Four million children in South Africa have lost one or both parents due to AIDS in the last three decades, while across the continent an estimated 17 million children have lost a parent due to the AIDS epidemic[i], a population roughly the size of Los Angeles.
In Mpumalanga—meaning ‘Place of the Rising Sun’—a province in the north-east of South Africa, the effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic are severe. There are many orphans and other vulnerable children and adolescents, while only around half of children living with HIV in the province are on treatment to suppress the virus. [ii]
This week, mothers2mothers (m2m) launches a new programme in Mpumalanga—Children and Adolescents are My Priority (CHAMP)—in an effort to tackle these challenges. CHAMP aims to reach 57,000 orphans and other vulnerable children and adolescents per year, of those—a fifth will be children and adolescents living with HIV.
CHAMP will use m2m’s proven peer mentor model and innovative approaches to contribute to improving the well being of orphans and other vulnerable children and adolescents in Mpumalanga. Working with our partners Grassroot Soccer and Zoë-Life, CHAMP will support them to access healthcare services, start on anti-retroviral treatment, and remain in care. Another critical element of CHAMP is strengthening the capacity of families and communities to care for these young people.
The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through US Agency for International Development (USAID), chose mothers2mothers to deliver the programme, and will be funding CHAMP. Welcoming the new programme, m2m’s President and CEO Frank Beadle de Palomo, said, “Collaboration is at the heart of our work at m2m… CHAMP brings the opportunity to work closely with the Mpumalanga Departments of Social Development and Health, and partners Grassroot Soccer and Zoë-Life”.
For more information, please read our full press release here.
[i] Orphans and Vulnerable Children affected by HIV and AIDS, USAID, 2016
[ii] Thembisa 4.1 (2018 PLHIV estimates & gross estimates of PLHIV on ART); PEPFAR FY18Q4 (finer age disaggreates of ART estimates