Zimbabwe FACT HIV/AIDS Affected Children Project

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.

Zimbabwe Trinity Project Trust

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.

China Yunnan HIV/AIDS Prevention and Church Mobilisation

Yunnan province of China is an area that contains a high number of HIV/AIDS cases. In the past years, CEDAR has mobilized many local church leaders to recognize the importance of integral mission. They became more aware of their responsibility to care for the poor in the community, including those living with HIV/AIDS and their families. CEDAR works with the local church so that the church leaders, seminary students and Christians will not only learn about integral mission, but also understand more about HIV/AIDS, enabling them to be able to express and demonstrate their love for the poor and needy in the community. In addition, the project includes opportunities to work with HIV/AIDS victims and their families in income generation activities, in hope they would escape from the bonds of poverty through increasing their income.

A widow and her two children live in a village in Yunnan. When the villagers discovered that her husband had died from AIDS, they began trying to force the family to move out of the village. After receiving news about this particular case, the local church pastor, who had taken part in CEDAR’s integral mission and HIV/AIDS training, visited the widow and her children with a few other brothers and sisters from the church. Their visit brought great joy to the family. Afterwards, the pastors not only corrected the villagers’ inadequate knowledge of the ways of HIV/AIDS transmission, but also, along with the church body, put their preaching into practice, paying frequent visits to that family – eating with them, helping them farm their land – and overall creating a wonderful testimony. As a result, the villagers gradually accepted the widow and her children. In addition, the pastors also assisted the family in seeking help from the local women group, receiving monthly subsistent funding to relieve them from poverty, and most importantly, allowing them to carry on living in the village with dignity.