Haven of hope for vulnerable children

2015-06-25 06:01

A Community Care Project employee during one of their programmes.

PHOTO:supplied A Community Care Project employee during one of their programmes.

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PROMPTED by research from the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) that the number of orphans will grow or at least remain high for years due to the HIV pandemic, a non-governmental organisation - the Community Care Project - is helping to restore hope among the infected and affected with the focus on children. NOKULUNGA NGOBESE spoke to the organisation’s marketing officer Pearl Myeza­.

The organisation, which seeks to provide holistic care and tools for empowerment and management in HIV/Aids and associated development needs, is at the forefront of working with children orphaned and made vulnerable through HIV and Aids.

“Our children and youth are most at risk, with most not being able to enjoy the nurturing environment of parents to look after them.

“In a study conducted by Unicef in South Africa in 2007, it was established that most children had lost one or both parents due to the pandemic.

“It was estimated that by 2015 and beyond the number of orphans would continue to grow.

“Based on these findings, our priority has been mentoring, teaching and helping our children and youth to grow.

“We are coaching a fatherless generation to be free of HIV, and to make informed life choices,” Myeza said.

Apart from counselling and testing, the organisation works with schools in facilitating educational prevention programmes and also identifies orphaned and vulnerable children through schools.

“Education training is a key component of our work. Through our community development programmes we empower families and individuals to be involved in economic strengthening activities and play active roles in dealing with the health and emotional needs of their families.

“In our educational programmes, we even have after-school tuition programmes focusing on the English language and school-based motivation for male medical circumcision.

“We are proud to be involved in envisioning and supporting children and families who are most at risk and vulnerable to the HIV, stigma and discrimination and a lack of hope,” said Myeza.

For more information, contact 033 394 3350 or visit www.communitycare project.co.za

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