Many children affected by- or infected with- HIV/AIDS lack access to a complete and safe education. Education is vital for children’s physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. It helps children gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to achieve their potential and secure their future. Schools can provide children with a safe, structured environment, adult supervision and emotional support, and opportunities to interact with other children and develop social networks. Quality education can significantly improve the well-being of orphans and vulnerable children and families. Education plays an essential role in protecting vulnerable children from HIV infection by providing students with opportunities to develop age-appropriate, gender-sensitive life skills and to learn about sexual education, including HIV prevention strategies. There is, therefore, need to continue providing education to OVCs.
Community-based prevention and research programs to improve health, lower costs and strengthen the local economy in all areas including HIV and malaria.
Benefits from some of the current anti-poverty interventions in the social development sectors like health, education, water and sanitation have not equitably benefited the poor (such as the OVC, elderly, chronically ill, persons with disabilities particularly those with multiple disabilities) and communities as much as they have done to those who are relatively better off.
There is some level of political will in building the social protection sector as one of the avenues for reducing chronic poverty; social protection plans are provided for in the national development and the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development is currently implementing ESP program under which two social assistance grants are being piloted (e.g. senior citizens grant and vulnerable families support grant), and the social protection policy is being developed. However social protection is still unclear to a number of Ugandans and their high levels of uncertainty among Ugandans as to whether Uganda can sustain the social protection initiatives. COTFONE is one of the champions of the social protection agenda in Uganda, with a clear understanding of its correlation with chronic poverty.
Partnership development is key for COTFONE since the problems it is trying to address are too huge to be handled by a single organisation. COTFONE is already working with many partners but also observes that for effective partnership management, various skills and practices are crucial. Some of these are not available within COTFONE. Hence, COTFONE seeks access to these skills either by developing them within the organization or acquiring them in partnerships and by increasing its network.