One of the Theni District Positive regular social events which provide relaxation, comfort and support, India © Gideon Mendel for the Alliance A peer education leads a life skills session © Nell Freeman for the Alliance

Children

Children dancing, India (c) AllianceChild enjoying her after-school meal (c) Nell Freeman for the Alliance

    Families and communities are the foundation of an effective response 

Alliance programmes reached 98,455 children with care and support in 2009

Introduction

The Alliance works with children affected by HIV and AIDS and their families in over 15 countries reaching 78,263 children in 2011.

In addition to programmes delivering direct support, the Alliance has contributed to the strengthening of national child protection and social welfare systems and services for children in partnership with national governments in UgandaDemocratic Republic of Congo and South Africa.

Global picture

Globally there are 3.3 million children under the age of 15 living with HIV, 3.1 million of them live in Sub- Saharan Africa. In 2011 an estimated 330,000 children under 15 were newly infected with HIV, a drop of 24% since 2009. Antiretroviral prophylaxis prevented 409,000 children acquiring HIV infection in low and middle income countries between 2009 and 2011. Globally, deaths among children younger than 15 years of age are also declining. However a significant treatment gap continues to exist where coverage of paediatric treatment stood at 28% in 2011 compared to 57% for adults. The total number of children who have lost their parents due to HIV rose to 16.6 million in 2009. (All figures are from the UNAIDS 2012 Global Report).

Alliance Approach

The Alliance approach to children affected by HIV and AIDS is based on a commitment to the rights of children, their protection from abuse, violence and neglect and their participation in the interventions aimed to support them and their families. We promote a family centred approach which strives to keep children with their families and out of institutions; keeping parents alive and ensuring families are economically secure and able to access integrated family services.

We are integrating activities for children into existing prevention, care and support programmes, and working with communities to increase the number of pregnant women who are tested for HIV and are supported with treatment to keep their babies free from HIV infection.

Alliance partners provide children and families with direct financial or material support. For example, school expenses, food and clothing or with help to gain access to government grants and pensions. They also provide social and emotional support; helping children with disclosing their status or understanding a parent’s diagnosis, dealing with bereavement or helping families with legal issues such as birth registration, inheritance rights and adoption.

We advocate for the inclusion of all children in the response, ensuring we are reaching the most marginalised and most at risk children and young people, children of drug users, children of sex workers, street and working children.

Country programmes

  • Alliance Uganda's SUNRISE OVC programme to builds the capacity of government structures at central, district and community level to improve the quality of services and increase in access for children and their families in 80 districts of Uganda. The project aims to improve service delivery for 1, 250,000 vulnerable children. This five-year project is funded by USAID.
  • The Thogomelo project in South Africa aims to improve the care and protection of vulnerable children by training those caring for children at the household and community level and addressing their psychosocial needs. This is being done through implementing a nationwide accredited training project for caregivers and their supervisors. This five-year project is funded by USAID.
  • The Alliance is a key partner within a five year, $45 million, USAID flagship project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Alliance is leading the care and support component for PROVIC supporting 40 communities to improve health outcomes for most vulnerable populations including vulnerable children affected by HIV through child to child groups, community-school partnerships , self help groups for families affected by HIV ,home based palliative care and building stronger linkage and referral systems between government and community services.
  • The Alliance is supporting programmes throughout the globe to reduce transmission of HIV from mother to child. The Africa Regional Programme is supporting four countries: Burundi, Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria and South Africa to develop community-based  programmes that increase access to and uptake of prevention services.
  • Alliance Burundaise Contre le SIDA (ABS)is working with partners to develop and strengthen community child protection and welfare systems. With funding from Global Fund Round 8 ABS aims to support over 3,000 child protection committees across nine of Burundi’s 17 provinces and to reach over 36,000 children.

Drawing on the global experience of the Alliance

Through the work and experience of our partners across the globe we have been able to contribute to policy work at the international level. Through participation in international  networks  such as the Coalition for children affected by  AIDS (CCABA) the Interagency Task Team on children and AIDS ( IATT) the Consortium on Street Children (CSC) and Girls not Brides, Alliance partners have contributed to international  and national guidance and policies on children affected by HIV and continue to gather and share the evidence on successful programmes to support the global response.