Remarks for FACT’s 30th Anniversary
from USAID on
October 26th, 2017.
For 30 years of remarkable vision, innovation, and effectiveness here in Zimbabwe. Your organization has saved and improved countless lives. I salute you for your incredible work in the fight against HIV.
USAID has worked in partnership with FACT for over 10 years. During which we have seen the organization grow and become a critical pillar in the communities it serves. Originally, USAID collaborated with FACT through a sub-granting arrangement with Population Services International. Through this partnership, FACT reached over 430,000 people through HIV mobile testing in Manicaland and Mashonaland West. This initiative enabled communities to know their status and start treatment early. It promoted positive living in a hostile environment with high levels of stigma and discrimination.
Since then FACT has continued to develop as an organization. As many of you know USAID places a high value on working with local organizations in Zimbabwe and around the world. In our effort to work more closely with high quality non-governmental organizations, in 2013, with funding from USAID, World Education Incorporated provided technical support to improve FACT’s capacity. During this process FACT reviewed policies, developed standard operating procedures, a robust monitoring, evaluation and research system, and upgraded their financial systems. At the end of this two-year partnership FACT was able to attract direct USAID funding.
Most importantly, during this time over 50,000 vulnerable children and their families received services that mitigated the impact of HIV and AIDS. Including education support, child protection, psychosocial support, and economic strengthening activities. In addition, over 300 children who tested HIV positive were linked to treatment in their community.
After two years of capacity building, FACT qualified to be a prime recipient of USAID funding. They received an impressive $26 million over five years to implement the Children Tariro Programme supporting orphans and vulnerable children in Zimbabwe. I am proud to say that to date, FACT has reached 161,000 orphans and vulnerable children and their families with critical services including HIV and health interventions, child protection, and economic strengthening. This is all part of a strategy to build family resilience and help households better care for their children. Through the program, over 10,000 orphans and vulnerable children are receiving education subsidies. Over 80,000 beneficiaries have been linked to HIV testing and counselling. And 15,000 caregivers are participating in economic strengthening activities to increase household income.
USAID has supported FACT in contributing to national goals related to HIV, child protection, gender, and other social protection strategies. USAID has also supported FACT as part of the DREAMS initiative, reaching over 8,000 adolescent girls and young women with various services to reduce the risk of HIV infection, transforming the lives of the girls and their families.
Through the collective efforts of FACT, the Ministry of Health and Child Care, NGOs, and donors, we have seen extraordinary progress over the last 30 years. We have seen AIDS-related deaths fall precipitously. And we are now seeing a substantial reduction in new HIV infections. These incredible results can be attributed in part to FACT and their long-standing partnership with USAID.
So again, I wish to say to FACT — Makorokoto! USAID is proud of the work we have done together. We look forward to continuing our work to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030!