Despite South Africa’s successful transition to democracy; poverty, illiteracy and HIV/AIDS continue to dominate the lives of millions of South African children and their families.
- 54% of all children in South Africa (approximately 18.6 million) and 64% of children in KwaZulu-Natal live in poverty with a per capita income below R671 per month;
- 31% of all children in South Africa and 37% of children in KwaZulu-Natal live in households where no adults are employed in either the formal or informal sector;
- 17% of all children in South Africa and 25% of children in KwaZulu-Natal live in households where there is child hunger (the lack of regular meals);
- 23% of all children in South Africa and 24% of children in KwaZulu-Natal live in overcrowded households;
- 21% of all children in South Africa and 27% of children in KwaZulu-Natal have been orphaned (either single or double);
- 30% of all pregnant women in South Africa and 40% of pregnant woman in KwaZulu-Natal are HIV positive (the highest prevalence rate in the country); and
- 3% of all children in South Africa and 4.2% of children in KwaZulu-Natal are HIV positive.
Children growing up in these circumstances are rendered extremely vulnerable by, amongst others:
- The demands of having to care for dying parents
- The trauma associated with the loss of their parents
- The loss and lack of material security (household income, shelter, security of tenure and physical protection)
- The lack of food security resulting in hunger and an increased risk of malnutrition
- The loss of childhood as a result of having to take on adult roles (e.g. provider and caregiver to younger siblings)
This results in:
- An increased likelihood of absenteeism, failure and premature exiting from formal schooling
- An increased risk of substance misuse and involvement in (survival) crime
- An increased vulnerability to exploitation (violence, sexual abuse, child labour etc.)
- An increased vulnerability to emotional and behavioural difficulties
- An increased vulnerability to HIV infection and teenage pregnancy.
Ultimately, this maintains the cycle of poverty and undermines the ability of the child to live a full and meaningful life.
Our vision is that communities provide safe and nurturing environments for orphans and other vulnerable children (particularly those affected and infected by HIV/Aids) within their communities of origin.
Our mission is to build the capacity of communities and families in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa to respond to the basic material, physical, cognitive and emotional needs of their orphans and vulnerable children (OVC).
Our purpose is to improve the well-being of orphans and other vulnerable children and their families through a range of public benefit activities, including health and welfare services, provided in a non-profit manner and with an altruistic or philanthropic intent.
Our objective is to enhance the material, physical, cognitive and emotional well-being of orphan’s and other vulnerable children and their caregivers through a structured and time-limited system of family strengthening, care & support.