Supporting children, supporting families

In this week’s post, I’m sharing a short video that shows Tariro’s response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic; one which works to strengthen communities by educating and empowering girls.  In the video clip, Tariro student Ashley M., interviewed by program coordinator Nyasha Chidoba, explains how Tariro is making a difference in her life.

An article published in last week’s New York Times emphasizes the importance of working with families and communities to support home-based care for children who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS, giving them alternatives to entering into orphanages.  The article contrasts the experiences of children living in orphanages, who are separated from relatives but have access to food, clothing, and education, with those of children living with extended family, who have the emotional support of their relatives, but often receive little in the way of direct assistance with basic needs.

According the the Times, experts maintain that orphanages “are expensive and often harm children’s development by separating them from their families.”  Instead of directing financial resources to orphanages, the article suggests, small amounts of financial support can make a world of difference for families caring for orphaned children.

By providing educational sponsorships for orphaned girls like Ashley M., Tariro gives much-needed support to families caring for orphaned children, enabling caretakers to better meet these children’s basic needs.  Tariro’s work in Zimbabwean communities affected by HIV/AIDS ensures that the extended families of orphaned children are able to keep them out of orphanages and in a familiar environment, where they remain integrated with their families, peers, and neighbors.

The full text of the New York Times article appears at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/06/world/africa/06orphans.html

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