In response to the AIDS epidemic and poverty, the Zimbabwean government and other organisations are implementing various programmes aimed at assisting orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in the eight districts surveyed. It is clearly important to have an audit of the social services and support structures available for OVC in the eight districts and to have a clear understanding of the situation of OVC including their needs and concerns in order to have proper prioritisation, designing and evaluation of programmes that are aimed at supporting the affected children.
The AIDS pandemic negatively affects OVC. The situation has been heightened by the deteriorating economic situation in Zimbabwe and the weakening of support structures at all levels, that is, at individual, family, and community level. Although OVC support services were in place, these were largely overwhelmed and could not meet OVC material and psychosocial needs.
Various intervention agencies, such as government ministries, NGOs, CBOs, FBOs and the community at large, are making tremendous efforts in caring for OVC. However, the efforts of these agencies are being hampered by various challenges they come across as they carry out their work. This report highlights these challenges and also provides a set of recommendations for overcoming them.
In 2002, the Human Sciences Research Council was commissioned by the WK Kellogg Foundation to develop and implement a five-year intervention project focusing on orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in southern Africa. In collaboration with several partner organisations, the project currently focuses on how children, families and communities in Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe are coping with the impact of HIV/AIDS. The aim of the project is to develop models of best practice so as to enhance and improve support structures for OVC in the southern African region as a whole. This report forms part of a series that examines the work undertaken as part of the Kellogg OVC Intervention Project from 2002 to 2005.