There are currently 3.7 million AIDS orphans in South Africa (National Action Plan 2009-2012). The National Action Plan for Orphans and other children Made Vulnerable by HIV and AIDS (NACCA): 2009-2012 indicates that the proportion of children in South Africa who have lost one or both their parents, has increased over a period of 5 years (2002-2006) from 17% to 21% of all children.
Further, it is estimated that 42% of boys and 43% of girls in South Africa will suffer some form of abuse before the age of 18 (Ciet Africa, 2002). The combined impact of HIV/AIDS, poverty, the absence of fathers in many children’s lives, and child abuse, neglect and exploitation is likely to have a devastating effect on children’s quality of life and future communities.
The OVC programme funded by USAID started in 2009. Our aim as an organisation is to continue to provide a specialized non-sectarian and non-racial help line for children and their families. Childline reaches out to many children through its toll free helpline. Childline SA will ensure that every vulnerable child identified through the helpline line receives the required services and continues to engage provincial stakeholders to ensure that access is realized.
The key services to be provided to orphans and vulnerable children will include ensuring access to health care; providing psychological support to children and caregivers and training to strengthen OVC- caregiver relationships and child protection interventions.
The programme has been implemented in KZN, Limpopo, Gauteng, Eastern Cape, North West and Free State Provinces.