Mama Mkubwa Psychosocial Support Program

Category 2

The Mama Mkubwa (MM) initiative is a community-based initiative for the care and support of Most Vulnerable Children and Other Vulnerable Children (MVC/OVC). TSA's Mama Mkubwa Psychosocial Support Program focuses on community sensitization and mobilization. TSA aims to strengthen community capacity and response to the needs of OVC and their families.

Goal of the Practice
  • Strengthen community-based responses to meet the needs of orphans and vulnerable children
  • Provide psychosocial support for orphans and vulnerable children.
Core Components
  • TSA mobilizes trains and provides ongoing support to community-based Mama Mkubwa committees.
  • These volunteer committees identify vulnerable children and families and visit them regularly in their homes to provide psychosocial and practical support.
  • Committees additionally create and maintain kids clubs that meet regularly and are open to all children in the community.
  • Community counseling conducted by Mama Mkubwa volunteers aims to sensitize community members and mobilize resources to meet the needs of OVC.
Noteworthy Results
  • Central involvement of community leaders has provided for their sustaining role in program activities.
  • Community-based action planning reduces community dependency on TSA, fosters ownership, and unites community members in addressing the needs of vulnerable children and families.
  • Community selection of beneficiaries capitalizes on local knowledge of vulnerability and promotes community ownership.
Lessons Learned
  • Community entry and engagement is reportedly challenging for field staff due to high expectations from volunteers desiring compensation for their time, transportation allowances, or bicycles.
  • In their individual family assessments and ongoing work with families, volunteers often identify great needs for material support, but they are largely unable to meet these needs due to the limited potential for mobilizing resources in poor communities.
  • Field staff currently allocate five days to complete the entire community entry and engagement process, but believe 10 to 14 days are needed to engage stakeholders fully at all levels and to prepare the committee properly.
Focus Areas
Implemented By
The Salvation Army
Participating Organization
Target Population
Children (ages 2-12)
25000 - 50000
Implementation Years
01/2002 - ongoing