A large number of children are orphaned, as a result of HIV and other illnesses, leaving young families to look after themselves, or be cared for by their grandparents. Most of the orphans and their guardians live in rural areas, where many live in tin shacks, often with no running water or electricity. These orphans are typically cared for by elderly grandmothers who struggle to cope. Neither the grannies or the orphans have the skills to apply for government grants, or the financial capacity to feed the children.
The local chief donated land with two dilapidated buildings. These have been repaired and refurbished by FOMKI with access to clean water, electricity and adequate sanitation. The buildings now include a kitchen, a dining area, an office and classrooms, and outside space including a playground, and a substantial area with potential for growing vegetables.
Currently, 65 orphans come to the centre, but with more resources, we could help many more!
At the centre, they are fed – breakfast before school, and dinner after school – with provisions, primarily donated from local businesses and individuals. The children are also helped with their homework, develop other skills e.g. sewing, growing vegetables, and can receive counselling. Sustainable provision of these services critically involves community workers, volunteers and people providing extra skills training. FOMKI plays a significant role in supporting this: ‘how we help‘.