Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC)
The OVC program under Masoyi Home Based Care came into existence in response to the growing number of orphan and vulnerable children due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The number of child-headed households and street kids had been increasing, and because of lack of parental care and guidance, many of these young people resorted to crime, prostitution and other negative activities in order to survive, often leading to unplanned pregnancies. The OVC is involved in the following activities:
- Psycho-social support: counseling (social and spiritual); group therapy; support groups; peer education program; referrals to other agencies
- Food security: through the provision of food parcels; vegetable gardens; providing cooked, nutritious meals
- Educational support: providing school uniforms, school bags, and stationery; after-school homework groups; academic guidance
- Protection: provision of blankets, clothing and shelter (house building and repairing); facilitating the issue of legal documents; facilitating Foster Care Grant applications
Some Successes in 2016:
OVC supported by care worker visits: over 1,000
Children receiving monthly food parcels: over 300
New houses built: just one completed this year
The Project was chosen to oversee the delivery of a joint AFSA-Government initiative into multiple communities in the Province, to change attitudes and behavior towards women and girls.
Funding the peer education program
Sufficient funding for food parcels and hot meals
Meeting continuing housing needs (both repairs and new build):
The house-building program targets child headed households. Volunteers from the community identify the children in need. There are about 90 child headed households that have been identified just in the immediate Masoyi area. The volunteers must decide who is in the most urgent need and start with that family.
These children often have houses made of pieces of corrugated iron and plastic sheets. Their houses often look as if they will fall down any minute and are insufficient for keeping them warm. The doors can be feeble and would not be able to keep out intruders. Once the right children are identified then the Masoyi volunteers must get funding from the donors. Then builders from the community can come to do the work.
The houses are solid brick, built to be long-lasting and able to keep the cold out during the winter months. They will build according to the size of the family and the funding. Often they will build a toilet for the children too. The building usually takes a few weeks and then the children have a brand new, safe and warm house.