“We believe the family is the best place for every child.” This quote from a social worker narrating the video below is the central theme of the DOVCU program, which is implemented by ChildFund in Uganda and funded by USAID. Parents or family members who struggle through grinding poverty often feel that the best solution is to give their children up to an institution – an orphanage or children’s home – in hopes of a better life for them. The reality is that this often results in children growing up without culture and community and makes them more vulnerable to child trafficking or living on the streets. Furthermore, the standard of living in such institutions is seldom better. The Deinstitutionalization of Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Uganda program seeks to strengthen the livelihoods of families so that breaking apart the family is unnecessary. It also works to bring separated families back together again. I recently shot and produced these three short[…]Read More
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My latest video for Catholic Relief Services is the third of a trilogy showcasing the IMPACT program in Malawi. This piece, an excerpt from which is shown below, deals with community-based child protection programs. In Malawi, one out of three children has experienced abuse before they reach the age of 18. Malawi, in and of itself, is no more dangerous for children than other countries in the area. The problem has been that those working to protect children, from the next door neighbor in the rural village to the Malawi Social Welfare Department, have not been working in coordination with one another. Children have suffered as a result. In some instances cases of abuse have gone unreported, and perpetrators have gone unpunished. IMPACT has successfully connected the various stakeholders through the deployment of family care volunteers and the mobilization of an Orphans and Vulnerable Children Committee in each community where[…]Read More
It can be said that young people have suffered the most from the effects of HIV in Africa. The disease took a devastating toll on the population of Zambia, wiping out nearly a generation of the most economically active and productive members of society, those 20 to 40 years old. But it is the young who are left behind, often to fend for themselves and cope with a disease that is to be their only inheritance. With an HIV prevalence rate of 20%, Mongu District in western Zambia is one of the areas hardest hit by HIV in the country. Below, Nurse Idah Jangazya collects blood samples during a monthly HIV screening clinic at Mindolo Clinic in Kitwe, Zambia. Gertrude Nyambe is a 41 year-old mother of five living in Mongu. At the age of 35 she and her husband were diagnosed with HIV. He succumbed to the disease soon[…]Read More