Orphans, vulnerable children assisted through Isibindi

Monday, June 2, 2014

Pretoria - Nearly 90 000 orphans and vulnerable children have been assisted through the Department of Social Development’s Isibindi model.

The model, which was was rolled out for the first time in the 2013/14 financial year, aims to address social challenges among children brought on by the effects of HIV/Aids, as well as other socio-economic challenges.

Isibindi (which means ‘courage’) deploys trained community-based child and youth care workers in communities to provide care, protection and developmental support to vulnerable children and families.

In a statement on Monday, Dlamini said the model exists to ensure that orphaned and vulnerable children can enjoy a quality of life similar to children who grow up in a “normal” household. 

“We don’t want any children to be negatively affected by factors not of their own doing.  Our aim is to ensure that they have access to all the rights and privileges enjoyed by children whose parents are still alive or able to care for them.  We want them to have food, access to education and healthcare, and all other basic needs,” explained Minister Dlamini.

Through this model, trained child and youth care workers are deployed within identified households to provide much needed support services to orphaned and vulnerable children.  These include assisting them to get ready for school in the morning, meal preparation, assistance with homework, registration for social grants and psychosocial support, to name a few.

The positive effects of the programme on its beneficiaries can already be seen. 

“While orphaned and vulnerable children, who received no care often dropped out of school or received low grades, 76% of children who received support from the Isibindi model passed their matric in 2013,” noted the department.

During the 2013/14 financial year, almost 3 000 child and youth care workers had undergone training in order to be deployed in households where they are needed across the country. It is envisaged that the model will have trained 10 000 child and youth care workers by 2017.

In addition, due to the difficult conditions they often find in households for orphaned and vulnerable children, child and youth care workers also receive professional psychosocial support through individual and group counselling provided by clinical psychologists.

This is done to improve their emotional and psychosocial capacity so that they may better serve orphaned and vulnerable children and their families. 

South Africa this week commemorates Child Protection Week – an annual campaign that aims to promote the safety, well-being, care and protection of children. - SAnews.gov.za


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