” Vision with Action can change the world. “
Philippi Collective Network (PCN)
Amandla coordinates the Philippi Collective Network (PCN), a consortium of over 50 organizations dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty and tearing down barriers to learning.
Collaborative solutions are our strength. For instance, our data quickly showed that teen pregnancy and illness due to HIV infection correlated with high drop out rates. In addition, we learned that most of the children in Philippi had little access to health services, were rarely tested for HIV infection, and did not know how to access sexual health education, HIV prevention, or family planning resources.
Once we were able to clearly see the barriers, we were able to partner with two other organizations a youth-friendly clinic space to increase access to sexual health services and counseling in a stigma-free, youth-friendly environment. The results have been rewarding: HIV testing among youth has risen from 10% to 30%, and teachers have reported a decreased burden in the classroom.
With our partners, we are able to tackle literacy and numeracy as well as school readiness, with double-digit improvements in a little over a year. Our Literacy Working Group collaborates to run after-school reading clubs and educate parents so that we are all “speaking the same language” in terms of supporting children and advocating for a better life for our children.
More still needs to be done.
Academic deficits that begin early seem to erode a learner’s confidence and her ability to rebound from setbacks. As we learn more, we find more ways to work with our partners and our community to improve retention rates and provide learners with the life skills, support, and resources they need to break the cycle of poverty.