ORPHANS AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN IN SOUTH AFRICA
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “Gabriel kept advising me to be good to neighbours until I thought he would make them my heirs.”
The importance of taking care of those in need around us is a responsibility we take seriously. Our orphan and children programme in South Africa supports over 1000 orphans. Our right-holders live in disadvantaged communities that contend with high levels of unemployment, soaring rates of HIV/Aids infections and where opportunities to earn an income and education are low.
According to the most recent survey, Stats SA data speculates that there are around 2.3 million orphans living in South Africa – 1.2 million have lost their father, 460,308 have lost their mother, and 374,520 have lost both parents.
The orphans and vulnerable children’s project by Islamic Relief looks at the holistic development and empowerment of the orphan family and have therefore established a local field offices which is the hub of activity in the various rural areas, this allows for the orphans, vulnerable children and their siblings to remain in their homes and communities. These field offices are the epicentres for the right-holders and their families to visit when they are in need of care, support and assistance with their educational, financial, nutritional, health, physical and developmental needs.
Under the supervision of regional programme officers, we have recruited and trained care workers from the community. The care workers are responsible for regularly visiting and monitoring the rights-holders and to provide the necessary support for the orphan household.
Islamic Relief field offices in the following areas: Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
The children have access to:
- A monthly food hamper
- Establishment of food gardens
- School uniforms and stationery
- Clothing and blankets
- Care workers visit orphan’ homes, provide home-based care and assist sick patients and guardians
- Day-care programs for pre-school children
- An after-care program where children can learn and play and their progress is assessed
- Care workers ensure that all the children of school-going age attend school
- Guardians attend a weekly support group
- Access to water via a water borehole.