PROGRAMME OPERATIONAL AREAS.
ECHDP work is implemented within its 13 Work areas as captioned below:-
ECHDP realizes the importance of health. Health has several areas and the Organization strives to integrate these services as each one is important to be addressed. When people are healthy, there is high rate of productivity resulting to national development. WHO defines being healthy not only the absence of illness but the presence a condition in which an individual’s social, mental, physical, spiritual aspects are met. ECHDP operate in the following areas under its Health Programme:-
VCT, HIV/AIDS/TB/STI, Prevention, treatment, support and care:
Under this component, a robust Community HIV testing counseling is being utilized in order to reach out to all communities and leave no stone unturned. Testing is done first and counseling follows as long as one has consented to be tested. After which counseling is done most to those found with HIV. For those found negative, a brief message of encouraging them to ensure they take care and measures to ensure they do not contract the virus. Under HIV/AIDS, technical support, mentorship, trainings and direct material and financial support are provided. HIV/AIDS, TB and STI are epidemics that have hit Zambia for some time now. New infections taking place every day. Under its HIV aspect, ECHDP further works to reduce new infections provides care and support for the people infected with HIV/AIDS and encourages healthy seeking behaviours amongst the people living with HIV so that they can be responsible enough and avoid transmitting the infection to others who are HIV negative. This is done through Community sensitizations. TB is a commonest Opportunistic infection in people living with HIV, hence, most of the activities are integrated. In the area of TB, ECHDP provides assessment services, and also the use of community TB case finding though our staff and volunteers. Once one has been found with TB, they are referred for management to the nearest Health facility. STIs assessment is also done and once identified; the client is referred to a nearby health facility for management. Technical support is also offered to HIV/TB prevention and care support groups. Trainings targeting Health staff, Volunteers, Traditional Leaders, religious Leaders, Teachers and many others are incorporated in the trainings to ensure there is wider coverage and representation. The support network groups are also linked to other support systems. Promotion of HIV/AIDS workplace policy is also done through training of Company and organizations’ staff.
Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision/Early Infant Male Circumcision, Cervical cancer, Sexual and Reproductive Health.
Under this aspect, ECHDP mobilizes and carries out sensitizations in the communities in order to create demand for the above services. This is done in schools, churches, markets, bus stops and other public places. During such sensitizations, referrals are also made to service providers emphasizing the need for feedback as it is the only way to show that a referral is complete.IEC materials are also distributed to the community members.
This is an area where ECHDP works to promote hygiene, water and sanitation in the Communities and schools to improve the quality of life of the people. It does this by offering health talks and supporting WASHE activities. It supports infrastructure development and contributes materials towards taking the WASHE activities in schools and other public areas in the communities forward.
Behavioural Change and Communication.
ECHDP works in this area through sensitizations in the communities. The component integrates health issues like HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria and many other diseases. The component encourages ways that improves the quality of life through better health practices. Healthy- seeking behaviours are encouraged.
Community Mobilization and Community Health Systems Strengthening.
ECHDP through its staff mobilizes and strengthens community health systems by community members and Leaders on how they can be helpful and to take part in the health and feedback strengthening i.e assisting in facilitating referrals and being involved in health planning cycle.
Mother and Child Health
In order to reduce infant mortality rate and maternal deaths in line with the MDG number 4 and 5, the organization works with Community structures and neighbourhood health committees and Safe Motherhood Action Groups (SMAGS) to promote health facility delivery and better sexual and reproductive practices. Further, community members are encouraged to follow the post natal appointments in order to reduce child-related illnesses and deaths.
Nutrition is recognized to be a very important aspect of the Health project. Under this component, Community nutritional Assessment, counselling, support, education, referrals for nutritional support, food supplements are provided to people. First priority is given to children and adults infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, vulnerable people and the other members of the community who are malnourished.
Malaria stands to be the first killer amongst HIV/AIDS and other diseases. ECHDP conducts education in the communities and facilitate the use of insecticide treated mosquito nets. Much emphasis is put on children under five (5) years), pregnant women, the aged, the chronically ill people. Assessments as to whether community members use the nets given to them or not is done through the volunteers located in each zone. Continuous education and explanation of benefits of sleeping under treated mosquito nets continues to be done by the Organization as it is observed that about 30% of people do not use mosquito nets despite having them due to different reasons and myths about the nets.
AGRICULTURE/AGRIBUSINESS AND FOOD SECURITY.
