Protecting Children Affected By HIV/AIDS

Case Study

Protecting Children Affected By HIV/AIDS

Globally, over 13.4 million children are living without one or both parents due to AIDS; about 95 percent of children directly affected by HIV/AIDS continue to live with their extended family. More than 80 per cent of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS live in sub-Saharan Africa.

As the world’s largest donor responding to the needs of orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS, the United States President’s Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) is committed to supporting these children with the clinical and social services they need to survive, thrive and become healthy and productive adults. PEPFAR’s key partner is the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

One of the cornerstones of PEPFAR is to protect children from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. In 2011 and 2012, USAID called on Keeping Children Safe (KCS) to deliver child safeguarding training to its local PEPFAR partners. KCS provided training to over 350 participants in 10 sub-Saharan countries. They ranged from Ethiopia to South Africa, Nigeria to Mozambique.

“I have benefitted a lot from the training. I work in the field of children and this is one of the parts I was looking at as a ‘monster’! It seemed very big and I didn’t think I could understand it – policies, procedures, manuals….But I am very happy. Now I feel a part of it and can see the positive impact it is having. The challenge is now to put it into practice!” -- Helena Mkhabela, Program Manager, Hands at Work, South Africa.

Since then USAID developed new requirements related to child safeguarding standards for activities involving children or where personnel may come into contact with children. Recent updates to the regulations outline actions that USAID’s implementing partners are required to take in order to ensure and document that they are taking measures to reduce the risk of child abuse, exploitation and neglect.

In 2016, USAID asked The Coordinating Comprehensive Care for Children Project (4Children) to work with Keeping Children Safe to once again offer training and technical assistance to USAID and its local implementing partners to ensure they are meeting these new requirements.

KCS is looking forward to a continuing partnership with USAID to protect some of the world’s most vulnerable children from harm.

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