Zoë-Life: Creating lasting change for South Africa’s most vulnerable children, adolescents, and caregivers
Zoë-Life— an innovative South African capacity building and development organisation—has been a trusted partner of mothers2mothers (m2m) since 2016 and the Department of Health in South Africa since 2004. Through their nationally endorsed KidzAlive intervention, Zoë-Life trains and mentors healthcare workers and community partners to improve the quality of psychosocial care and HIV outcomes for vulnerable children and their caregivers.
m2m initially collaborated with Zoë-Life to rapidly scale up case-finding of children living with HIV in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. More recently, m2m selected Zoë-Life to be a sub-partner for their Children and Adolescents are My Priority (CHAMP) project in South Africa’s Mpumalanga Province, a five-year grant funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Now in its third year, the project provides case management services to approximately 48,000 orphaned and vulnerable children, adolescents, and caregivers in three resource-constrained districts—ultimately keeping their clients healthy, safe, schooled, and economically stable.
Under the CHAMP project, Zoë-Life has helped m2m to accomplish the following:
- Through evidenced-based training—and a creative virtual mentorship platform launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic—CHAMP’s frontline workers have ensured that more than 95% of their HIV-affected beneficiaries were tested, linked to lifesaving treatment, and retained in care.
- Together, Zoë-Life and CHAMP have enabled thousands of caregivers to talk openly about their HIV status and support their children living with HIV to understand and manage their diagnosis in an age-appropriate way.
- Through m2m’s participation in the scale up of the digital Kidzalive talk tool app, which includes provision of android tablets, social media, and a tested virtual format of KidzAlive, Zoë-Life and CHAMP are advancing new mechanisms for virtual case management and COVID-19 education for families during the pandemic.
- Zoë-Life has also adapted its previous adolescent curriculum, YouThrive, to create a bespoke version for the CHAMP project—YouThrive-safe. This has been launched to meet the needs of CHAMP’s vulnerable adolescent clients, and it prepares frontline workers reach ambitious targets as part of their expanded role under the DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe) partnership.