In this programme, a number of activities take place. Training of farmers in sustainable agricultural methods, linking farmers to markets, training of farmers on diversification, orienting farmers on how to make agriculture a viable business. Farmers are also mobilized to form Farmers Support groups where empowerment of each other, accessing of seed loans and revolving benefits are shared. The groups further are connected to agricultural opportunities. Trainings on how to avoid exploitation from buyers is also conducted. This area is in line with MDG 1 which aims to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT
Under this programme, ECHDP carries activities. Early Childhood Care and Development is one of it and this programme facilitates and supports the education of children as doing this is the foundation for quality education in the nation. Infrastructure support, education materials support and many other activities are implemented and supported. Under this programme, education in general is supported by providing educational materials to schools especially Community schools and government schools that are lacking certain materials. Furthers, infrastructure is supported. Scholarships and sponsorships to secondary and college vulnerable pupils and students are provided. Referrals to other Organizations and Community support systems are being implemented. Another important aspect of education that ECHDP supports is Adult Literacy education through its Adult Education for Development (AED) Project. This is in order to give a chance to those adults that failed to realize their dreams of completing their education due to different circumstance beyond control to still pick up from where they left through GCE and Community Literacy Learning Programmes. By so doing, participation of citizens and especially women in national affairs is facilitated and enhanced. When the people in the nation are educated, the poverty levels reduce as education is empowerment as it unlocks a lot of closed opportunities as people can earn decent jobs, run business, agriculture, manage their environments, participate in decision making effectively.
CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Under this programme, ECHDP runs a Project called “Your environment matters’’ (YEM) which looks at ways of reducing environmental degradation and climate change mitigation. Under this project, Communities are being trained and sensitized about the effects of cutting down trees, burning substances that contribute to climate change. Tree planting has been encouraged and avoiding to burn litter anyhow. The project has targeted charcoal burners and tree-cutters as first priority by putting in place YEM peers who in turn teach others on the effects of climate change and environmental degradation. The people who engage in activities that contribute to climate change and environmental degradation are mobilized and trained in entrepreneurship, linked to financial institutions. ECHDP also provides loans so as to encourage people who cut trees, burn charcoal and other people who engage in merchandise that destroys the universe to venture into environmental-friendly and income generation activities/business. Trainings in entrepreneurship, business management and other livelihood skills like carpentry, bricklaying, tailoring and many more are provided to the targeted members of the community in order to facilitate change in behaviour.
ECHDP has a specific project for its economic empowerment called, “Empowered for sustainability and Development” (ESD). This project aims at empowering the Zambian citizens especially those that are vulnerable but viable with loans and revolving funds in order to improve their lives economically. Priority is given to women, the disabled, ex-prisoners (to facilitate their smooth integration back into society), People living with HIV/AIDS, Commercial Sex Workers, widows/widowers and children looking after fellow children. This is in support to MDG number one which aims to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. Trainings in entrepreneurship, business management and other livelihood skills like carpentry, bricklaying, tailoring and many more are provided to the targeted members of the community so as to earn a decent living from each particular skill.
YOUTH AND ADOLESCENT OUTREACH SERVICES
This is an integrated Programme for Youths encompassing a variety of adolescents/youth affairs. Adolescents and youths in Eastern province engage themselves in several risk behaviours which puts them at danger of contacting diseases like HIV/AIDS, STIS, cervical cancer and many others thereby reducing their life span. Most school going girls and boys and those in colleges engage in illicit sex and prostitution for different reasons, abuse drugs and
alcohol, conduct unsafe abortions, early marriages, engage in pornography and other vices. These eventually destroy their heath. ECHDP has put up a campaign and project called Youth for Change (Y4C) which is a programme that consists of many health activities. Some youths and adolescents are identified and trained and made models who reach out to others with behavioural change messages so that they can be youths of value. Debates, discussions, open forums, quiz, competitions with HIV/AIDS and other health topics are conducted following the Edutainment (Education through entertainment model/approach). Anti AIDS clubs are also supported through trainings and materially. Career exposition and guidance forums are also organized where professionals from different career backgrounds in conjunction with Guidance and careers Teachers are invited to give motivational talks and guidance. Health seeking behaviours are encouraged e.g Abstinence, use of condoms, not engaging in sexual relationships and avoiding peer pressure are taught. This component of the programme looks assisting youths to lead meaningful lives. Most youths are wavering in high unemployment rates, hence engage in unbeneficial activities. This programme also trains youths who have completed their schools and college programmes but are stranded in society. Trainings in livelihood, and survival skills such as business management, entrepreneurship, Carpentry, catering, designing and tailoring, driving and many others are provided.
