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.
- 68% of all children in South Africa (approximately 18 million) and 70% of children in KwaZulu-Natal (approximately 3.8 million) live in poverty;
- 16% of all children in South Africa and 17% of children in KwaZulu-Natal live in households where there is child hungry (the lack of regular meals).
- 21% of all children in South Africa and 26% of children in KwaZulu-Natal have been orphaned (either single or double);
- 29% of all pregnant women in South Africa and 39% of pregnant woman in KwaZulu-Natal are HIV positive (the highest prevalence rate in the world); and
- 2.1% of all children in South Africa and 3.2% 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 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).