The welfare and happiness of children in a country is fundamental in the well-being and happiness of all its citizens. If children suffer, we all suffer. How children grow up and develop is furthermore decisive for a country’s future.
South Africa faces a challenge due to the growing number of children who live under conditions of severe poverty. Growing unemployment and AIDS mortality are creating a generation of socio-economically deprived children. Many of the children are robbed of their childhood as result of having to take on the role of parent and caregiver to siblings, and in some cases, ill parents. The HIV and AIDS epidemic has further undermined what is a general trend in the lives of many children in the country, particularly in the rural areas, townships and peri-urban areas. With regard to the impact of AIDS for example, around 50% of the 2.5 million orphans in the country, are AIDS orphans. South African communities struggle to provide the necessary support to the children, who are then often left to provide for themselves without adult guidance and support.
HPP SA has therefore devoted itself to creating a better life for children and especially support those children that are facing hardships due to poverty and HIV and AIDS. This has mainly been done through its Child Aid and HOPE Humana Projects, but also in TCE, thousands of children have been reached and taken care of
Child Aid is a concept that aims at securing a safe, healthy and enriching environment for children. Child Aid works with the community at large to address these challenges that mostly affect children. The Project creates activities for the children such as preschools and children and youth clubs, where children are engaged in activities that promote their development and growth. It assists and trains families to start income generating activities, which can support their income or prepare them for the labor market, so they better can provide for their children. It also trains families in health and environmental matters and mobilizes them to be active in improving the general life of communities.
Child Aid was first started in Doornkop Soweto, as HPP SA’s first project. Later Child Aid programmes have been started in Limpopo, in the Waterberg and Sekhukhune District.
Child Aid operates along ten concept lines (which are operational objectives), the first eight of which are generic to the average Child Aid intervention, and the last two (lines 9 and 10), which are selected according to the specific needs of a particular community.
The 10 lines of Child Aid include the following:
Line 1: Strengthening the Economy of the Families
Line 2: Health – hereunder HIV and AIDS
Line 3: Preschools Of the Future programme
Line 4: The Children and Youth Programme
Line 5: Children without Parents
Line 6: Education
Line 7: District Development
Line 8: Environment
Lines 9 and 10 are optional and can be decided on by the local community or a partner with a special interest. Activities can include Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) and Home Based Care (HBC), Food Security or other activities relevant to the community.