75 girls are one step closer to living healthier lives and being their very best selves!
The services laid out in the scope of the project allowed us to provide health and social services to 75 girls.
Estimated girls & women affected
We estimate that the average household in Soweto, a township in Johannesburg, South Africa has three females. The two additional female family members multiplied by the number of girls (75) equals 150.
Estimated community members affected
One year ago, you generously chose to support 75 orphaned girls in Soweto, a township in Johannesburg, South Africa, to help them be their very best selves. Since then, Keep a Child Alive and our local partner, Ikageng Itireleng AIDS Ministry, have provided these girls with comprehensive health services, food, clothing, shelter, access to education, psychosocial support, and most importantly, love. Monthly parcels were distributed containing food (maize meal, beans, rice, sugar, cooking oil, and more) and toiletries (laundry powder, toothpaste, soap, and sanitary pads) - benefiting not only the girls but their extended families as well. Home visits were conducted to provide psychosocial and adherence support and to follow up on health visits.
The girls also had the opportunity to participate in monthly support groups for children living with HIV and monthly forums for peer mentorship and support. In this past year, thanks to your support, we have worked hard to address the social issues that make these girls vulnerable and have laid the foundation for them to reach their full potential. These 75 girls are one step closer to living healthier lives and being their very best selves.
Hlengiwe is 13 years old. The eldest of three, her father passed away six years ago and her mother is currently on HIV treatment. Hlengiwe has experienced much pain in her life but is prepared to strive on regardless of her circumstances. She wrote a note that shows her gratitude for the support she receives from Ikageng and its founder, Mum Carol: “ Dear Mama Carol, I love you Mama Carol. You are the best Mama Carol and I will like to say thank you, Mama Carol. I love you very much. Thank you.”
Risks and challenges
Recently, the government of South Africa began to reduce financial support for food parcels for children and families affected by HIV. As a result of this cut, we have found that the demand for our food parcels has increased, and we are currently striving to continue to provide this type of support for the children and families that receive services at Ikageng.
What we’ve learned
Access to nutritious food is a critical component of comprehensive HIV care, as it can increase the effectiveness of treatment and prevent illnesses. Recently, a dietician was hired to conduct an assessment of the content of our food parcels to review their nutritional value. The results led to the conclusion that the contents need to be modified to ensure the girls are consuming a more balanced diet. We are considering the suggested changes that include providing brown rice and sugar-free peanut butter, along with adding more varieties of vegetables, to provide a nourishing diet that will help children and youth lead long, healthy lives. We anticipate the revised parcels will be available within the next year.
Keep a Child Alive is committed to providing the care components that we know support successful, life-long HIV treatment - comprehensive clinical care, psychosocial support, and nutritious food, as well as loving support for children orphaned due to AIDS. We will continue to support these 75 girls and the other children and youth at Ikageng (a total of almost 900) by giving them the services, tools, and opportunities they need to stay in school, thrive, and have a healthy future.
Amount spent so far
Monthly food parcels
Community outreach worker
Support group costs
Glenn Bozarth, Keep a Child Alive Board Member, recently traveled to Johannesburg and wrote the following blog post about his visit to Ikageng.
Support for orphaned girls in Soweto, South Africa
Keep a Child Alive with our local partner, Ikageng Itireleng AIDS Ministry, distributed monthly parcels containing food (maize meal, beans, rice, sugar, cooking oil, etc.) and toiletries (laundry powder, toothpaste, soap, sanitary pads) to 75 girls. These supplies not only benefited the girls but their extended family members as well. The girls were also given the opportunity to participate at our monthly support groups for those living with HIV and monthly youth forums for peer mentorship and support.
Risks and challenges
We did not encounter any challenges that directly affected our project but the strain of our local partner's human resources constraints (limited number of staff) could be felt during the implementation process.
Phumla* is a young girl that began looking after her three younger siblings when their single mother passed away. They were supposed to live with their uncle in the family’s home, but he did not want to support them and kicked them out. He told them to look for their father whom they had never met. Fortunately, an Ikageng supporter provided Phumla and her family with a home – a life-saving act for them as it restored their dignity and allowed them to continue to live somewhat normal lives. This youth headed household has been receiving our monthly parcels allowing them to focus on their education without having to worry about where their next meal is coming from. * Name has been changed to respect the family’s privacy.
Keep a Child Alive, with our local partner Ikageng, will continue to provide food parcels in addition to access to education and social support including linking girls to social welfare programs, providing legal support, and offering training and income generating activities. We are also working to build Ikageng’s technical and programmatic capacity to not only ensure these girls are receiving the basic services this project supports but also to assist in refining Ikageng’s services to help even more girls in need.
Budget: It is too early in the funding stage to provide line items. We are on track and will provide a thorough update in our 1-year report.
Help provide one year of health and social services to 75 girls who have been orphaned by AIDS in South Africa.
Why we care: 15 million children in sub-Saharan Africa have lost one or both parents to AIDS. Too often, they are left to fend for themselves.
How we’re solving this: By supporting Keep a Child Alive’s local partner, Ikageng, in Soweto, South Africa, provide what every girl has a right to and needs to live life to her full potential: health services, food, clothing, shelter, access to education, psychosocial support, and love.
Over a decade ago, “Mum” Carol, the founder of Ikageng, started responding to the dire needs she saw in her community among children who had lost their parents to AIDS and were left with virtually nothing.
Many orphans live in child-headed households where they are forced to take on the role of the parent and look after their younger siblings. Others live with a grandparent who struggles to get by on the small government pension. Some orphaned children are themselves living with HIV. Far too many orphans and vulnerable children in South Africa lack access to things that are basic human rights: health care, education, shelter, food, and water.
“Mum” Carol’s same passionate, grassroots spirit exists at Ikageng today. Under her dedicated leadership, Ikageng now supports more than 1,000 orphaned and vulnerable children with services that allow them to live healthy, productive, and positive lives.
We believe in strengthening existing community and family support systems so orphaned girls can stay in their communities, where they have the best chance of attaining a healthy future. We provide a range of basic services to orphaned and vulnerable girls, including:
Health and nutrition services and support:
- Linkages to HIV care and treatment for girls living with HIV
- Counseling and support groups for girls living with and affected by HIV
- Monthly food parcels and nutritional supplements o Health and hygiene supplies (including soap, washing powder, and sanitary pads)
- Access to education, including helping girls with school enrollment, fees, uniforms, and transportation
- Social support, including linking girls to social welfare programs, providing legal support, and offering training and income-generating activities
Join us in providing 75 amazing girls with the foundation they need to live healthier lives, reach their full potential, and be their very best selves!