This year has been a watershed year for Hearts of Hope in terms of meeting our goal of providing children with ‘forever families’. Our first priority is to unite children with their families however if this is not possible, to have them adopted and placed in loving and caring homes where they can be given an opportunity to succeed.
By the end of 2014, 16 children would have left the Home in order to be placed with families. This has enabled us to meet the needs of and care for 44 children in 2014 alone. This success rate of adoptions is unusual and is a combined effort of the work we do at the home in preparing the children for life and enabling them to be easily ‘adoptable’ as well as the wonderful work done by our social workers and associated partner agencies.
Whilst it isn’t always possible to find local adoptive families, resulting in many international adoptions, we now have a global village of Hearts of Hope children as well as our local home. Our children now live in countries such as Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Luxembourg, USA and the Netherlands.
Hearts of Hope isn’t like most children’s homes. That’s because of our background. We were started by two women who had years of experience caring for vulnerable kids and a real passion for making a difference in their communities. So we focus on the depth of our reach and not just the breadth. On quality of care, not simply quantity.
"Raising a vulnerable child requires more than food, water and clothing. It requires love, attention, education, discipline and commitment regardless of their actions. – Hearts of Hope philosophy
And that’s because, having had families of their own, these women are determined to not merely provide a roof over children’s heads. Instead, Hearts of Hope provides a home and family for each child, until he or she can find a forever family of their own. Should they not be placed with a forever family, Hearts of Hope is that family. Our role is to equip them to be educated, well adjusted, self sustaining individuals by the time they leave at 21 years old. We aim to give them back their childhood.
Hearts of Hope and HIV/AIDS
The founders of Hearts of Hope started as volunteers in 1997, in a children’s home looking after HIV positive children. Back then, access to anti-retroviral therapy was very limited, and a number of the children who they cared for died due to lack of treatment. This was a catalyst for them to do more, driven by the thought “This cannot be right. We cannot do nothing.” Now, all our HIV positive children have been provided with excellent treatment in a loving home environment, and currently have an undetectable viral load. This is due to our strict protocol regarding adherence to treatment, ongoing immune booster support and high quality dietary content.
HIV pandemic – the battle is not over
The 3.7 million orphans in SA is projected to be 5.5 million by 2015
The loss of a parent not only has an immense emotional impact on children but for most families can spell financial hardship. One survey on HIV’s impact on households found that, “80 percent of the sample would lose more than half their per capita income with the death of the highest income earner, suggesting a lingering and debilitating shock of death Collins DL et al (2007, November), 'The financial impact of HIV/AIDS on poor households in South Africa', AIDS 21 Suppl 7
SA is winning HIV war on a number of fronts
By Tanya Farber INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS
May 2 2014 at 11:17am
Cape Town – Dr Olive Shisana, principal researcher on the national HIV survey that was released by the Human Sciences Research Council in April, has highlighted prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) as one of the fronts on which the country is winning in the complicated war against HIV and Aids.
South Africa’s efforts have fallen within the goals of the global community which, according to the WHO, “committed itself to accelerate progress for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission with the goal to eliminate new paediatric HIV infections by 2015 and improve maternal, newborn and child survival and health in the context of HIV”.
South Africa’s top 7 challenges in the next 20 years
Apr 23 2014 8:06AM
A decade ago policies helped bring down HIV infection rates by a third. But South Africa still has more than six million people living with the virus — the largest number in the world — and data show the infection rate is ticking up again.
Things are improving but we are not out of the woods
Africa: South Africa Must Step Up HIV Prevention – Report
2 April 2014
- While South Africa is on the right track when it comes to HIV treatment, testing and prevention of mother-to-child transmission, the country needs to step up its prevention efforts in order to curb the high rate of new HIV infections, according to the latest report on national HIV prevalence, incidence and behaviour.
- Released in Pretoria on Tuesday by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom, the South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey 2012 found that an estimated 6.4-million South Africans were living with HIV/Aids in 2012.
- This represented an increase in the country’s estimated overall prevalence of HIV from 10.6% in 2008 to 12.2% in 2012. And with over 400 000 new HIV infections occurring in 2012, South Africa ranks first for HIV incidence in the world