Aids Orphans in Kenya

sponsor a child in Kenya

It is estimated that approximately 8% of the adult population in Kenya is HIV-positive, ie: 150,000 people; currently, 1.2 million children in Kenya have lost one or both parents to the disease. Orphans are often taken in by extended family members, but those families already afflicted by poverty may struggle to cope, both financially and emotionally, and find themselves unable to care for these already-traumatised children.

The aim of the ‘Family Carer Centre’ in Buru Buru, Nairobi, is to prevent child abandonment and family break-up in 600 households that are affected by HIV / AIDS and who are caring for orphans and vulnerable children . (This programme has now been running for seven years.) Protecting orphans who are vulnerable to HIV / AIDS and its emotional, social and medical effects, and securing the children’s rights in all areas of life, are the overarching themes of this programme.

When a household collapses, the children often enter the street culture, with its violence, exploitation, crime, drugs, hunger and disease. Economic struggles can make such children targets for sex work and abuse, which perpetuate poverty and HIV transmission. SOS Children’s objective is to ensure that this situation does not arise. Based on experience, observations and information from the community, the SOS Family Care Centre views HIV / AIDS as the major element in the abandonment of children and the disintegration of the family structure or safety net.

sponsor a child in Kenya

The Family Care Centre programme aims to provide holistic support to beneficiary children. The main activities carried out to achieve our aims are:

  • providing basic survival needs, including healthcare. This includes nutritious food, shelter and education, alongside anti-retroviral medication (ARVs) for those infected with HIV / AIDS
  • counselling
  • community workshops
  • business training for guardians/carers/eldest siblings
  • medical camps
  • networking with government bodies and NGOs to support the beneficiaries
  • empowering local groups and community-based organisations (CBOs) to support their community members.

ARVs to beneficiaries will be provided by the government through the SOS Medical Centre, free, and for life.

The SOS Medical Centre has been promoting awareness of HIV / AIDS to the community as well as those families being directly supported by SOS. It also carries out HIV testing and provides support and counselling to the community - about 5,000 beneficiaries.

In Eldoret, in the far west of Kenya, a new SOS Social Centre was set up in 2008. It runs a similar programme to that in Nairobi.

If you interested in helping the situation in Kenya you might like to consider how to sponsor a child in Kenya.