Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI)


The Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI) supports policy development and provides technical support for the improvement of psychosocial wellbeing and mental wellness of children and young people to mitigate the negative impact of HIV and AIDS, poverty, and other vulnerabilities. It provides technical assistance to governments and non-governmental organizations to integrate and implement psychosocial support into social services, health and education in East and southern Africa.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Southern African Development Community (SADC)
Zimbabwe
Health
Education
Sexually transmitted diseases incl. HIV/AIDS
Reproductive health & rights
Education policy
01.01.2016 - 30.06.2020
CHF 7'602'000
Background

Since 2001, new HIV infections are declining in the East and southern African region (ESA)1 and AIDS related mortality has been declining since the increase in Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) provision. But the good story has not been realised for children and adolescents. For adolescents who know their HIV status and who can access treatment, challenges such as disclosure, stigma and discrimination and adherence to treatment continue. AIDS-related deaths have increased among children and adolescents 10 to 19 years. In addition, deepening poverty, food insecurity, high unemployment and increasing burden of disease has compromised the support systems provided by families and communities. Psychosocial support is therefore critical to addressing the barriers to HIV treatment and prevention among children youth and families and for improving self-esteem. It is also seen as key in enhancing health and education outcomes.

Objectives

To improve the psychosocial and mental wellbeing of vulnerable girls, boys, and young people. Through the integration of psychosocial support into policies and programs, improved outcomes will be realised in HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care as well as the protection programs for girls, boys and young people.

Target groups

Beneficiaries

  • Boys and girls and young people (age group =?)
  • Their families, and communties

Target groups

  • Teachers, care givers, community workers
  • National NGO networks at national and regionallevels
  • SADC member states
Medium-term outcomes
  • Increased capacity of partners to implement psychosocial support through specific projects, based on the context of each country.
  • Psychosocial support is integrated into regional and national programmes and policies of social services, health and education and reaches approximately 2 million children and young people.
  • Psychosocial support knowledge is generated through research and informs advocacy and programme delivery.
  • The African Psychosocial Support Institute is established.
  • REPSSI is restructured and effective to achieveits mission and resources are diversified.
Results

Expected results:  

  • Appx 1 million children can access annually psychosocial support through health, social services and education programs.
  • 6 southern African countries have National Plans of Action (NPA) for children that include PSS with budgets.
  • Academic institutions in 74 countries will partner with REPSSI to deliver the CBWCY Certificate Program.
  • OVCY Policy, Practice and Budget Analysis of ministries conducted in 6 countries.
  • About 6000 students will graduate of the Community Based Work with Children and Youth Certificate Program.
  • 3'750 social services, health and education professionals, para-professionals and volunteers will be trained through REPSSl short courses.


Results from previous phases:  

  • Psychosocial support is integrated within the policies and programmes in Education (2countries), Health (2 countries) and Social Services (6 countries) in ESA.
  • About 7’500 community care workers and 125 civil society partner organisations were trained and empowered to provide PSS to about 2 million children per annum.
  • In 2012, the Ministers of Children and Youth of the SADC region adopted the Psychosocial Support Framework to guide the implementation of PSS in the region. At least 6 countries have begun implementing the framework through national policies and programmes.
  • The Community Based Work with Children and Youth Certificate Programme was developed by REPSSI. It is now delivered in partnership with academic institutions in 73 countries, with 3000 graduates in 12 countries of ESA.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign Non-Governmental Organization
Private sector
  • Foreign private sector South/East


Coordination with other projects and actors
  • Ministries and government departments in 12 countries of the region where REPSSI is active.
  • Media in Education Trust Africa, (MiETA) and other non-governmental organisations
  • UNICEF, UNFPA
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   7'602'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   5'946'000
Project phases Phase 5 01.01.2016 - 30.06.2020   (Current phase) Phase 4 01.05.2012 - 31.12.2015   (Completed)