Anglican Overseas Aid is honored to work in partnership with the Australian Government and nine other Australian non-government organisations to deliver a program in Africa that is saving lives and helping communities take control of their futures.
The latest annual report has been released for the Australia Africa Community Engagement Scheme (AACES), now in its second year. Through this scheme, Anglican Overseas Aid delivers The Road Less Travelled project with partners the Afar Pastoralist Development Association in Ethiopia, the Mothers’ Union of the Anglican Church of Kenya, the Nossal Institute for Global Health and Australian Volunteers International.
The AACES Annual Report 2012-2013 is now available on the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) website. It highlights the impressive achievements of the 10 Australian NGOs and their African partners in the program’s second year.
To read the summary or download the report, visit: http://aid.dfat.gov.au/Publications/Pages/aaces-annual-report.aspx
The Chair of the Program Steering Committee, Elly Barrett, said the report shows “how much has been achieved and learned in the second year of the program, and how the strengths of the communities and countries we are working with … have been drawn upon to improve our program work.”
This notion of drawing on community strengths is an essential element of The Road Less Travelled project, which uses a participatory strength-based approach to work with nomadic pastoralist communities to improve maternal and child health.
Phillip Walker, Anglican Overseas Aid’s Africa Program Advisor, said this approach encourages all members of a community to play an active role in realising their own development initiatives.
“If a community is to improve their existence and maintain that position, then the change must be driven from within. It must belong to them and reflect their desire for change,” he said. “Our approach might take longer to achieve results, but when it does happen, it sticks.”
In the year 2012-2013, AACES partners working throughout sub-Saharan Africa helped more people access vital health services, promoted community involvement in maternal and child health, strengthened government health systems, fostered positive social and behavioural change, and empowered women and people with disability to identify and demand their rights.
Overall, AACES reached more than 80,000 people through maternal and child health programs in 2012-2013, including:
- More than 10,000 babies delivered through clean and safe practices.
- More than 23,500 children received life-saving vaccines.
- 47,300 people living in remote areas had access to vital health services including family planning.
- Health systems were strengthened through the training of 897 community health workers, to provide basic care, deliver maternal and child health, and nutrition messages in marginalised communities.
Among the efforts highlighted in the AACES Annual Report were those of AOA’s project partner, the Afar Pastoralist Development Association. Working with government health personnel, they jointly delivered a vaccination program to more than 500 children of nomadic pastoralists in the remote Afar region of Ethiopia. They also instigated a supplementary food program to 1680 school children and trucked water to drought-stricken communities.
Anglican Overseas Aid is proud of the progress being made by The Road Less Travelled partners in Ethiopia and Kenya, and by the AACES program overall.
“The AACES program is a living partnership between the 10 NGOs and the Australian Government,” Walker said. “And it is having a real impact in African communities – actually saving people’s lives and giving them a future.”
Through their commitment to sharing best practices and leveraging their resources, organisations, governments and community groups are better equipped to work together in producing the best possible outcomes for mothers, children, and communities.
AACES is a five-year program (2011-2016) being delivered in 11 African countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The $90 million program funded by the Australian Government contributes to reducing poverty in Africa through community-based interventions in the key areas of maternal and child health, food security, and water and sanitation, with a particular focus on women, children and people living with disability.