Heart-to_heart: community-based care options for children living with and affected by HIV/AIDS in Hanoi

The project was implemented from March 2008 to September 2011, focusing on building the community’s and families’ in providing care and support for the orphan and vulnerable children.


The project was implemented from March 2008 to September 2011, focusing on building the community’s and families’ in providing care and support for the orphan and vulnerable children. Its interventions were developed based on three key components: 1) Reducing the  family’s burden of care for OVC with their attendance at the Day Center-based activities, 2) Building capacity of the family in caring for the children, and 3) Increasing the social support for OVC, their family and adapt the alternative care model. Its success lied in the harmonization of different factors including needs assessment, intervention design, partnership, monitoring and technical support, sharing information with the local agencies and authorities, and program quality improvement. It focused on building linkage with existing service providers and mobilised active engagement from relevant stakeholders. The project was funded by PEPFAR through USAID.

Project Goal and Objectives

The overall goal of this project is to develop and implement community-based care services in order to enhance family/community ability to care for OVC and improve OVC quality of life and prevent the abandonment of OVC. Specific objectives of the project include:

  • To implement support services to lower the child care burden of families caring for OVC;
  • To build the capacity of and support families with OVC to provide quality care to OVC to help ensure OVC continue to be cared for in family settings;
  • To increase provision of government social support for OVC and their families and/or adoption of effective, alternative care models.

Highlights of Activities and Achievements

  • Conducted a need assessment to identify unmet needs of OVC and the capacity gaps of OVC and their care gviers.
  • Built capacity of care workers who provided case management and comprehensive support to 196 OVC. Service package included physical, nutrition, psycho-social and education support. 
  • Built capacity and resilience for OVC through child-focused events and life-skill training series with a focus on living values, coping skills, and self-protection. As a result, children become more active, opened and confident. They knew how to uphold their strength and learned how to show their compassion to friends and families.
  • Series of topic talks were designed and implemented to build capacity of care givers on child care. In total, 10 topic talks were held at the Heart to Heart club with participation of 198 family caregivers. The topics of these talks were about OVC psychological features, nutrition care, injury prevention, seasonal disease prevention, etc.

“The lesson on child’s psychology by Mrs. Hoa was very useful for me. I understood more about my children. I could learn a lot of experience for my family. I myself recognized that I have to change the way of upbringing my children for example being more patient, less hot-tempered. Sincerely thanks to Mrs. Hoa and the club, I wish there could be more and more useful topic talks like this.”A grandmother of an OVC            

  • Increased OVC’s access to existing service through mapping of existing services for OVC in project sites and worked closely with these service providers for efficient referral. For example: 76 OVC were referred successfully to MdM-supported clinic for examination and treatment in 2010. 196 OVC were screened for psycho-social difficulties and referred to OSEDC-supported Rainbow clinics for psychological assessment and early treatment.
  • Advocated for community involvement (local authorities, mass organizations, agencies and individuals) in responding to the needs of OVC.The project receivedstrong collaboration and support and involvement of the leaders of different organizations.


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