection and legal services and strengthening families to access critical services.
The 38,322,700 USD project was funded by USAID and implemented by AVSI Uganda together with an NGO consortium (which included CARE, TPO, FHI360 and others) 40 partners and 270 staff members.
As Massimo Zucca - on behalf of AVSI Uganda Country Representative John Makoha - said "The journey towards resilience was exciting. SCORE encouraged change in all actors. It offered a range of options, which tested people’s free will to grow. And seven years later, we see long lasting change and we hear real stories of people managing their future".
SCORE relevant outcomes
It brings joy to me to see people excited to exit a project because they are now able to send their children to school, they can afford nutrious meals, and they now live in happy homes.
- 1,615 Village Savings and Loan Association with 37,200 members have saved USD 3,889,055 and loaned USD 4,842,994. (Average savings USD 108)
- 5,349 youth (58% female) were enrolled into apprenticeship, and 63% are gainfully employed or own businesses following completion.
- household average income increased from USD 12 to USD 39
- unemployment reduced from 15% to 1%
Food security and nutrition
- consumption of a balanced diet (3 times a week) from 48% to 92%
- consumption of 3 meals a day from 57% to 99%
- 51.6% to 13.5% reduction in the incidence of malnutrition
Child protection and legal services
- child Labour reduced from 26% to 4%
- child abuse reduced from 38% to 6%
- drug abuse reduced from 7% to 2%
- knowledge of where to seek legal support increased from 78% to 99%
Family strengthening and access to critical services
- households without latrine reduced from 21% to 5%
- children enrolled in school increased from 76% to 86%
- absenteeism from school reduced from 44% to 9%
Reducing HIV incidence among adolescent girls and young women 10-24
- SCORE worked with 6,000 girls under the DREAMS (Determined Resilient AIDS-free Mentored and Safe Adolescent Girls and Young Women) activity. The project assisted the teenage girls with the formation of savings groups, provision of financial literacy, psychosocial support, life skills and parenting training.
In his speech Giampaolo Silvestri, AVSI general segretary explained why SCORE project has represented a crucial experience for AVSI: "it embodied on a uniquely large scale the AVSI experience and method, projecting it to a new level, responding to the challenges of the changed development context".
Among the speakers also Florence Kiyingi - Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs - and Colette Marcellin - Deputy Head of Mission, US Embassy in Uganda.
I am aware of the achievements the SCORE project has made in the lives of deprived people in Uganda - more than 125,000 individuals are now living a better life out of USAID-funded SCORE project: I particularly thank the US Government for their generosity towards Uganda.
SCORE just demonstrated that resilience can indeed be achieved by the poorest and most vulnerable households. I thank AVSI together with its consortium partners and local economic partners for making change in the lives of children in more than 34,000 families.