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Project TItle: Paradiso Home Based Care & Outreach for HIV Affected Communities in Malawi

Project Summary: Ananda Foundation's grant is being used to help Paradiso Home Based Care (PHBC) improve the health and development of 70 orphaned and vulnerable children (OVCs) and provide home based care for 120 individuals (adults and children) who are chronically sick.

HIV/ AIDS and Impact on Children

Sub-Saharan Africa communities heavily affected by AIDS are being stripped of a generation of adults: the most capable women and men in their most productive years. The aged and young are being left to care for each other as best they can. They face severe material and psychological hardships that aggravate existing poverty. Struggling to make ends meet, often with no adult in the home, children left behind by AIDS are highly vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and sexual relations that will expose them to HIV infection and other preventable illnesses.

Target Population and Issue: Malawi has an estimated 1,000,000 children who are orphaned and vulnerable, half of who are parentless due to AIDS, (UNAIDS, 2005). Many of these children are at risk of suffering human rights violations, psychological damage, social alienation, poor health and becoming infected with HIV, (Richter, 2004; UNICEF, 2005). The response to date for children affected by HIV/AIDS in Malawi has been provided by families and indigenous community initiatives. Integrated interventions that include provision of basic needs, healthcare, education and psychosocial support have reached only a small percentage of the most vulnerable children, (World Bank, 2004).

Project Background: Paradiso Home Based Care is designed to improve the health and welfare of all orphans and vulnerable children and people living with HIV/AIDS and the chronically sick in the district of Ngwenya. The majority of this area is rural with poor roads, little electricity and telecommunications. There is a lack of accessible and affordable health care treatment and a high rate of HIV prevalence, estimated at 25% for adults (15-49 years).

Paradiso Home Based Care (PHBC) was founded by volunteers and members living with HIV/AIDS in 1998 and became a registered community based organization in 2003. Paradiso is located in Ngwenya Township, a poor district located in the capital city of Lilongwe with a population of 16,000. HIV prevalence is estimated at 25% for adults between the ages of 15-49 years in this district (DHS, 2001). The purpose of PHBC is to empower communities and families infected and affected by HIV/AIDS to help themselves and the children under their care by giving them access to basic needs, health care and education.

The grant will be used to improve the wellbeing of children and their guardians by providing them with access to healthcare and increasing psychosocial support. The core activities of this grant are 1) counseling for people living and affected by HIV/AIDS 2) drop in day care for orphaned and vulnerable children (ages 2-6 years) 3) home based care for the chronically sick and adults and children living with the virus as well as children who are vulnerable.

Project Goal:

The goal of the Paradise Project is to improve the health and quality of life for 70 orphaned and vulnerable children aged 0-18 years, and to support their caregivers and guardians in the area of Ngwenya.

The priority focus of this is to promote the health and social integration of vulnerable children and their families by strengthening psychosocial and material supports on the community level. We will do this by supporting three programs implemented by Paradise Home Based Care Organization (PHBC), which operates out of a community support center located in the district of Nqwenya.

Project Objectives:

1) Increase Child Wellbeing and Youth Empowerment: Improve the health, social conditions and quality of life for orphans and vulnerable children through provision of essential material needs, access and receipt of healthcare services (primary care, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment) and nutrition.

2) Increase Psychosocial Support: Implement psychosocial interventions that promote positive attitudes and beliefs, health, gender equality, human rights and best care practices for orphans and vulnerable children, caregivers and people living with HIV/AIDS. Promote HIV/AIDS awareness, advocacy and policy benefiting vulnerable children.

3) Support Families and Caregivers: Provide access to healthcare and develop income-generating projects to combat food insecurity and cover health and education expenses. Increase ability of caregivers and families to cope with socio-economic impacts of HIV/AIDS, poverty and burden of childcare by providing life skills/health outreach.

4) Strengthen Community Based Support Systems: Build the capacity of PHBC as a community response by allocating financial resources (grant), training and coordinated collaboration with other providers. Implement and make viable integrated programs that increase the health and quality of life for vulnerable children and their caregivers, the chronically sick, and people living with HIV/AIDS.

Project Activities:

Paradiso currently operates one community center with a staff of three and sixteen volunteers. This grant will be used to help them set up the following activities:

  • Outreach and home based care visit program from Paradiso staff and volunteers to provide children and adults who are vulnerable and sick with clothes, food and medical and homeopathic care.
  • Establishment of one weekly peer support and advocacy group for PLWHA at Paradiso community center in Ngwenya.
  • Community outreach workshops on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, child care practices and human rights issues (36 workshops held annually)
  • Drop in day care for orphans and vulnerable children (ages 2-6 years) at Paradiso community center in Ngwenya
  • Access to health care services in ARV Treatment, Voluntary Counseling and Testing and primary care with Paradiso local partner Partners in Hope Medical Clinic

Project Specifics:

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