ISIBINDI, creating circles of care for orphans and vulnerable children in South Africa: post-programme outcomes
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This paper presents the evaluation of post-programme outcomes of the ISIBINDI model, a community-based intervention to promote physical and psychosocial well-being of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in South Africa. A mixed methods quasi-experimental design was used to investigate the differences between former ISIBINDI participants (18 years and older) and a control group of similar background. ISIBINDI ex-participants at 12 sites (n = 427) and a control group of non-participants (n = 177) completed a questionnaire which explored level of education and employment, psychosocial well-being and HIV risk behaviour. Focus group discussions were conducted with various stakeholders. Ex-participants reported higher self-esteem and problem-solving abilities, family support and lower HIV risk behaviour than the control group. High levels of unemployment especially in rural areas resulted in unemployment of out-of-school OVC which creates new forms of vulnerability. The benefits of the programme may be compromised by the lack of community resources. An effective exit strategy is needed to contribute to financial independence of OVC after exiting the programme.