An estimated 2.6 million children were living with HIV at the end of 2014.
90% of these children are in sub-Saharan Africa, where 72% are not able to access lifesaving HIV treatment – Antiretroviral therapy (ART).
One to One Children’s Fund interventions focus on community-based HIV prevention, care and support for children living with HIV.
The best counsellors for the children are their parents, we then have to support them to support their child
– Diana, Community Health Worker, Zambia
We prevent new HIV infections by working with pregnant mothers, and we support children living with HIV by identifying them as early as possible to ensure they receive treatment, care and support so they can live and thrive.
Children living with HIV are one-third less likely to receive ART than adults and without this, one in three HIV-positive children will die before their first birthday. Too often children are not tested or treated because of the enormous fear and stigma which keeps parents from seeking testing and treatment for themselves, and their children.
Our programmes ensure that children access quality treatment and care in both health facilities and their communities. We recruit and train people who are living with HIV to work as Community Health Workers (CHWs) who improve the overall provision of services. They take over tasks that don’t require technical skills, freeing up clinic staff to spend more time focusing on treatment in the clinics.
By visiting patients at home, CHWs are able to give children and families support in a comfortable setting where they feel safe. CHWs reach people who might be unable to attend clinics due to the distance and costs involved in travelling and engage the whole family, which is difficult to do through a clinic but is hugely beneficial for the child.
As people who are living with HIV themselves, CHWs use their lived experience and knowledge to support families affected by HIV, by providing child-friendly services.
We also work closely with local partners and clinics, allowing them to identify what we and the Community Health Workers can do to provide the most crucial support them.
In Kosovo we work with our partner PEMA to reach some of the 20,000 children with disabilities, and other children suffering from exclusion, that wouldn't otherwise have access to social services. Although we are proud to touch the lives of kids like Bujar as we see it our biggest achievement is building up the capacity of our local partner.