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: Supporting grannies caring for orphans and vulnerable children In Category Two,News

Collaborative Care and Support Initiatives

With each person infected by AIDS, a family is forever affected particularly the most dependent members. The consequences are deeply felt among the youngest and the oldest generation. While lives of parents and care givers can now be prolonged through greater access to ART, orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) constitute one of the most long-term evidence of HIV/AIDS impacts with about 1.3 million orphans below 18 years of age are in desperate need of support. In general, the epidemic has created a cohort of children forced to endure the illness and loss of parents and face an uncertain future due to socio economic decline as a result of illness and the death of productive adults.  Long-term demand for care and support of orphans isamplified beyond the immediate affected households to wide networks of informal support. Almost every family in Kenya is now affected and are overstretching their resources to support orphans and vulnerable children.

orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) constitute one of the most long-term evidence of HIV/AIDS impacts with about 1.3 million orphans below 18 years of age are in desperate need of support.

Grandmother Resilience and Nurturing Initiative (GRANI) was initiated by WEMIHS Executive Director and Founder, Wairimu Mungai, in 2003 out of her deep concern that aged grandmothers were overwhelmed by the burden of care and support for AIDS orphans at a time when there was no treatment, no national social protection policy and when stigma and discrimination at community level was unacceptably high.

Over the years, WEMIHS has developed and implemented unique collaborative care and support  interventions with significant success in improving grandmother headed households gain resilience to cope withloss and grief of their own daughters and sons, livelihood skills to deliver care and support to youth orphans and youth, strengthening linkages to community support networks and a range of   services  that include education support, treatment and care, social and legal projection, field follow-up and mentorship to support practices and monitor progress.

Courtesy of the invaluable funding support from the Stephen Lewis Foundation, WEMIHS has been able to scale upthis programto benefit 108 grannies in six villages (Thika and Maragua sub-counties) caring for a total of 265 AIDS orphans, some living with HIV and in critical need of care and support.

Your support to WEMIHS will make a difference in the care of orphans under the care of aged grandmother

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