Title: Nkanbom – (A Twi word meaning Togetherness) – Caring for our Future Leaders
Timeframe – 2004 – 2016 as a project but ongoing on an as-needed basis
Funders: Various entities such as – International Women’s Club, QWAAF, Save a Million Lives, WAAF/IHCC, Beekdal Lyceum, and various Individuals. Description: The OVC project began in 2004 when the onsite clinic of WAAF realized many clients attending were having difficulties fending for their children. The staff of the clinic decided to set the program up to provide care for the physical, mental and emotional health of children orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV. The program, therefore, sought to combat vulnerable children impacted by the HIV&AIDS crisis by providing funding for school fees to enable them to enroll and stay in school at least till the end of the senior high school cycle. Children hit by the double hammer of HIV&AIDS and poverty require unique care in a comfortable and compassionate environment. As these children face the biggest challenges of their young lives, their need for security, comfort, acceptance, and affection is magnified. Incongruously, children orphaned by HIV in Ghana suffer from severe stigmatization and rejection.
When a parent dies of HIV, his or her child is three times more likely to die – even when that child is HIV negative. Children orphaned by HIV often experience emotional distress, malnutrition, lack of health care, and poor or no access to education. Increasingly, OVCs are at high risk for labor exploitation, sex trafficking, homelessness, and exposure to HIV.
Goal and objectives: The goal of the program was to help minimize the stressful and negative impacts of HIV on OVC while maximizing their access to educational and supportive opportunities by putting emphasis on creating educational opportunities. Most OVCs cannot afford school-related costs where schooling is supposed to be for free. They are for instance unable to buy school books, unable to have adequate school wear such as decent uniforms, school shoes, school bags, and more. All these results in inconsistent attendance to school where in some cases the children are even sent away from school. School disruption can create a discontinuity in education and hinders normal development. Because of this, WAAF’s goal is to continuously try to sponsor children through sections of their schooling up to a point where they can be meaningful persons in society.
- over 360 children assisted through some sections of their education
- Created an environment that promotes children’s emotional, social, physical, and cognitive growth in a developmentally sensitive approach.
- 14 of supported children were able to make it to tertiary level
- Increased awareness of HIV amongst vulnerable children to enable them to make informed choices