AAR Japan has been helping guardians of orphans who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS. AAR Japan has been assisting these guardians become financially independent, so that they may be able to send their children to school. Since 2004, we’ve been running an initiative we call “income generating activity” (IGA), in which the guardians are educated on how to make money from chicken farming and maize milling.
We feel this is a much needed activity because all children, orphaned or not, are entitled to a quality education to build their futures upon. The current situation, however, is that the majority of guardians are elderly and living onless than a dollar a day. They need to undertake all parenting responsibilities with limited physical and financial capacities. The situation is critical, and we need to continue working hard to solve it.
Who else can care for these kids?
“I needstrength, hope and your help.”
Esther Banda is a 52 year old widow who cares for two grandsons, and sometimes a third. She has been working extra hard to sustain her home, but often fails to earn enough money to put enough food on the table.
Her 17 year old grandson, Eric, who is in his 10th grade, is fortunately a very hard worker. He is very helpful especially with house chores, and this makes Esther very proud. She says, “Because I’m getting old now, I want Eric to graduate from school soon and start supporting this family.”
Esther is one of the guardians who have been taking part in the chicken farming project of IGA. Chicken farming is not as easy as one might imagine – it requires her to work both day and night, and she is often forced to wake up at midnight in order to check if the chickens are ok. In addition, water is an absolute necessity for chicken farming, but it poses a big challenge for Esther because fetching Jerry cans of water is a rather physically demanding task for a woman her age. But with some help from her grandsons, she works hard to make the project a success.
All the hard work that guardians like Esther are experiencing will not end up in vain, because the guardians should be able to make a sustained income once they finish their education through this project.
The challenge still remains that the profit that most guardians make through IGA are not yet enough to cover schooling fees for their orphaned children.
Further help is needed, and your assistance will make a big difference in the orphans’ futures. Please support our project if you can!
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