Our Lady of Perpetual Support
Improving and sustaining the health and well-being of individuals and families living with HIV in western Kenya.
OLPS + Blood:Water Partnership
Our Lady of Perpetual Support (OLPS) works in HIV/AIDS response through strategies in comprehensive support to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC)*, secondary and higher education support, and household economic empowerment. They accomplish this through care and treatment at their HIV clinic, through outpatient medical services at their community dispensary, and through care and support involving food and nutrition, shelter, protection, psychosocial support, and other improvements to their livelihood.
The goal of the current project with Blood:Water, called the Arise and Shine Project, will further address the health and social needs of OVCs and their households, and mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Through its Community Health Strategy, OLPS will work with the community to provide HIV prevention, care, and treatment services focused on:
- Increasing quality of health including water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) education, food and nutrition, health, psychosocial support, and social services for 1,000 OVC and their families
- Strengthening the capacity of 250 households and their communities to meet the health and social needs of children
- Reaching at least 1,250 women of reproductive age with PMTCT messages and referrals for facility-based services
*OVC (orphaned and/or vulnerable children) refers to children who have lost their parents – or are at risk of losing one or both parents – to HIV-related illness
The HIV rate in Kisumu County is 16.3%, four times higher than the national average. Prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV services in the county is only about 55%, leaving women of childbearing age and over 16,000 HIV-positive expectant mothers in need. More than 50% of the children infected through mother-to-child transmission will not live to see their fifth birthday. There are also 4,612 identified OVCs with an unknown HIV-status at risk of delayed treatment, economic difficulties, family separation, and other adverse situations.
Our Lady of Perpetual Support for People Living with AIDS and Orphans (OLPS) is a community-centered, non-governmental organization currently working in Kisumu County, Kenya to address HIV and its devastating effects, especially on children and women. OLPS launched in 1992 when a former nun and a small group of women responded to the challenges facing those who are HIV-positive, such as stigma, lack of medication, higher risk of mortality, and other consequences on children and the community.
Since then, OLPS has widened its approach based on proven best practices in community health. With over 20 years’ experience working in the community, OLPS has built a rich history of service, anchored in its governance and guidelines for project success, organizational integrity, and sustainability.
Learn more at olpskenya.org.
Partnership Timeline: First grant cycle (partnership started in 2021)
Background: Following 70 years of British colonization, Africans began to protest Great Britain's rule over Kenya. In 1952, after years of unrest and rebellion, Governor Sir Everlyn Baring declared a state of emergency for the country, eventually forcing the colonial government to allow for African representation in the Legislative Council. Eight African leaders were elected, leading to the formation of the Kenya African National Union (KANU). KANU attained 83 of the 124 seats in the House of Representatives in 1963, and gained full independence later that year under Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.
In August 2010, Kenyans overwhelmingly adopted a new constitution in a national referendum. The new constitution introduced additional checks and balances to executive power and devolved power and resources to 47 newly created counties.
Country Population: 56 million people
National Languages: Kiswahili (official), English (official)
Sources: Kenya Embassy Washington, DC | CIA Factbook (2022)