Due to social stigma and lack of awareness, children infected/ affected by AIDS are often neglected and abused - worst case uncared and left to die. Since 1998, Society for Serving Humanity (SSH) has been working on community-based rehabilitation of PLHAs (people living with HIV/ AIDS) - particularly children. We want your help to strengthen and scale our project to ensure quality care and support for these children in Dindigul and Namakkal districts of Tamil Nadu, India.
Besides the pertaining health and survival issues, these children face social stigma and discrimination. The child may lose playmates, and be denied entry to school or temple. They are sometimes denied food because people assume that they are going to die anyway soon. At the death of a parent, children may lose their property to greedy relatives and neighbors. Access to other services, such as education and health care becomes difficult to many children.
We propose to provide community home care for 400+ such children. First step is proper placement at caretaker's home (usually the grandparents or a close relative). We facilitate access to existing mainstream services and provide other supplementary services. We ensure food security, provide nutritional supplements, emergency medical treatments. We also provide educational assistance and psycho-social support and counselling through children support groups and local committees.
We take a deep local interventional approach in supporting these children and the families affected by HIV/ AIDS. We believe that family and the community is the best place for a child to be brought up and provides an opportunity for enlightenment of the community to accommodate such a child proposing an 'enabling' community development model. The proposed action demands continuous support, at least until the graduation of the target children and their employment.