The 2018 ODW-USA Charity Project of the Year: The AFCA Greenhouse Work Project for Girls in Zimbabwe
“Kids talking to me on the phone, congratulating us on being the ODW recipient again. Me…crying quietly with gratitude… “Yes, this will be a gorgeous greenhouse, benefiting girls who are AIDS orphans and who became victims of rape. It will be life-changing, for sure and there is no question that ODW-USA kids are changing the world. “…I am doubly grateful for being part of your ODW world. Thank you ODW for teaching children to care for one another and for the stranger in their world.” Tanya Weaver, Exec. Dir. AFCA
Name of Project: Greenhouse Work Program for Girls
Name of U.S. PVO: American Foundation for Children with AIDS
Project Site in Country (Where implemented): Zimbabwe
Collaborating Organizations: Sandra Jones Centre
Project Director: Tanya Weaver and Deborah Brennocks
Project Start and End Dates: July 2018 – December 2018
The Sandra Jones Centre (SJC) is a home for orphans and abandoned babies and children in crisis in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. They have been operating for over 10 years and over 900 children have passed through their care.
Project Goal: This program will contribute to the livelihood security for OVCs (Orphans and Vulnerable Children) in Zimbabwe through the expansion of our Greenhouse Work Program. Our goal for 2018 is to provide a large greenhouse to be used as a training ground and vegetable growing facility to benefit girls infected and/or affected by AIDS. We’ll provide oversight of the project.
Our request to ODW is to provide the funding needed to purchase and install a 8M x 31.5M greenhouse in Zimbabwe. A water tank, drip irrigation, all hardware, transportation and installation are included in the request. With our goal to make the Sandra Jones Centre self-sustaining, the addition of this greenhouse will take them one step closer to realizing this dream.
Statistics show that in Zimbabwe, thousands of children will spend the night in fear of abuse, sexual molestation by family members or guardians, while others will be selling their bodies in forced prostitution. One in every three girls in Zimbabwe will be sexually abused before they reach the age of 18. For girls who have been orphaned by AIDS, this statistic is even more dire. In fact, the girls who live at the SJC have lost their parents to the AIDS pandemic, only to find themselves being abused by their caregivers. Many arrive at the center pregnant and hopeless.
SJC and AFCA share the common belief that the girls need to learn valuable skills that can take them through a lifetime as mothers and adults, while ensuring the center becomes self-sufficient, not needing donations from external sources. The greenhouse work program allows the girls to learn farming, gardening, cooking, and sales skills while providing the center with good, nutritious food, which is needed by all growing children and especially by those affected by HIV. It also removes some of the cost of feeding the children at the center.
When the girls sell produce to the local markets (individuals and/or restaurants), their 50% portion is placed in a bank account for the day they leave the center, while the other half is used to maintain the greenhouse, for water payments, seeds, fertilizers and other needs. Girls learn further responsibility by paying for lost boots, gloves, or coveralls through their earnings. It is amazing how quickly items ceased to be lost once that rule was instituted!
Who will benefit from this project? Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) between 12 and 18 years of age in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe are the direct beneficiaries of this project. For this project, the beneficiaries will all be girls who have been orphaned by AIDS and also abused/raped by their guardians. One thing of mention is that girls do not have to leave the center once the turn 18, unlike most other orphanages and children’s homes. They only leave the center when they are ready to fend for themselves and their child, if applicable.
How will they benefit from this project? This project has three distinct benefits for the girls: 1. They will receive training in farming, including: preparation of land, mulching, planting, harvesting, packaging, sales, and conservation/preparation of food. 2. They will be providing vegetables for the center where they live, and 3. They will also be growing bank accounts so that when their time at the center is over, they will have savings available to start their new lives. It is expected that there will not be any need for additional financial inflow to support beneficiaries of this livelihood project. An SJC volunteer network will continue to work with these girls to ensure that benefits that are accrued are sustained.
The 2017 ODW-USA Charity of the Year: The Livelihoods Project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
selected by secret ballot vote in November 2016 after intense scrutiny, debate and research by the 2016-2017 student members of Operation Day’s Work-USA.
Name of Project: Livelihoods Projects – Democratic Republic of the Congo
Name of U.S. PVO: American Foundation for Children with AIDS
E-mail Address: tweaver@AFCAids.org
Project Site in Country (Where implemented): Democratic Republic of Congo
Collaborating Organizations: Elikya Center
Project Director: Tanya Weaver
Project Start and End Dates: June 2017 – December 2017
Amount Awarded: $10,000
Project Goal: This program will contribute to the livelihood security for OVCs in DRCongo, Uganda and Zimbabwe through the expansion of our Livelihoods Program. Our goal for 2017 is to provide small livestock, vet kits, gardening tools, seeds, transportation, training and water filters to 115 additional families. We’ll also provide oversight of the project.
Our request to ODW is to help with a portion of the overall project taking place in Tandala, DRC: goat distribution for 8 families, sheep distribution to 8 families, pig distribution to 4 families, and bean seed distribution for 20 families. This grant will also purchase and deliver 1 water filter to each family, immediately providing clean water for beneficiary families, keeping them out of the hospital for issues including diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, etc. The above will enhance sustainable livelihoods for the 20 targeted orphan households by Dec. 2017.