GENDER EQUALITY AND EQUITY
This programme is being implemented by advocating for a gender sensitive approach to all issues in human sphere. It promotes an environment where women and men are treated fairly with each availed equal opportunities. It further advocate for doing away with discrimination when it comes to offering opportunities and treatment on the basis of race, sex, religion, ethnicity, status and others.
GENDER BASED VIOLENCE (GBV).
ECHDP has a specific name for this programme called, “Building Safer and secure Families” (BSSF). Under this programme, Community sensitizations are held with Traditional Leaders, Church/Religious Leaders and other members of the communities. Anti GBV groups are mobilized with first priority being men. A strategy called “Men Reaching Men” is employed where men are trained and involved in teaching others on the effects of GBV. ECHDP is also bringing to book the perpetrators of GBV and other forms of violence.
CHILD AND HUMAN RIGHTS PROMOTION AND PROTECTION
ECHDP promotes and protect the rights of children and other members of the community through education/sensitization and trainings to combat exploitation. Referrals to responsible Ministries and organization are also facilitated for individuals whose rights have been violated. Strong emphasis is channelled towards the protection of children’s rights as they are vulnerable to exploitation by nature that they are children. Other vulnerable groups’ rights like the disabled, the aged, prisoners, Widows, orphans, widowers and many other are also part of ECHDPs work.
CITIZEN LAND OWNERSHIP RIGHTS PROMOTION.
The citizens are educated and encouraged to own land and the procedures to owning it are explained through Community trainings and meetings. ECHDP takes land ownership as a tool to development as land is a factor of production.
GOOD GOVERNANCE, ADVOCACY AND DEMOCRACY.
This programme has been given a specific Project name as, “Our Zambia, For Us (OZFU). ECHDP ensures the policies made in the running of the nation by policy makers move the nation and its health, economic and development agenda forward. It also participates in criticizing retrogressive policies. Further, the community members are trained on identification abuse of authority and misuse of public resources by public workers and how to deal with them. Civic education is also done to citizens.
WOMEN PARTICIPATION FOR DEVELOPMENT.
The Organization seeks to promote women participation on the decision-making positions and national affairs. This project has been given a specific called, “Capable Women” (CaWo). Women participation is done through literacy project in which women who have not completed their education are given literacy education so that they can participate in decision making at local, regional, national and global level. Women are also given motivational talks to motivate them that they can achieve anything in life.
CHARITY, RELIEF AND PHILANTHROPIC WORK.
ECHDP is providing and supports direct assistance to the needy and vulnerable in various ways. Amongst the services are; lobbying for wheel chairs for the disabled, referring of the disabled to groups that offer support, provision of food supplements to Orphans, child-headed households, OVCs, the aged, the chronically ill people and many others. HIV groups are also provided with mealie-meal, cooking oil, salt and other materials things to improve their quality of life.
VOLUNTEERING, CULTURAL/ SKILLS EXCHANGE AND INTERNSHIP.
This area of operation is very important for ECHDP. It allows the exchange of skills and culture. ECHDP provides a platform to local, national and international Volunteers and Interns who would want to sharpen their skills and have interest in the objectives of the organization. These volunteers are given a great enabling environment and during their time of volunteering they are mentored and supervised by a responsible project Manager/Coordinator. ECHDP always encourages volunteers to be creative and contribute in taking the goal and the objectives of the organization forward. Priority has been put on Youths who have newly graduated from Universities/colleges and have no work experience as most of the Organizations require a lot of work experience from them but there is nowhere they can get this experience from, hence, ECHDP provides this opportunity for Youths to gain experience for their future job search. The people who have volunteered with ECHDP have a very high chance to secure a job once there is an open which is within their working area as they would have already learnt the working environment of the Organization, policies and many other things about the organization. International Volunteers/interns will also are encouraged to fully contribute to the welfare of the organization through creativity and innovation.
The Organisation considers Research as a way of facilitating evidence based decision making and practice. ECHDP carries out health, development, social and economic research in its programmes. The researches range from surveys, studies and many others. The Organization currently through its staff is embarking on carrying out a research to find out to what extent are referrals and feedback systems between Health facilities and traditional health practioners are being appreciated in the promotion of Primary health care and public heath agenda. The Organization is also open to participate in researches being carried out by other organizations to achieve a common cause. It is also contracted to carry out research/surveys for other organizations and individuals.