Lack of a secure food source is a primary cause of vulnerability among Africa’s poorest children, driving many to incredibly dangerous survival practices. Young girls across Africa are daily selling their bodies just to secure a plate of food.
Hands at Work in Africa provides food security to the most vulnerable children through a combination of efforts: serving nutritious meals served at community care points, implementing large and small-scale community garden projects, teaching individual child-headed households the importance of and steps to gardening, and, when necessary, providing food parcels.
Hands at Work also strives to enable anyone who is able to earn an income to do so, either by providing or organizing childcare so that a single parent can go to work and provide for their children or by teaching a skill that can be used to make a living.
*millenium development goal #1
Support for Education
Millions of orphaned and vulnerable children in Africa have no access to even primary education. Orphans are often forced to abandon school for a number of reasons: inadequate funds for school fees, caring for sick family members or younger siblings, emotional distress, and discrimination. But education is the key to unlocking every child’s God-given potential.
Hands at Work in Africa aims to provide access to education for children of all ages through services like pre-school for the youngest children, accessing local and international resources to provide school fees and uniforms for primary and secondary students, homework support for those without someone at home to assist them, encouragement to continue their learning, and mobilization of local teachers in the operation of the UNICEF-endorsed model of Community Schools.
The overarching problem with orphaned and abandoned children is the lack of guidance in their lives. Hands at Work in Africa strives to fill some of the holes the loss of a parent creates, guiding children in the way they should go through regular interactions with the child in their home and outside their home at care points where activities take place such as youth programmes and practical life-skills are taught in a safe environment.
*millenium development goal #2
Access to Basic Health
Hands at Work in Africa improves the health of the most vulnerable through a suite of holistic activities delivered in the homes of sick and dying parents and of orphaned and vulnerable children.
Through home visits, local care workers assess the health and security of children, identify urgent needs, and provide basic physical and emotional care. They work to raise the children’s health awareness, helping them to secure a clean water source and teaching them about HIV/Aids transmission. Often care workers connect those in need with outside resources, helping children receive the aid available to them. Care for vulnerable children often begins with care for their dying parents.
*millenium development goal #6