The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4327.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 9:10 PM

Abstract #55767

Orphans and vulnerable children: Surveying the challenges and opportunities from a faith-based NGO perspective

Milton B. Amayun, MD, MPH, Hope Initiative/Global Program on HIV/AIDS, World Vision International, 18745 Sioux Dr., Spring Lake, MI 49456-9712, 616-846-7490, and Kenneth Casey, BS, The Hope Initiative, World Vision International, 34834 Weyerhauser Way So., Federal Way, WA 98063.

The HIV/AIDS pandemic is changing the demographics, health status and socio-economic environment of many sub-Saharan countries. The impact on families and communities is borne by orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) whose numbers are expected to reach 40 million by the end of the decade. Most of them will be from least developed countries with high HIV prevalence rates. World Vision (WV), a faith-based, child-focused relief and development agency, is responding to the above with the Hope Initiative. This is a program to ensure that families and communities assisted by WV in high prevalence countries, together with local institutions such as the church, will be equipped and empowered to become long-term networks of OVC care. Models of Learning have been established in Uganda and Zambia to identify, document and share best practices in OVC care. An early task was the documentation of OVC needs in Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. The data obtained indicate that OVC numbers are overwhelming rural communities, and that food, shelter, clothing and primary education are among the most pressing needs. WV proposes these basic strategies: provision of a minimum package of assistance for OVCs, re-tooling/expanding the child sponsorship model, deployment of church volunteers (guardian angels), facilitating access to essential health care and HIV/AIDS prevention information, advocacy among churches in the USA and Canada, and linking HIV/AIDS with other development themes such as gender, justice, poverty reduction and human transformation. A toolkit on the above has been developed to share lessons learned from the three countries.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Vulnerable Populations

Related Web page:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: World Vision International
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

HIV Orphans and Community Responses

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA