The Global Action for Children Campaign believes that community-based programs are the best way to provide children with access to healthcare, education, food and nutrition and life-saving medicines. Here are some examples of how community programs are successfully working to meet the needs of vulnerable children around the world.
Dropping School Fees in Kenya
An extraordinary thing happened in Kenya when school fees where dropped and school reconvened in January — 1.2 million new children poured into the educational system within one week — an increase of over 20 per cent! One million two hundred thousand children who had not been in school turned up for school. Kenya has an estimated one million two hundred thousand children orphaned by AIDS. Are they identical cohorts? Of course not. Is there a significant overlap? Everyone agrees that the overlap is large. Stephen Lewis, US Envoy HIV/AIDS in Africa, Press Briefing at The United Nations, May 2, 2003.
Meeting Nutritional Needs in Uganda
HACI awarded a grant for the construction of the shed, establishment of a pasture, and feed and treatment for the cows donated by community members. The goal is to provide a consistent source of milk for the children’s nutritional needs. In addition, money previously spent on milk can be spent on other necessities; excess milk can be sold to generate income and the cow manure will be used to fertilize the vegetable garden. HACI also funded a water tank to catch and store rainwater for use during dry periods. Hope for African Children Initiative
Providing Support Systems in Zimbabwe
In Zimbabwe, where one in four adults is infected with HIV, a small group of Christian women started the Bethany Project to help mobilize holistic care and support for the neediest orphan children and families. The Project trains whole communities in the care and support of orphan families so that children are able to remain living in the community, so far, 22 programs reaching over 8,000 children. Hope for African Children Interim Progress Report, Update: June 2003.
Providing Life Saving Medicine
In December 2002, the ARFCC set up a pilot program to offer free antiretroviral therapy to a number of needy children, an effort spearheaded by Leigh Blake, Executive Director of Keep A Child Alive. Patients come to the clinic at the start of each month in order to receive next month’s medications. At each visit, patients or their caregivers are counseled on the importance of adherence to regimen. Various clinical and laboratory measures are used to assess the clinical response and to evaluate patients for possible drug-related toxicities. To date, all the patients in the program have kept all of the their appointments and most have already shown excellent responses to the treatments. Keep a Child Alive Informational Materials