Project Assists Over 46,000 Vulnerable Children Affected by HIV/AIDS


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DT Correspondent

Goromonzi : The Mavambo Trust Orphan Care, in collaboration with various Government ministries, has successfully implemented empowerment programs that have benefitted more than 46,000 orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) affected by HIV/AIDS.

The initiative, known as the Mavambo Orphan Care-Vana Activity, is a five-year project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the PEPFAR program.

It aims to provide prevention, care, and support services for OVCs.

The primary goal of the project is to revitalize communities and establish connections that promote the well-being of individuals living with or affected by HIV.

Alongside this, Mavambo is actively offering support to OVC caregivers while engaging pregnant and lactating mothers living with HIV to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus.

During a recent media tour, Ms Prisca Dube, the District Development Coordinator (DDC) for Goromonzi, expressed gratitude for the longstanding partnership between the government and PEPFAR, which has had a transformative impact on the lives of vulnerable children and families in Goromonzi and surrounding areas.

“We appreciate the assistance provided to a total of 46,365 OVCs living with HIV or under the care of HIV-positive parents,” she acknowledged.

“Since 2003, our collaboration has been a powerful force in reaching out to vulnerable children and families. I am truly grateful, both personally and on behalf of my office, for the care and protection of children through this program.”

Highlighting the program’s objectives, Ms Beaula Ruparanganda, the Technical Director of Mavambo Trust Orphan Care, emphasised the importance of HIV awareness and testing among children.

“Approximately 60 percent of children living with HIV are aware of their status,” she stated. “We are working with the government to achieve the UNAIDS goal of 95-95-95, which entails ensuring that 95 percent of people living with HIV know their status, 95 percent of those aware of their status receive antiretroviral treatment, and 95 percent of those on treatment achieve viral suppression.

“As a community partner, we support children and caregivers in identifying undiagnosed children, referring them for testing, and providing comprehensive services to those who test positive, ensuring adherence to treatment,” she said.

The collaboration with the government has also introduced interventions such as positive parenting, gender-based violence prevention and response, and mental health support to create safe and secure environments for children and other vulnerable individuals.

In addition, the program offers training in income-generating projects of the children’s choice, aiming to break the cycle of dependency and foster entrepreneurship skills.

Youth participants from Harare and Goromonzi have received startup kits for various trades, empowering them in fields such as hairdressing, dressmaking, motor mechanics, carpentry, baking and catering, welding, information technology, panel beating, auto electricians, electronics, and interior decor.

Obadiah Matiyenga (19), a beneficiary from Tama village in Goromonzi, shared his experience:

“After dropping out of school due to financial constraints, I thought life would be exceedingly difficult. However, after being identified and enrolled in this program, I have gained economic empowerment.

“Through welding, I can now support my mother independently.” Obadiah received a complete welding kit, and his enterprise is now thriving,” he said.

Linda Chigondo (20) from Chibvuti Village in Domboshava, who is also involved in welding, expressed her gratitude for the positive changes in her life.

“I no longer depend on others to buy me sanitary products. I have achieved financial independence, and my dream is to support my parents in any way they need,” she said.

The Mavambo Orphan Care-Vana Activity has undoubtedly made a significant impact on the lives of vulnerable children, providing them with essential support, skills, and opportunities for a brighter future.

The collaboration between the Mavambo Trust Orphan Care, various government ministries, and PEPFAR serves as a testament to the collective efforts toward improving the lives of those affected by HIV/AIDS.

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