The population of Orphans and Vulnerable Children has been steadily rising. Researchers have also observed a reversal in child survival trends, primarily as a result of AIDS-related adult deaths. Although HIV prevalence is declining in Zimbabwe, OVC prevalence and incidence are likely to continue increasing. In addition, a growing number of children are fostered and made vulnerable by the epidemic.
Orphans and other children affected by AIDS suffer a catalogue of deprivations and vulnerabilities, including family dissolution, depression, malnutrition, lack of access to education and health care, homelessness, stigma, discrimination, abuse, increased risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and unintended pregnancies. Consequently, they generally end up not realizing their full potential. Also, reported levels of physical and sexual violence are high in Zimbabwe in general, but moreso among adolescent OVC females. There is a strong need to sensitize the country and reach a large and growing population of OVC and their families in Zimbabwe.
Many problems OVC currently face are tied to a lack of educational opportunity or other education disadvantages. One of Footsteps’s primary goals is to build schools which will enhance educational and nutritional programs, provided needed healthcare-related education, and to educate on the consequences of risky sexual behavior. Our 2018-2019 initiative will focus on building schools in rural areas for populations of OVC.
Sustainable Food and Water
School Meals The brain is 2% of the mass of the body, but takes up 20% of its energy. Often the only meal that school children eat during the day is the meal served at school. School meals, especially funding the acquisition of UNICEF’s CSB+ is a critical need.
Wells and Atmospheric Water Collection We are working with partners to explore the implementation of low-maintenance water wells, or atmospheric water collectors where power sources are limited.
We are currently working with a technology company on a 2018 initiative to provide low-cost state-of-the art wristbands that can call others for help. “Other” are members of the African communities we train to respond to each other during times of need.
Preventative Healthcare and Wellness:
Preventative Healthcare and Wellness Working with the Ministries of Health, Red Cross and other partners, we are aggressively working on preventative healthcare initiatives in rural regions and innovative wellness programs in more populated areas.
Building of Schools
Building of Schools These schools serve not only as an educational environment, but as a safe haven for children who, if left at home, would be at high risk for rape and other abuse.
School Supplies Books, workbooks, writing and drawing supplies, learning aids, etc.