HIV/AIDS Affected Orphan & Vulnerable Children (OVC program)


In October 2009 we had approximately 50 children on our program. We intensified our focus on the Orphan & Vulnerable Children (OVC) and in January 2013 we have over 800 OVC on the program.

…as instructed by Jesus Christ we obey James 1:27: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”[NIV]

At present the OVC children have nowhere to go after school and have no help with homework and basic needs. It is our aim to open a care centre for the children where they can stay for the afternoon and have help with their homework and skills training. In this way we are convinced that we will be able to combat crime in the area. The only current restriction is finance.

Our target was to take care of the basic needs of ±560 OVC by the end of 2010 and approximately 1,000 OVC by the end of 2012. With over 800 children registered in our program we are not far off of our target.Again, our focus is on all the children in the community of Heidelberg no matter what the age, race, gender or tradition.

The most basic need for these children is food. Our goal is to feed each child for less than R 7.00 (or $1.00) a day. When children have something to eat, the basic need for survival has been taken care of. Kids with food in their tummies are more willing to go to school and receive an education; giving them a better chance in life.

Our aim is to supply food to the children so they could have three (3) meals each day, as well as clothing where needed. Out target is to increase our efforts and supply basic health services and personal hygiene to the children. We are in the process of recruiting mentors and coaches to assist the children with their homework and also to entertain them with various activities after school. To do this, we need R 310 per child per month.

 

A breakdown of costs per child is shown in the table:

ITEM

Cost per month

Food
170
Transport
20
Care Giver cost
5
Personal Hygiene
30
Health
30
Mentoring & Coaching
25
Admin
30

TOTAL

R 310
 

 

To convert South African Rand (ZAR) to your country’s currency, use the currency calculator on this link: x-rates.com

 

Definition
Meaning
Orphan
An orphan is described as a child under 18 years of age who has lost their mother (maternal orphan) or both parents (double orphan)
(UNICEF/UNAIDS, 1999)
Vulnerable children
According to South African law vulnerable children are defined as:

  • Children who are neglected, destitute and abandoned
  • Children with terminally ill parents
  • Children born to single mothers
  • Children with unemployed care takers
  • Children abused or ill-treated by care takers
  • Disabled children

(Source: Smart: 2003)

 

Some shocking facts:

  • 81% of the country’s children experience income and material deprivation
  • More than 50% live in households where nobody is employed
  • 77% live in a environment without proper toilet facilities, electricity and piped water
  • 24% are in the wrong grade for their age
  • 6% are not in school
  • >25% live in household without both parents or in child-headed households (OVC – Orphan & vulnerable children)

 

Why we feed them?

Can you imagine days of:

  • Despair
  • Hunger
  • Loneliness
  • Abuse

The simple – but expensive – act of feeding people serves many purposes:

  • to prevent starvation and malnutrition;
  • to become familiar with family problems – physical and mental abuse, substance abuse, illness, vulnerability, lack of adequate housing, lack of adequate care;
  • refer the children to clinics or hospitals; and
  • assist with obtaining:
    • ID documents;
    • Social and child grants; and
    • Placement in possible foster Homes.

Economic circumstances and the lack of employment opportunities have resulted in:

  • abject poverty;
  • the disintegration of the family unit;
  • physical and mental abuse and neglect; and
  • high unemployment rate

We know that adequate and nutritious food, health, social care and a secure physical environment are critical to protect orphan & vulnerable children from abuse, rain, cold and starvation. We do this by rendering holistic community based care and support programs – we assist and support the children by respecting their rights.

To see our financial needs for this project, click here