History and Impact of The Programmes & Projects of Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO) In Target Communities


1. Promoting Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS Reduction (PSRHH)

Promoting Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS Reduction (PSRHH) project was implemented in partnership with Action Aid International Nigeria and the Society for Family Health (SFH). The project commenced in 2003 in yearly cycles and ended in 2008. The goal of PSRHH was the reduction of Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV/AIDS among vulnerable groups like Transport workers, Uniform Service Men, Sex Workers, Out-of-School Youths i.e. Female-Out-of-School Youths (FoSY) & Male-Out-of-School Youths (MoSY) through behavioral change communication and Peer Education Programme (PEP).

PSRHH as implemented through the PEP Model had three principal phases - the entry phase, intensive phase and exit phase. The entry and intensive phases were aimed at behavioural change while the exit phase was aimed at ensuring behaviour maintenance, community ownership & programme sustainability. Activities carried out through PSRHH include Advocacy Engagements, Peer Education Training, Sensitization of community members and leaders/influencers through Interactive Forums, Inter-Personal Communication (IPC) with target groups and general population. Special events were also held during festive periods and special commemorative days like World AIDS Day (WAD) andWorld Malaria Day (WMD). Through the PSRHH project, LAPO was able to train 200 peer educators among out-of-school youths, transport workers and artisans in target sites around Benin City, Edo State.

With the support of EED, Germany from 2007, LAPO was able to expand the programme to Female Sex Workers (FSW) in Lokoja, a major junction and transit community in Nigeria and In-school Youths of selected primary and secondary schools in Benin City. In-school and FSW programme were expanded to Lagos and Delta states in 2009.

2. Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS (PMTC)

PMTCT activities were implemented in Edo State in 2004 in partnership with Pathfinder International Nigeria. With the support of Cordaid, Netherlands, LAPO scaled up the intervention in Delta and Rivers states as well as Nasarawa and Kogi states with the support of Novib, Netherlands in 2006. The programme was extended to Lagos and Rivers States with the Support of EED of Germany. LAPO’s PMTCT project is aimed at increasing HIV/AIDS awareness amongst the general population; encourage HIV counseling and testing (HCT), especially amongst pregnant women; access pregnant, positive women to ART; provide care and feeding for infants of positive mothers as well as provide care and support for HIV-positive individuals and their family members. Various community members were reached through advocacy/sensitization meetings, rallies and health fair. Through the upgrading of health facilities for HCT, training of Community Health Workers and Traditional Birth Attendants, mobilization of community members and home-based care, pregnant women were reached with HIV counseling and testing during antenatal care while those who tested positive were referred to designated PMTCT treatment facilities.

3. Care and Support for People Living with HIV (PLHIV) in Edo State

NECAIN-NELA Consortium on HIVAIDS (NECAIN) is a USAID-supported project implemented by LAPO from 2008 to 2010 in partnership with NELA and CiSHAN North Central. The project targeted PLHIV across the three senatorial districts (Edo South, Edo Central and Edo North) of Edo State for palliative care and support services. The LAPO/NECAIN project was aimed at facilitating easy access of PLHIV to palliative care; enhance linkages of PLHIV to comprehensive treatment and other support services; and reduce HIV-related stigma and discrimination. Project activities included advocacy meetings and sensitization seminars with stakeholders, training of caregivers on Home Based Care (HBC) and provision of palliative care services for PLHIV, formation of support group, referral services for PLHIV to access treatment, skill acquisition/ microcredit and nutrition support. Through the project, PLHIV had access to HBC/palliative care and support services through support to trained caregivers/ providers and enhanced linkages of PLHIV to treatment and other support centers. The project also contributed to the reduction of HIV-related stigma and discrimination among PLHIV and their families.

4. Community Action for Social Justice and Health (CASH)

The implementation of CASH project commenced in 2007, in partnership with Oxfam Novib. The purpose of the project, amongst others, was to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS in rural communities; improve the quality of life of persons living with HIV/AIDS; promote sexuality education in schools; promote access to safe water in rural communities; and reduce incidents of malaria in rural communities. The goal was to promote healthy living amongst vulnerable groups. LAPO implemented the CASH project across Edo, Delta, Kogi and Lagos targeting women (80%), men (20%) and youths.

In order to achieve the goal and objectives of the project, LAPO organized community health discussions, created awareness on HIV/AIDS and other community health issues, formed support groups for PLWHAs and trained them on positive living and HIV/AIDS programming. The organization equally provided them psycho-social and economic empowerment support as well as grant them access to treatment services. LAPO also promoted gender equity, social justice, sustainable livelihood and youth empowerment through the CASH project.

With the CASH project, LAPO was able to promote healthy living and improved quality of life of vulnerable people through enhanced health seeking behaviour, HIV/AIDS prevention and impact mitigation; reduction in stigma and securing livelihood of 100 households through the creation of 100 new jobs. Nutritional quality of 100 households was also improved through agricultural extension services and skills acquisition for youths in Edo and Nasarawa states.