The most vulnerable group in the community is children who are living with HIV or have cancer. Our aim is to provide these children with the opportunity to have a better life.
Our Orphans & Vulnerable Children (OVC) programs provide the children not only with medical assistance but emotional, spiritual and educational support. We are extremely grateful for the support from our international volunteers and the donations from partners and friends, as many of the children’s programs would not be possible without this support.
Many of us are fortunate that we have had the opportunity to get an education and it is probably something we may have taken for granted. Try and imagine where you would be now if you had not had an education?
One of the keys in battling HIV/AIDS is education. A poorly educated child is at high risk of getting the disease and has little chance of getting out of the poverty he or she grew up in.
One of the major effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic is the chronic ill health of the breadwinners. This often means they do not have the funds to support their families let alone pay school fees for their children.
We are grateful to our sponsors who provide the school fees for many of the children on our Home Care Education Support program (HES). As we have limited resources, we select the neediest children with the priority given to children who are HIV positive; or have been abandoned; and children of HIV positive parents/guardians in our community. KHC regularly follows up each child at home and at school to monitor their progress.
As well as paying the school fees we also provide support with school materials such as pens, books, uniforms and pay for one meal a day at the school.
Children’s Day Care
The objective of the program is to encourage parents/guardians to have their preschool children tested for HIV At any given time 25 children can attend Day Care which is held at the clinic one day a week. The children are given clinical care and psychosocial support through singing, dancing, storytelling and games. Included in the program are preschool education lessons and 2 meals a day, which provides the children with plenty of nutritious food. The environment is relaxed and happy and takes them away from the stress due to the effects of HIV on their family. A nurse and a counsellor care for the children. The program can deliver positive outcomes for the child and their family.
The Children’s Day Care is dependent on external funding to run this program and currently it is on hold until we can get funding.
New Hope Children’s Hostel
Currently children from all over Uganda can only get access to cancer treatment at the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) in Kampala. Many children receiving out-patient treatment are forced to spend 2-3 months residing on the verandas of the cancer wards as they receive their chemotherapy treatment. This is because they cannot afford accommodation and food during treatment. Often many fail to start or complete their treatment due to the costs.
Our New Hope Children’s hostel can provide accommodation at any one time to 30 children and their caregivers. These families are referred to us by UCI.
The families also receive meals, transport to and from UCI for treatment. Other support provided is palliative care services, counselling, basic nursing care, assisted play and spiritual care. It also has legal support services. To date we have been able to assist over 575 children.
We are very excited to be at the forefront of such an important service and we hope that this program sets a precedent for more nursing homes and hostels for children with cancer. You can go to our New Hope website to find out more.