Family AIDS Caring Trust (FACT) was established in 1987 with an aim to help families affected by AIDS in Zimbabwe. Through its sponsorship programme, FACT provides education to children orphaned by AIDS and distributes food and daily commodities to their families regularly. CEDAR has started its partnership with FACT since 2002.
As most of these orphans lost both their parents, they are usually cared by their grandparents or eldest siblings. Very often there is a generation gap between grandparents and orphaned children which leads to tension in their relations. To respond, FACT holds workshop for the grandparents to explore the dynamic teaching pertaining to their relation with new generations and serve as a platform for them to share their challenges. Partner also recruit volunteers from the communities who visit these families regularly, especially those child-headed households, to assist them in every possible areas.
Besides taking care of the basic needs and family relations of these orphans, partner also puts effort in building the capacity of the local churches. FACT trains the pastors on resource mobilising and facilitating congregations to participate in weekly meetings of orphans. The congregations are encouraged to pray with these children together and to care for their spiritual growth.
FACT trains elder children in the project to become peer educators. Besides assisting the younger ones, peer educators would also share healthy life values with their peers at school or in the communities so as to influence the others in living out a positive life. They also involve in the regular project planning and evaluation meeting so that partner would know the thoughts of children thus projects could be adjusted to cater their needs more adequately.
Recently, partner began assisting parents to form saving groups as well as to provide saving and micro-credit trainings. The group members save regularly and they take turns to loan so that they would have more capital to start income generating activities. This is in hope that the parents will be able to earn a better income for their family, thus improving their livelihood in the long run.
The prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe is high and affecting many families. Many widows and orphans are left with insufficient resources for basic living. They have the rights to access to assistance or inheritance if they can present the marriage certificate, birth certificate, and the death certificates of their deceased family members. However, many of the poor delay registering for these certificates for reasons such as complex administrative procedure and lacking fund to pay for the expenses incurred. As a result, they are left without assistance and cannot exercise their rights. Meanwhile, property grabbing by relatives is very common among these families. In many occasions these widows and orphans are chased away from their own houses which may be the only property left by the deceased.
CEDAR supports Trinity Project Trust to organize awareness raising workshops and trainings for empowering children and the communities, demanding and protecting the children’s rights through early birth registration, access to parental death certificates and apply for their shares of the inheritance. Adults are also encouraged to write their wills, safeguarding their family’s access to their inheritance. Our partner also assists the poor who cannot produce the aforementioned legal documents to gain rightful access to their estates or resolve other property grabbing problems.
In Addis Ababa, the capital ofEthiopia, many poor families live in the communities with limited facilities and poor hygiene conditions. Many parents either die from diseases or divorce, causing the family’s income to become very tight. Many families are unable to give their children sufficient nutrition, or pay school fees so the children are unable to attend school.
CEDAR’s partnerAddis AbabaGuenetChurchprovides help to poor children through distributing food and daily commodities, providing education and medical service in order to relieve their family burdens. Also, vocational training is provided to the older children to strengthen their capacity in the hope that they will be able to find a job in the future. Since July 2011, partner has started encouraging the children’s parents to join the small self-help groups. Partner provides trainings about savings and facilitate these groups to use the funds from the group members to set up micro-finance activities. AAGC is diligently teaching the members of the group savings and financial management hoping that in the long run their livelihoods may be improved.