The Zimbabwe AIDS Orphans Society was founded in 2003 to engage in direct development cooperation supporting orphans in Zimbabwe. Through implementation by the Dzikwa Trust, the Society seeks to secure the basic education of over 400 orphans keen to learn and to promote their overall welfare and development. We believe that education is the key to the development of child and country alike.
In 20 years the support programme has grown into a recognized and meaningful source of help for orphans: The programme was started by the Finnish founders with the support for one boy in 1992; today there are over 400 hundred children in the programme. In 2002, the Dzikwa Trust Fund (Dzikwa) was set up in Zimbabwe to plan, direct, implement and supervise the support activities.
Zimbabwe is a developing country in southern Africa with a population of around 13 million. According to UNICEF’s report The State of the World’s Children, some 23.2 million people are HIV positive in Sub-Saharan Africa and, of these 1.2 million live in Zimbabwe.
It estimates the number of orphans to be in the region of 1.4 million, and about one million of them to have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. Many of these orphans receive no basic education at all, as school attendance is not free and the government does not have the resources to provide sufficient social support.
In addition to education, Dzikwa also provide the children with one hot meal a day, everyday of the year. They also receive basic health care and are given the opportunity to take part in reforestation and other forms of environmental education. Special attention is also shown when developing the children’s extracurricular activities such as sports and the creative arts. Dzikwa also maintains a safe shelter for some 15 homeless orphans.
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