HIV/AIDS orphanges in Africa

In Sub-Saharan Africa, over 12 million children under the age of 18 have been orphaned as a result of AIDS. The range of problems faced by AIDS orphans – including stigmatization, loss of education opportunities, severe emotional impact, unraveling of family structures, and lack of basic legal and human rights protections – are overwhelming. Traditional family and community safety nets for these orphans are unraveling as increasing numbers of adults die from HIV-related illnesses.

In 2007 the Foundation offered financial support to two unique institutions formed to care for these most vulnerable of children. Among the many needs of these children and institutions, Foundation support focused on helping create empowerment opportunities through education, vocational training and economic development to help the institutions themselves become self sustaining.

South Africa is experiencing one of the most severe AIDS epidemics in the world. Estimates are that 18% of all adults, or about five and a half million South Africans, are living with HIV. Approximately 1.2 million AIDS orphans live in South Africa.

In 2007 the Foundation made a grant to the Boikarabelo Children’s Village, located in the rural Gauteng Province to the northwest of Johannesburg.  Boikarabelo, which means “social responsibility and accountability” and “jointly, communally” in the local Tswana language, currently includes a community school, orphanage, village and small medical clinic. The remote location of Boikarabelo means that there is little infrastructure or income-generating opportunities, so Boikarabelo must be as self sustaining as possible.

The Boikarabelo school educates about 270 children up to the ninth grade. After that, some go on to study at other schools and others find jobs. Foundation funding is directed in support of the expansion and operation of the school and its academic and vocational training curriculum.

Foundation funding for Boikarabelo is facilitated by Foundation partner Keep A Child Alive. Click here to visit the Boikarabelo website for more information.

Lesotho is a small, impoverished country encircled by South Africa where the average life expectancy is 44 years for women and 39 years for men. Over 23% of adults in Lesotho (population 2 million) are HIV positive, and an estimated 97,000 AIDS orphans live in Lesotho.

In 2007 the Foundation made a grant to Mants’ase Children’s Home, located in the Taung village of southern Lesotho. The village chief gave land for the home which was subsequently named for her. Now overseen by a board of local business and civic leaders, Mants’ase is designed to provide a family atmosphere for the children and keep them engaged in community life to the greatest extent possible.  Children attend local schools, but are otherwise cared for at Mants’ase, where up to 50 children are resident.

In an effort to become financially independent, Mants’ase and has established three small income generating enterprises on its grounds to produce building materials, eggs and vegetables. In addition to generating operating income, these enterprises are part of a plan to also provide vocational training and a small business loangrant fund for the children so they have a means of earning a living after they leave. Foundation funding is directed in support of the expansion and operation of these self sufficiency activities.

Foundation funding for Mants’ase is facilitated by Foundation partner the Faith Foundation of Central Florida. Click here to visit the Mants’ase website for more information.