What we do
KVI’s intervention areas focus on the following main programs:
Family and Community Empowerment
This program is meant for economic strengthening of families with women empowerment in focus towards holistic self-sufficiency and economic independence. Women who are economically poor come together in a group of 15 or 20 as self help groups (SHG) to do small business for income generating ,saving and investment. Hundreds of thousands of women are being transformed in such programs in Ethiopia. The program is successful also in the country. KVI has also over 1500 women in this program and many of them are becoming self sufficient through their income generating programs. Investing little seed money for each group lead to miracle in the lives of many so that it may contribute to poverty reduction, self-sufficiency, educational access of their children, and more.
The following picture shows a group of women who have been amazingly impacted by our empowerment project through the spice grinding machine in Wolaita, Southern Ethiopia. The women started saving from 50 cents to more than millions today. KVI is thankful to a Canadian mothers who have supported this project for over five years.
Alternative Child Care Services (Child Sponsorship, kinship services, reunification, reintegration, foster care, adoption)
Child Sponsorship/Kinship service: This program is meant for supporting the effort of guardians and relatives of orphaned and vulnerable children so as to enable then to go to school and provide basic needs such as food, cloth, medical treatment, psycho-social, and provision of educational materials. There are 5.4 million children who need help in Ethiopia and of which the majority are highly vulnerable and need support to fulfill their basic needs.
We propose 30 USD per child per month to cover these needs including running cost. Sponsors can be group, institutions or individuals who are willing to sponsor a child or children towards fulfilling their dreams in life. Sponsors will have updates on where there money goes and how the sponsored child is doing. Twice a year, there will be correspondence between the sponsor and the child/ren on overall status of the child. This communication will be handled fully by the organization to avoid confusion and clarify accountability. This program involves those children who live with their guardians, relatives and extended families.
Moreover, KVI has also supporting schools with capacity building and creating a better teaching-learning environment that includes providing various support. The following picture shows one of the schools KVI has successfully supported and completed its project in Southern Ethiopia.
Reunification and reintegration:
The Ethiopian government estimates that there are about 150,000 children live in the street and around 80,000 of them are in Addis.
Extreme poverty, inability of parents to provide the needs of their children, family disintegration, hostile home environments and the effect of HIV/AIDS are among the major reasons for the children to end up in the street. Many of these children are sadly left without the protection and care of their extended family members and forced to the street as their only option for survival.
Practices and experience show that some of the street children are reunified; some others are able reintegrated while still others are non-traceable and need other options.
In order to improve the lives of children on the street, KVI will play its own role. Those children who face life difficulties on the street will be admitted to a temporary transitional home where they are rehabilitated. After the rehabilitation period when preparation for permanency is completed between three to six months, those who have parents and relatives will be reunified with their parents or extended families after the assessment and empowerment is done. The reunification shall be based on the willingness of both sides. Those children who are older than 15 yrs old and those who may not end up being reunified with their parents will join group home where between six and eight children may live together for vocational training. After they complete their education and training, there will be a job creation to be facilitated by the organization so that they may be self sufficient. When reunification and reintegration is impossible due to some reasons, placing those children into foster care and domestic adoption will be possible options. For the last ten years, KVI has reunified over 500 children so far who had admitted to its institutions in Addis Ababa, Debrezeit, Adama, Wolaia, Durame and Dawro homes.
Foster Care Program:
This program includes those orphaned and abandoned children who are either unable to live with their parents or those who do not have parents or extended families to live with. Such children need substitute families who are willing to care, love and provide for the needs of the children. KVI does not accept the idea of keeping children in the institutions even if it has institutions where it uses them as transitional and temporary home to rehabilitate and prepare children for permanency and family based options. WE use a foster-to-adopt approach to place children into trained and well organized families thereby domestic adoption will be followed for the permanency, well-being and protection of the right of the children who are placed into foster families. KVI is of the pioneer organization to implement foster care the very first time in Ethiopia. We have placed over 200 children in Ethiopia out of our institutions since 2010 in collaboration with concerned government and non-government partners.The number increases significantly. More than half of the foster families have adopted the children they fostered. This approach has helped us expand both foster care and domestic adoption at the same time. KVI has conducted training and technical capacity building to all officers and program facilitators in 10 sub cities, and in 117 woredas in Addis Ababa after completing its five year pilot project successfully implemented in Adama town for the first time in Ethiopian History. As a result of de-institutionalization process in the orphanage center in Adama town, KVI was able to de-institutionalize the entire home by placing all the children in the orphanage into families in the community. KVI performed the same approach in six different centers in Ethiopia. This program was started in Adama/Nazareth town and then it expanded to all regions of the country through other organizations and government bodies.
