ACE Africa Ten Year Model towards Sustainable Rural Communities in East Africa

ACE Africa Ten Year Model towards Sustainable Rural Communities in East Africa

KenyaUnited Kingdom
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$500,000 - $1 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

ACE Africa aims to reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS on rural communities through the promotion of health education, food security & capacity building

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In remote, rural areas of Kenya and Tanzania HIV prevalence is high(20-30% adult population showing signs and symptoms of AIDS), 60% of the population lives in abject poverty, 50% in absolute food poverty and over 20% of children are orphaned due to HIV/AIDS. People lack access to medication, nutritious food, education, psychosocial support, shelter and clothing. Knowledge on good nutrition generally and in the management of HIV/AIDS and access to nutritious food products and economic security to support vulnerable households is woefully lacking. Community participation in decision making and their own development is minimal and service provision is further hindered by piece meal interventions and poor strategic networking and collaboration between government sectors and local partners.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

ACE Africa was established in response to the overwhelming impact of HIV/ AIDS on rural communities, the increasing number of orphans and vulnerable children and lack of community resources to support them. The programme engages community volunteers, government and civil society in sustainable service delivery. With a clear exit strategy, it aims for communities to manage and provide holistic services in the future without ACE Africa's support. Unlike other interventions which offer often globally determined blanket solutions or one off, short term capacity building or direct aid the ACE Africa programme focuses on all factors that impact the child, household and community life concurrently. Over a 10 year period, the programme maintains a focused strategy, design and ethos but can and is adapted for replication in different cultural, social, economic, political and geographical settings, resulting in long term solutions driven by and for specific communities to meet changing needs.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The ACE Africa ten-year model focuses on all factors that impact the child, household and community life concurrently. In order to achieve this the programmes address four thematic areas: 1.Community Livelihood Initiatives – training in organic methods of agriculture, nutrition and the management of HIV and AIDS, nutrition related income generation, community organization, governance, project cycle management, monitoring and evaluation, reporting and budgeting Activities include; school & household kitchen gardens, poultry-rearing, dairy-goat rearing, fish farming and soya flour production 2.Child Rights and Welfare – building community ability to protect the rights of people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWA) and children, provide essential direct aid and training in Child to Child HIV education and life skills ACE Africa has established Child Rights Committees and Area Advisory Committees to deal with cases of neglect, abuse, exploitation, discrimination etc. These committees have been trained to identify cases within their community and refer to necessary service providers and local judiciary. 3.Counselling and Wellbeing Services – provision of outreach counselling, VCT, referrals, nutritional supplements and medication to PLWA and OVC 4.Education and vocational training – secondary school bursaries and alumni, vocational training and skills development and career advice

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

ACE Africa works in close collaboration with 29 government bodies and 89 NGOs, corporate bodies and research partners at the local, district and national level to implement its programme. As part of the District Development Plan, the District HIV/AIDS mitigation evaluation committee and the National Economic Recovery Strategy, collaboration addresses gaps in service provision and ensures programme planning is inclusive, avoiding duplicity and effectively utilising all available local resources. In 2010, ACE Africa hosted 5 international NGOs and 10CBOs and conducted training with partners in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Uganda who are all since implementing core components in their community development programmes elsewhere in East Africa.

Founding Story

Joanna Waddington started her career as a teacher in Kenya and then the UK. In 1999, she survived a potentially fatal car accident and recovered with a clear vision and determination to return to Africa and help orphans and communities affected by HIV and AIDS. Following completion of her Masters in Community Health and Development at London University in 2002, she volunteered for a local Kenyan NGO to undertake pioneering research in Bungoma on the impact of HIV and AIDS on orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and community coping strategies. Disillusioned by the multi-lateral donor who subsequently changed its funding focus, and having witnessing firsthand the enormous numbers of OVC without care, the intense poverty, stigma and massive gap in service provision, she worked with fellow founders, government and partners to design the programme based on the findings of the research.
About You
ACE Africa (Action in the Community Environment)
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

ACE Africa (Action in the Community Environment)

Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact
How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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How long have you been in operation?

Operating for more than 5 years

Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your innovation addresses? Choose up to two

Access, Equity.

