USAID/Zambia’s CHANGES2 Program, implemented by AIR, was a major education support activity in the Zambian Ministry of Education. CHANGES2 strengthened teachers’ classroom pedagogical and leadership skills with a special focus on school health and nutrition, as well as HIV and AIDS prevention and mitigation. CHANGES2 trained teachers and expanded the Ministry’s school health and HIV education activities to both government and community schools in six provinces. CHANGES2 also built partnerships between schools and communities to promote community-wide health and HIV prevention activities. Additionally, the program delivered scholarships to needy secondary school level orphans and vulnerable children in six provinces.
The Community Health and Nutrition, Gender and Education Support 2 Program (CHANGES2) was a major USAID-funded education activity supporting the Zambian Ministry of Education from 2005-2009. The project sought to strengthen the professional skills of teachers, improve HIV/AIDS prevention and mitigation tactics in schools and communities, expand the school health curriculum and services, and build new school-community outreach programs in four core provinces – Southern, Lusaka, Central, and Copperbelt. CHANGES2 comprised a large scale infusion of human capacity-building for the benefit of all Zambian pupils which included: strengthening the national pre-service teacher training curriculum and system; developing school and community leadership in identified areas; and implementing programming that helps teachers, pupils, and schools serve as community resources for improved education, health, HIV prevention, mitigation, and services for orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs). The program also provided scholarships for the neediest OVCs in the four core provinces, and in Eastern and Northwestern provinces. Provincial program offices were located in Livingstone, Lusaka, Kabwe, and Ndola to coordinate district and zonal activities.
- Teacher Training – CHANGES2 enhanced pre- and in-service teacher training using central, provincial, and zonal training resources, as well as follow-up professional support for teachers. Teachers’ classroom pedagogical and leadership skills were developed with a special focus on school health, nutrition, and HIV/AIDS mitigation, including support for OVCs.
- Scholarships to Orphans and Vulnerable Children – CHANGES2 supported children orphaned by AIDS in grades 8-12 to keep them enrolled in school and to serve as peer educators in the efforts to mitigate the HIV/AIDS pandemic
- School Health and Nutrition Services – CHANGES2 expanded successful strategies introduced in Eastern and Southern Provinces to improve the health of students and teachers, linked to improved community health, hygiene, and nutrition benefiting all residents. CHANGES2 also implemented teacher training for school-based deworming.
- Materials Development – CHANGES2 designed, developed, and distributed materials to promote awareness and knowledge of healthy lifestyles, including behavior to prevent HIV/AIDS and alleviate its impacts. Special attention was given to the development and/or distribution of materials to support teacher training activities, supplemental learning resources, and to promote community awareness and “buy in” to various strategic interventions.
- Community Outreach Programs – CHANGES2 built partnerships between schools and communities to promote groups in SHN and HIV/AIDS mitigation activities, foster community support for OVCs, and strengthen the capacity of local organizations to implement Abstinence and Be Faithful Programs.
- Sub-grants and Institutional Support – CHANGES2 provided support to local NGOs and community groups to initiate and expand programs that target youth for activities such as HIV/AIDS clubs, mentoring programs, after-school, and out-of-school support activities. A small grants program supported community-driven, school-managed programs aimed at youth with important parental involvement focused on reducing HIV-related stigma, as well as providing infrastructure improvement grants for underserved community schools.