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Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC)

OVCAs a consequence of HIV and AIDS, Zimbabwe is facing one of the biggest challenges it has ever had to confront. The lives of millions of children, adolescents and young people have been redefined by HIV and AIDS (UNICEF, 2005). While numerous efforts have been made to implement community-based initiatives, which support orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), the focus has been primarily on providing material and psychosocial support. The approach has neglected to provide valuable life-skills information which orphans and children need in their special circumstances, to make informed, healthy life decisions.


SAfAIDS, in collaboration with the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO), is implementing an information project that complements current government efforts in OVC. The overall goal of the project is to reach at least 25% of OVC in Zimbabwe by December 2009 with comprehensive life saving and life enhancement information and skills that contribute to the development of OVC, break the vicious cycle of vulnerability and HIV transmission and enhance personal survival of OVC. More specifically by 2010 under NAP project for OVC SAfAIDS is:

  • Developing and disseminating (print and electronic IEC materials as guided by the needs of the implementing program partners and beneficiaries (OVC).
  • Documenting at least 10 (1 per province) best practices from current and emerging OVC programs.
  • Facilitating national platforms (4 per year) for sharing of information and dissemination of the best practices to promote cross learning and cross fertilization of ideas among implementing partners, researchers and key stakeholders.
  • Producing 2 periodical newsletters (per year) on OVC to facilitate sharing of new information and experiences from the field targeted at 5 000 service providers/CBOs and 50 000 OVCs aged 10-17 yrs in Zimbabwe.
  • As guided by the NAP secretariate for OVC, repackaging, translating and disseminating selected key OVC documents into user friendly and accessible packages for OVC, implementing partners and key stakeholders in Zimbabwe.

Guided by SAfAIDS' belief and understanding that information is the power to make a difference in people's lives, the programme uses participatory methods to amplify the voices of orphans and vulnerable children ensure that their voices are heard. SAfAIDS is collaborating with NANGO, whose strength is its network members and its ability to mobilize communities for information dissemination and advocacy activities. By combining their comparative advantages SAfAIDS and NANGO are scaling up the production and dissemination of high quality, relevant and creatively packaged information materials for OVC and key stakeholders in Zimbabwe.



Placing Children in the Visibility Zone - A SAfAIDS Approach

"Children's Rights continue to be addressed as Second-class within the development sphere - particularly in the context of the HIV and AIDS epidemics. Placing children meaningfully and "VISIBLY"on the all response agendas remains Paramount to effective scale-up and realisationof Universal Access targets at country and global levels."

Grandmothers and Orphan Care in Zimbabwe

Dr Neddy Matshalaga, Grandmothers and Orphan Care in Zimbabwe, SAfAIDS, Harare, 2004


This study examines the situation facing orphans in one district of Zimbabwe by following up eight grandmothers caring for them. A survey of the overall situation concerning the shift in community care practices is followed by an examination of food security issues, material and labour resources available to the grandmothers, and accommodation and educational arrangements for the orphans. 

Kids ART Education Series - The Children's Treatment Literacy Toolkit

Responding to the HIV and AIDS Related Needs of Children in Southern Africa


The package, Kids ART Education Series (KAES) shares knowledge, facts and a series of creative and fun activities, centered around children and antiretroviral therapy (ART). Children can share it with their peers, family, friends and other members in the community. Children living with HIV are a critical group of people living with HIV (PLHIV), and are often overlooked when efforts are made in promoting community ART literacy.

Growing OVC Crisis in southern and Eastern Africa

Ken casey, World Vision International, October 2006 [presentation]



Results of OVC Head of Household Baseline Survey in Four Districts in Zambia 2002

USAID/Zambia ; Displaced Children and Orphans Fund SCOPE-OVC/Zambia and Family Health International 


The study was carried out in compounds in four districts in which SCOPE-OVC is working. These compounds were selected because of the high HIV prevalence rates, poverty levels, and the large numbers of households caring for OVC  

Findings of OVC Psychosocial Survey in Zambia 2003

USAID/Zambia; Displaced Children and Orphans Fund SCOPE-OVC/Zambia and Family Health International


The majority of the respondents were female-headed households, accounting for 61% of the respondents. The average of the respondents was 43. Out of 1584, only 11 (0.7%) were child-headed households. Almost 79% of the respondents had attended formal school. Men were more likely to attend formal school than women, p=0.001. Two ethnic groups accounted for 42% of all the respondents. Lozi was the biggest thnic group, accounting for 28%. Bemba accounted for 14%. Over half (53%) of the respondents had taken in other children. 

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