TAKING ACTION FOR THE FUTURE
Vana Vetu – wrap ups its operations on December 31, 2012 – after a five years!
The primary objective of the programme has been to build the capacity of communities affected by HIV and Aids to develop sustainable solution to identify the needs of OVC. We have achieved this primarily through three major focus areas: capacitating childcare workers with knowledge and skills (both in giving care and in formal fundraising), forming partnerships with other NGOs and with local municipality/government departments and, most importantly, enabling and mobilising the wider community.
Helping communities to help themselves has underscored all our efforts in working alongside childcare workers. Throughout our training programmes, conducted by various, credited training organisations, the emphasis has been on enhancing the ability of communities to care for vulnerable and orphaned children. Knowledge of children’s rights, the various options for treating HIV/Aids and TB, sharing information around nutrition and life skills; these are all critical components to building childcare workers’ ability to better care for OVC.
‘IT TAKES A DIOCESE TO RAISE A CHILD’
The ancient African saying that “it takes a village to raise a child” speaks to the principle of community, of belonging. It is a distinctly human need to be a part of other people, and in Africa this is reflected in the concept of ‘ubuntu’ (I am, because of others). Nowhere is this more important than in providing ongoing care for children. In responding to the Aids crisis Vana Vetu’s key priority has been to form partnerships with local community groups, especially Community Child Care Forums, where great strides have been taken in uniting a more aligned level of childcare.
Represented at this grassroots level are the local municipal governmental departments; the Department of Social Development and the Department of Health both carry budgets that can offer ongoing support and it is to them that local parishes and dioceses are turning for continuing support.
Local businesses also carry corporate social investment budgets that can support aspects of the financial burden that caring for children entails. At stake are the futures of the one thousand five-hundred children being cared for, and the fifty care workers.
HEART AND SOUL
It is evident that the priority and focus on maintaining the programme at community level is bearing fruit. Thanks to an explicit approach from the very beginning of the Vana Vetu programme – the focus on capacitating communities to provide care, identifying and supporting leaders within the community, and seeking to partner with others who are striving for the same outcome – the heart of Vana Vetu will continue to beat. And the eyes of the children will continue to shine.