This resource ‘Life Skills Education Toolkit for Orphans & Vulnerable Children in India’ is funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief through the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
This Life Skills Education (LSE) Toolkit takes a child participatory approach and deals with the “whole child” – feelings, beliefs, development needs – and equips children with life skills required to make safe choices and lead healthy lifestyles. This toolkit is unique in aiming to develop essential life skills to manage and cope with risk situations in HIV/AIDS and to cope with difficult circumstances related to care and support including loss. The child-friendly participatory approach uses active learning methods including games, role plays, debates, brainstorming, drama, storytelling, group learning, case studies and poster making.
With funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), under the IMPACT and YouthNet projects, Family Health International (FHI) has partnered with 37 local NGOs to reach out to 50,000 orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in India with HIV/AIDS prevention and care and support activities. All the partners were involved in different stages of the toolkit development and field-tested the LSE kit before finalization.
The children and NGO partners have provided important insights on inclusion of the most appropriate activities, the process of making the toolkit more user-friendly, and feedback on the positive responses seen in children undergoing LSE.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) through the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) and State AIDS Control Societies (SACS) has participated in various consultation workshops on the LSE toolkit. The participation has facilitated the effort to follow the national priorities in addressing the HIV/AIDS prevention and care and support needs of OVC. FHI is thankful to the Ministry and NACO for providing the valuable direction. The support of the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD) has been essential to ensure that the LSE toolkit is line with national policies and we are thankful to the Ministry for their endorsement and to all members of the National OVC Taskforce including UNICEF and the India HIV/AIDS Alliance for their review.
FHI appreciates the funding support from USAID for the LSE development process through to finalization, the support of NACO, SACS and MoWCD, and the tremendous input of energy, time and commitment from the NGO partners to the development of the LSE toolkit.