Northern Education Initiative (NEI)

Dates

Start Date: 08/01/2009
End Date: 07/30/2013

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, and more than two-thirds of its population lives on less than $2/day. Inadequate health care and basic education often go hand-in-hand with high levels of poverty. Access to quality education and health services is declining. Nigerian authorities recognize the need to address low education, health, gender equity, and economic indicators and drop-out and repetition rates among students that exceed the national average in Bauchi and Sokoto states. The number of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), including boys leaving home, remains high in the north, and systems for identifying and supporting them are only beginning to develop. In partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria, USAID launched the Northern Education Initiative in 2009 to help local and state agencies to reinforce their role in delivering quality basic education services and to meet the needs of OVC. The Initiative aims to strengthen state and local government capacity to deliver basic education services by addressing key issues in the management, sustainability and oversight of basic education in two northern states of Bauchi and Sokoto. The Initiative also seeks to increase the access of OVC to basic education and services such as health information and counseling. Led by Creative Associates, the Initiative comprises three American organizations and two Nigerian partners. JHU?CCP leads the implementation of community mobilization activities as well as the implementation of OVC wrap-around component of the project. More specifically, JHUCCP: - Identifies, registers and refers OVC for education and health services - Carries out formative research to better understand the needs and barriers to care for OVC - Engages communities in decision-making through community coalitions and strengthens their capacity to hold their local schools accountable to community needs - Promotes the concept of "compassionate communities" to support OVC - Builds capacity of communities and caregivers to support OVC - Sensitizes communities through radio programs and outreach – on OVC's health status, their need for health care, as well as the importance of identifying and referring them to health and other support services - Develops special tools and curricula (including referral materials) based on OVC's special needs and distributes them to target schools and learning centers

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