Currently, Addis Ababa is one of the leading locations in terms of foster care and domestic adoption placements where over 200 children have been fostered and then half of these children have been adopted by their foster parents. The director of KVI , Dr. Eyob, is well remembered that he had prophesied five years ago that this program would influence as far as the Prime Minister’s office one day in the future. Accordingly, we are so proud that recently our PM HE Dr. Abyi Ahmed has adopted one child with the first lady (his wife) HE Zinash Tayachew followed by Ethiopian Ambassador to the US, Ato Fitsum Arega who did the same heroic job of rescuing orphans.
The following picture shows the placement of 31 children from our orphanage center in Wolaita where KVI home there was fully de-institutionalized.
As an extension of foster care services, most families are interested in adopting locally as their bonding and attachment is strong with the foster children. There are also families who directly visit our homes and apply for adoption domestically. If the parents of the children who need parental care are alive and capable of being empowered, we believe that they need to be involved in empowerment programs. Then foster care and domestic adoption should be followed.
Currently, our focus has significantly shifted from any institutionalized care to community-based childcare services such as family strengthening, child sponsorship, capacity building in the community, women empowerment, and rehabilitation of children in temporary homes until he/she is placed in family setting or start living independently depending on the age of the child. We strongly advocate that ALL CHILDREN NEED PARENTAL CARE; NOT INSTITUTIONAL CARE.
KVI has fully de-institutionalized all its six homes in the country. We have placed all the children into families within the community thorough family-based, community-based options. Currently, we have only one children’s home where those children who are unable to be matched with any potential family. We are strongly working to move on to group home system where the children may be raised in a family environment better than institutional system. In the group home, there will be eight to 10 children max where they will live with a permanent mother who takes full care of them. KVI has got three group homes currently: one girls home, two boys’ home. So, we are going to have the forth home as a better option for in the institutionalized children currently. All the children receive full services in the group home where they will be transitioned. We have nurses, volunteer doctors, psychologists, social workers, caregivers, cook, and other supporting staff members in a well-organized manner to provide holistic services to the children.
KVI home transitioning kids in Addis center, 2018
Integrated program: KVI integrates its program with one another so that we may be successful in a holistic way. Our entire programs are to be integrated towards overall success. The following program are meat for integrating our other programs we have already implementing.
Children with Disability
KVI does not discriminate among children when it serves. Some of the children whom we serve are disable ones. We have rich experience of taking care of deaf children, and children with physical and mental disability. We have been able to serve over 20 disabled children so far and would like to do more when we have more resources as we know that it costs a lot to work with such group. However, the love they reveal and the skill they develop and the thankfulness they show touches every body’s heart.
There are so many children in Ethiopia who have never been to school even if their age is due for school. Alternative basic education is the right option for children who may not be in a position to attend with younger children who have already overtaken them. We partner with some international donors to work in areas where we have other programs. We value the approach of integrating programs so that we may not ignore such beneficiaries along the way. Those families who are unable to send their children because of poverty will be assisted through capacity building programs. We provide school materials, community based non-formal schools where the older children who have never been to school will use the curriculum designed by the government to enable them to qualify from grade 1 to grade 4 in one year time so that they will join grade 4 after intensive classes they attend within a year. This is a new approach for KVI to implement this way but we will use our experiences in the area and address about 10,000 children by 2020.
WASH refers to Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene. We believe that the children and families we serve need clear water and their environment to be safe in terms of hygiene and sanitation. We have developed one spring to provide clean water to the areas in southern part of the country. Recently, KVI completed a pilot project with an a Canadian donor to intervene in water, sanitation and hygiene in our Wolaita project area. We have been able to prodive clean water to over 2000 people in the locality. There is still high need for the provision of clean water in Ethiopia. When we have more resources and opportunity, we are open to work together to ensure holistic services to children and families in the out community as part of the country’s transformation.
HIV/AIDS program is believed to be part of our integrated program. We are always ready to serve HIV/AIDS affected and infected children and families. We consider this service in all our programs so that we have room to incorporate HIV issues in our operational areas such as alternative child care services, education and child sponsorship. We have served over 100 children and families in the area of care, support, treatment and prevention so far. When we have new opportunity, we would love to work together.