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AIDS Care. 1996 Aug;8(4):389-403.

Supporting children in need through a community-based orphan visiting programme.

Author information

1
Paediatric Department, Mutare Provincial Hospital, Harare, Zimbabwe. gfoster@+healthnet.zw

Abstract

There is an urgent need for programmes to be established to support the growing number of orphans in countries severely affected by AIDS. Most orphans are being cared for by extended families under difficult circumstances. Few descriptions of community-based orphan support programmes exist. We describe one such programme established in Zimbabwe in 1993. Twenty-five volunteers identified 300 orphan households. During one year, volunteers made 1725 home visits and 123 households received an average of $11 in material support or school fees. In 292 orphan households there were 702 orphans, 14.7% of children under 15 years in the area. The rate of parental deaths was increasing with 3.5% of households in the area having a parental death in 1994. Forty-five per cent of caregivers were grandparents and 33% of caregivers were over 60 years. Three per cent of orphans were cared for by adolescent siblings. The poorest orphan households were those in receipt of school fees, with out-of-school children or with an older sibling as caregiver. Community members initiated activities to help orphans. The programme described is targeted, effective and replicable. Community-based organizations such as local churches and women's groups can be mobilized to administer programmes which provide support to the poorest orphan households.

PMID:
8863911
DOI:
10.1080/09540129650125597
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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