Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
IRIN/PlusNews Profiles Initiative That Recruits Local Community Members To Help Raise AIDS Orphans in Rwanda
IRIN/PlusNews on Wednesday profiled the Rwanda-based initiative Nkund'abana -- which stands for "I love children in Kinyarwanda" -- that involves local community members in raising children whose parents or guardians have died of AIDS-related illnesses. The initiative, which was launched by CARE in 2003, has been helping AIDS orphans primarily in Gitarama, located south of the capital Kigali, to handle the responsibilities of being the sole providers for their families. Children in the program choose a trusted adult in their community to act as their guardian. The program staff contacts the guardian and provides him or her basic training in childcare and trauma counseling. The children remain in their own homes and their chosen guardian provides support with such tasks as enrolling in school. More than 2,600 child-headed families have participated in Nkund'abana, and CARE has begun expanding the program to other parts of the country. "Every individual child-headed home has the right to discontinue their guardian once they feel he or she doesn't meet their expectations. Fortunately, we have had few cases of that type," Elie Nduwayesu, director of the program, said. About 270,000 children in Rwanda have lost one or both parents to AIDS-related illnesses, according to Nduwayesu. The country has the highest number of child-headed households in Africa, IRIN/PlusNews reports (IRIN/PlusNews, 10/9).
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