Orphans & Vulnerable Children

Africare's first HIV/AIDS assistance work, begun in 1987, benefited all segments of the African population, including orphans and other vulnerable children. As the epidemic has grown, Africare's response has grown enormously ― today, including a special group of programs that focus on the special needs of children:

  • AIDS orphans
  • Children infected with HIV or full-blown AIDS
  • Children living in AIDS-affected households
  • Other vulnerable children: for example, “street children” rendered parentless and homeless by war

Africare programs to assist orphans and vulnerable children adhere to several key principles. First, they are community-based, helping children remain within familiar surroundings by strengthening communities' ability to respond to the children's needs. Second, Africare believes that one of the best ways to help vulnerable children is by helping their caregivers: parents who are alive but incapacitated by AIDS — or grandparents, older siblings and neighbors who take in the children after their parents have died. Third, Africare strengthens children's self-reliance through basic education, vocational training and psychosocial support, thus building the strongest possible foundation for adulthood.