- What is the current HIV/AIDS situation in Zimbabwe?
- UNAIDS, UNICEF and other entities have reported that in every 4 adults, 1 is HIV positive and a child dies of HIV related illness
every 15 minutes. There are approximately 1.6 million AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe. A significant number of these orphans live in poverty-stricken rural
areas where either a grandmother or another child is head of household. In 2008, UNICEF reported that the number of rape cases involving children had
increased by 42% due to the economic crisis that has crippled the country in the past decade. Children whose parents are dead and those that are
unprotected are more vulnerable and at risk of abuse.
- What is your campaign, ‘Virgins do not cure AIDS’ all about?
- In Zimbabwe, like in some parts of the Sub-Saharan Africa, there are people who believe that if a man who is HIV positive has sex with a
virgin they get cured of the infection. Dangwa Initiative’s goal is to debunk this myth. For more information and how you can get involved in our
campaign, please click here.
- How old are the children served by Dangwa Initiative?
- New born to 18 years old
- Are there any boys in the programs you provide?
- Yes. Dangwa Initiative believes in families therefore any girls who are in the Precious Stones program who have brothers and sisters of
school going age, they too will receive educational scholarship.
- What is the criteria for Precious Stones? Can any AIDS orphan girl qualify?
- Being an AIDS orphan girl is the first step. The girl must reside in and be able to enroll in a rural day school. They must provide proof
of hardship to meet educational needs. Once the girls are initially enrolled in our program, they are monitored for a year, then every year after that,
they will have to be in good academic standing to remain in the program, i.e. they have to maintain a grade C or better in all their classes.
- Why AIDS orphans and not any other type of orphan?
- Due to the devastation of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, there are more AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe than there are from any other cause. UNAIDS
estimates that Zimbabwe there are 1.6 million AIDS orphans in the country, the highest in the world. Also, because of stigma and discrimination, AIDS
orphans are at more risk of being underserved academically and socially.
- How much does it cost to send a child to school and how are the funds used?
- $5/month for primary school and $10/month for secondary school. The funds are used to pay school fees as well as purchase uniforms and
basic school supplies.
- Does Dangwa Initiative have any orphanages?
- No. Dangwa Initiative does not subscribe to traditional orphanages, rather we advocate for children to remain in the same communities they
would have lived had their parents not died. Our programs are very family oriented. Click here to view our
model for our Virtual Orphanage.
- Why do you provide educational supplies to schools instead of just giving them directly to the AIDS orphans in the program?
- Our model is to keep the children in their communities (not send them away to traditional orphanages) and even though our programs’ main
clients are girls, we feel that it is our responsibility to build the capacity of those communities so that they are empowered to take care of ALL
children. By providing more services to the girls, we are merely trying to bridge the gap of access to education, healthcare and economic empowerment
that exists between the boy-child and the girl-child.