The elderly grandparents who care for most of our 200 orphans have become trapped between expectation and reality. They expected their own children to care for them as they aged, but AIDS wiped out a huge chunk of that generation, leaving grandparents to cope both with aging and the needs of young children. We help them find ways to earn income.
The aging grandparents who care for our beneficiaries have no jobs or income, but households filled with their children's children. Some have been left to raise five children since all of their own children succumbed to AIDS. Struggling to deal with medical problems, pay for food, water, rent and electricity, they are also faced with demands for school fees, school uniforms, clothing and added medical expenses.
Many of the grandparents have skills they could use to earn some income if they have a bit of start-up support. One man was a trained tailor who just needed a new bobbin holder; when we provided one, he became self-sufficient. Several women who are seamstresses simply needed glasses. And they all need business training and a bit of start-up capital, which we provide as loans.
Not only will the caregivers earn income in order to sustain themselves; they will become better able to sustain the children in their households. And, of course, the improvement in the quality of life of these 125 households contributes to an improvement in the quality of the entire community.
This project has provided additional documentation in a Microsoft Word file (projdoc.doc).