Social Impact
Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve

1: To improve the health and wellbeing of rural communities where there is a high prevalence of HIV and AIDS and orphans and vulnerable children
2: To protect the rights of Women, PLWA and Children – through greater community rights awareness, effective enforcement and strengthened linkages at the village, district and national level.
3: To increase the capacity of the community to sustain support through effective networks and referral systems, long term commitment from government partners and increased involvement of community groups and stakeholders
4: To share the best practice approach with other CBOs and NGOs in East Africa working to mitigate the impact of HIV and AIDS on community livelihoods

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

To date ACE Africa has reached 426,397 direct beneficiaries and a further 688,034 indirect beneficiaries across its three project sites in Kenya and Tanzania, eg:
179 Child to Child (CtC) school health education clubs with 13246 children actively involved in the clubs’ activities
15 CtC mentors and 127 trained teachers
99% CtC schools with improved cleanliness habits and increased pupil knowledge on HIV and AIDS
14 active child rights committees; with 484 cases handled by the committees
1178 individual, 12 demonstration, 61 community and 161 school kitchen gardens
32456 OVC and 6746 PLWA received food from the gardens /581 OVC on school lunch programmes
1303 community members trained in organic agriculture and nutrition techniques
62% of households reporting increased income and food security
6923 tested for HIV and counselled
7621 supported with medication
4695 children attending in-school guidance and counselling
32000+ community members visited ACE community centres

What is your projected impact over the next five years?

By 2013, the project sites in Bungoma will be self-sustaining and by 2015 ACE Africa aims to have shared part of the model with 40 CBOs – in new areas in Bungoma, Siaya and Arusha and through the identification of partner NGOs in SSA, who will adopt part or the entire programme.

By 2015 the full ACE Africa programme will have reached a minimum of 200,000 new direct beneficiaries and 400,000 indirect and a further 50,000 through partners. ACE has started the process of sharing the approach through the development of training manuals for dissemination. Technical staff conducted training with partners in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Uganda.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

Challenges ACE Africa face include the time required to build and sustain partnerships whether it be at the local, district, national or international level, institutional and personnel changes due to the multiplication of government administrative units in Kenya and Tanzania and transfer of personnel.

ACE Africa already has established strong links and partnerships with government departments, NGOs, CBOs, donors and lobbying groups since 2003. ACE Africa will continue to sustain and expand partnerships across sub-Saharan Africa through sharing its best practice approach.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

By 2013, the current project sites in Bungoma, Kenya, be self-sustaining

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Ensure contiuned collaboration with partners in the field

Task 2

Continue and complete trainings in programme activities with support groups, schools etc.

Task 3

Identify new projects sites in Bungoma to expand ACE Africa model, in collaboration with local CBOs

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Reach more beneficiaries in sub-Saharan Africa through sharing best practice approach with partners

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Identify new partners to share best practice approach with in sub-Saharan Africa

Task 2

Complete ACE Africa training manuals for each thematic area

Task 3

Conduct training workshops with international NGOs and local CBOs in implementing parts or entire ACE Africa programme

Tell us about your partnerships

ACE Africa works with 29 government bodies and 89 NGOs, corporate bodies and research partners at the local, district and national level to implement its programme. Partnerships include UK AIDS Consortium, The AIDS Alliance, Overseas Development Institute, Food Ethics Council, Forum for African Orphans, Kenya Network for Care giving Children, Kenya National AIDS strategic planning and review committee District Development Planning Committee Arusha, Child Rights Caucus, Tanzania, Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Nutrition, Gender and cultural services, Ministry of Health and Education.

Are you currently targeting other specific populations, locations, or markets for your innovation? If so, where and why?

ACE Africa implements programmes across three project sites in Kenya and Tanzania. As part of its best practice approach, ACE Africa is currently training partners in neighbouring countries in East Africa in part or its entire programme. To date ACE Africa staff have conducted training with NGOs and CBOs within Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and South Sudan. In the future ACE Africa plans to extend this training to other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?

The success of ACE Africa’s programme can be attributed to close collaboration with 163 local and international partners and government sectors. Local administration at the project sites e.g. Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Nutrition, Gender and cultural services, Ministry of Health and Education are pivotal to the implementation process including project design, identification of beneficiaries, implementation and monitoring and evaluation. Core to the ACE Africa strategy, ACE works with 118 Community Support Groups, Child Rights Committees, Area Advisory Committees and community mentors made up of over 3,000 community volunteers. These groups of widows, PLWA, youth and guardians, local and religious leaders and teachers, exist to support OVC and PLWA within their community.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

ACE Africa is keen to expand its best practice approach with other NGOs and CBOs across sub-Saharan Africa. ACE Africa is almost at the stage of completion of developing its best practice training manuals.