Who will benefit from this project? Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) under 18 years of age in Tandala, DRCongo are the direct beneficiaries of this project. The following families are eligible for selection: Child headed households
How will they benefit from this project? The program is expected to enhance food security of OVCs. One impact of this livelihoods intervention will be to improve the nutritional status of beneficiaries, which is sorely deficient at present. The training and distribution of small livestock strengthens the capacity of the OVCs to produce food and earn incomes. This is expected to have impact of releasing other resources to take care of their educational and health needs. It reduces or eliminates their dependence on food aid, as well. Children can drink milk immediately upon receipt of pregnant goats and sheep, helping them grow healthier quickly.
In the area of training, skills imparted to direct beneficiaries will trickle down to other unintended beneficiaries in communities, either through observation or through the deliberate sharing of experiences and knowledge.
The major benefit of this project is the capacity that is developed in orphan households to sustain their own livelihoods. Once this capacity is built, it enables the targeted beneficiaries to stand on their own feet and meet their needs. It is expected that there will not be any need for additional financial inflow to support beneficiaries of this livelihood support initiative. A volunteer network will continue to work with these households to ensure that benefits that are accrued are sustained.
Project Background/Rationale: DRCongo, a vast country with immense economic resources, has until recently been at the center of what some observers call “Africa’s world war”, with widespread civilian suffering the result. The war has claimed up to six million lives, either as a direct result of fighting or because of disease and malnutrition. This has affected everyone in the country, but as usual, the children are the ones who suffer the most. For the country’s orphans, who make up roughly 15 per cent of the under-18 population, life can be even harder than for most. There are an estimated 350,000 AIDS orphans in DRCongo.
These children lack the resources to break the cycle of poverty and the government under which they live has not supported them in this regard. With our help, I am confident that bit by bit, we can change communities by providing help, support, and skills training which will allow them to grow up as confident and self-sufficient adults.
What results do you anticipate from this project?
Children/guardians who complete the program will be able to pay for school fees, food, medicine and other needs once their herds reach capacity and the children start bartering or selling animals
The American Foundation for Children with AIDS (AFCA) is a non-profit organization providing critical comprehensive services to infected and affected HIV+ children and their caregivers. Our programs are efficient, promoting self-reliance and sustainability. Since 2005, in collaboration with our in-country partners, we have served tens of thousands of families in some of the most underserved and marginalized communities in Africa. Our areas of impact include: medical support, livelihoods, educational support and emergency relief. AFCA is transforming lives in Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRCongo).
2015-2016 Annual Project: Alliance for Children Foundation- Haiti
Project Goal: The goal of this project is to improve the lives of the most vulnerable children in Kenscoff, where we have worked for 5 years. This will include sustaining our feeding and tuition programs for the 45 children in the under resourced orphanage. In addition, we have recently hired five qualified teachers to lead daytime programs for preschoolers and after-school programs. Our goal is to train them in the Matènwa model of education, bringing the vital extra support needed to ensure these vulnerable children do not slip through the cracks.
Project Objectives: that support your goal: The objective of this project is to provide children with the essential needs and skills necessary to survive, including food, access to school, and literacy. We’ve added creative programming which brings music, dance and story-writing to the repertoire. Our aim is to increase children’s confidence and self-esteem and to encourage them reach their potential.
Project Background/Rationale: The youth in Haiti don’t have a chance to break the cycle of poverty and child slavery if they do not have access to strong educational programs, or learn the skills necessary to support themselves. This project could change individual lives, create new leaders, and transform future of the country of Haiti, starting with the children!
What specific activities will you carry out to accomplish the objectives of your project?
Bonnie, Director of The Alliance for Children Foundation addresses ODW-USA members
ODW-USA meets the 2016 ODW Charity of the Year: the Alliance for Children Foundation. The specific project is to help educate 80 orphans in school in Kenscoff, Haiti.
2014-2015 Annual Project: American Foundation for Children Affected by AIDS
This program will contribute to the livelihood security for Orphaned and/or Vulnerable Children in Zimbabwe through the expansion of our Livelihoods Program. Our goal for 2015 is to provide goats, rabbits, guinea fowl, chickens, vet kits, and rabbit pellets to 286 families. We’ll also provide seeds, porridge, transportation, training, and oversight of the project.
ODW will help by funding this portion of the overall project: chicken distribution for 20 families, rabbit distribution to 11 families, goat distribution to 5 families, small stock management training for 36 families, basic veterinary training for 36 families, gardening in arid areas training for 36 families, along with 2 new veterinary kits for the community. Transportation and delivery of the livestock is included in this proposal, as are vaccinations for all the animals, pellets for rabbits and porridge for the beneficiaries. This grant will also purchase and deliver 1 buck which is cared for by the community in order to control reproduction and cross breeding. The above will enhance sustainable livelihoods for the 36 targeted orphan households by Dec. 2015.
Zimbabwe has an estimated 1 million orphans due to the HIV/AIDS crisis. The government, through the Department of Social Services, negated its role over the past 17 years of being the main source of assistance to the poor and due to inadequate policies, has led to it being virtually broke. This has come at a time when HIV/AIDS is wreaking havoc among families resulting in one or both parents succumbing to the disease. HIV/AIDS, poverty and economic collapse has severely weakened the extended family which has traditionally played a vital role of being the natural caregiver of the orphaned child. Moreover, the sheer numbers of AIDS orphans have overwhelmed other support services that usually played a complimentary role in orphan care. These children now face hunger, lack of education and lack of health care. Livelihoods projects are proven to excel and bring hope and help in this type of situations.
Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) under 18 years of age in Zimbabwe are the direct beneficiaries of this project. The following families are eligible for selection: