Zimbabwe faces extreme challenges beyond just the climatic shocks that have ravaged the country.
The devastating AIDS epidemic of the 1990s/2000s has resulted in generations of orphaned children. As many as 1 in 4 children in Zimbabwe has lost one or both parents due to HIV/AIDS related deaths. Many live in child-headed households with virtually no means to provide for themselves, attend school or participate meaningfully in community life. Others live with elderly grandmothers or other relatives who are barely able to provide for their own basic survival needs. Frequently they are exploited as domestic slaves. Many are left to fend for themselves and end up migrating to towns and living on the street. All are vulnerable and most experience deprivation and neglect. Physical and sexual abuse are a constant threat and a reality for many.
There are few resources available to orphans in Zimbabwe. Although the economy has improved since its near total collapse in 2009, it remains severely depressed. The main economic activity in the Zaka region is subsistence farming. The plight of orphans in Zaka is desperate and their prospects bleak.
During the month of April, we will do our part to help these children in desperate need.
Kutoa Classrooms: Lesson Plan - Orphan Care (Français)
Kutoa for Families: Talking Points - Orphan Care (coming soon)