Zimbabwe – Orphans – Aids and hunger

Whose fault is the whole situation in Zimbabwe and with all the illegals and immigrants in South Africa, we are not far behind them today?  EU and other countries will go the same route as Zimbabwe.   Will be interesting to know how many  people of Zimbabwe (immigrants) (or other African countries) are here in South Africa and their children are on their own in Zimbabwe.  Read through the articles.
Boys play at the Just Children Foundation for orphans in Harare. Aids orphans suffer from psychological trauma, a report says.

Zimbabwe – land invasions 2014 – 2009

Zimbabwe – “bread basket” into a “basket case” ~~~ No farmer – No food


January 2010 – HARARE // Zimbabwe has more than 1.3 million children orphaned by Aids and 50,000 households headed by children below the age of 18 whose parents died of the disease, the 2009 report by the National Aids Council (Nac) has announced.
Children orphaned by the disease now constitute one quarter of the child population in Zimbabwe. Left in the care of relatives or even alone, most of them are denied basic rights, the report says, and as a result they are likely to suffer psychological and social problems and are far more likely to be subjected to forced sex in adolescence. These factors in turn contribute to a large number contracting HIV, the Nac warns.

“The erosion of livelihoods and negative coping mechanisms resulting from increasing poverty makes orphans particularly vulnerable,” the report says. “Orphaned children are less likely to access health care, attend school and access basic materials.” More than 2,500 people die of Aids every week in Zimbabwe, which has however seen a drop in HIV rates from 15 per cent in 2008 to 11 per cent last year.



The landlocked country of Zimbabwe in southern Africa is known for its diverse wildlife and sprawling, gorgeous landscapes. What many might not be aware of is the crisis taking place within the country. Young children and those under the age of 18 are the sole providers of their households because of circumstances causing them to become orphans. The 10 facts about orphans in Zimbabwe listed below demonstrate the severity and seriousness of this issue taking place in this diverse and culturally rich country.

10 Facts about Orphans in Zimbabwe

  1. HIV/AIDS contributes largely to the number of orphans.
    In Zimbabwe, there are more than 1.3 million orphaned children, and HIV/AIDS is the culprit. According to the National AIDS Council (NAC), over 50,000 households are headed by children under the age of 18 who have lost parents to this deadly infectious
  2. Children are born with HIV/AIDS.
    Adults and parents are not the only victims of HIV/AIDS. This infection can also be passed from mother to child by way of pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding. In fact, 180,000 children were born with it. As a result, these children are highly vulnerable, and often face social prejudice.
  3. Orphans can go to next of kin, but that is not always an option.
    Traditionally, those orphaned in Zimbabwe are taken in by kin living in surrounding areas. This kin often involve aunts, uncles and grandparents of the orphaned children. Because of the destruction of families that HIV/AIDS causes, this network system is under severe pressure. It is predicted that between the years of 2020 to 2030, orphaned Zimbabwean children will not only have to deal with the loss of their parents but also will not have support from grandparents or other family members.
  4. Many run away after becoming orphaned.
    In an Evaluation Report completed by UNICEF in 2001 concerning orphans and other vulnerable children in Zimbabwe, it was reported that children dealing with AIDS in some form of their life were highly mobile. This means that nearly 50 percent of children had
    left their homes after the death of their parents. They headed for rural areas to ease hardships involved with living in the urban areas of Zimbabwe. Many children in this study ran away, never to be heard from again.
  5. Their education is poor.
    Education of those orphaned in Zimbabwe is lacking and in dire need of improvement. Adequate education in Zimbabwe for orphaned children is not easily accessible. Orphaned children, especially young adolescent girls, are often unable to regularly attend school. These children are missing out on key skills needed to be a functioning member of society, as education is considered a “social vaccine.”
  6. Poverty is certain.
    In addition to the loss of parents, many orphaned children struggle with extreme poverty. Poverty is destructive to all children of Zimbabwe and the world, but it is especially devastating to orphans under the age of 18 who have become the head of their household. They are exposed to a multitude of risks. These risks include poor health, poor educational opportunities, delays in development and a lack of emotional or social support.
  7. Many are not given a birth certificate which prevents them from accessing education and health care.
    In Zimbabwe, a high amount of children never receive a birth certificate. As a result, it becomes close to impossible to secure a spot in any school. This reduces their chances of adequate and sustainable education. In addition to this, never receiving a birth certificate can make seeking medical attention, especially for orphans living with HIV/AIDS, extremely challenging.
  8. Pathways offers services specifically for orphans in Zimbabwe.
    In July of 2018, USAID announced the launch of Pathways. The program was designed to provide nutrition, health and psychosocial services for orphaned and vulnerable children in Zimbabwe. This five year, the $35 million program will provide support and offer services to 250,000-HIV/AIDS infected orphans and 59,500 households of Zimbabwe.
  9. There are programs dedicated to keeping families together.
    SOS Children’s Villages in Zimbabwe has been one of the leading organizations offering support for orphans since 1983. Goals and the work of SOS Children’s Villages are working to support and strengthen families by providing necessities and ensuring that they stay together. If families are unable to remain together, SOS Children’s Villages can place vulnerable children into SOS families. Additionally, SOS Children’s Villages in Zimbabwe also works by way of providing education and advocacy.
  10. CAMFED is helping young orphan girls gain educational opportunities.
    CAMFED Zimbabwe, an organization launched in 1993, has been working tirelessly to increase educational opportunities for orphaned female adolescents in Zimbabwe. By providing scholarships for poor girls in rural areas, building hostels to shorten long distances girls must walk to school (walks are dangerous and tedious for young girls), chances for academic success for young women in Zimbabwe is improved and attainable. Nearly 104,000 young, orphaned girls have been given secondary scholarships by CAMFED Zimbabwe.

Improvements Are Still Needed

Overall, the 10 facts about orphans in Zimbabwe listed above are important in understanding the severity and prevalence of this issue in Zimbabwe. Though many vulnerable children have been supported by a variety of organizations dedicated to orphans in Zimbabwe, a significant amount of work is still needed to truly relieve the burden that orphans in this country must take on.

– Anna Giffels

10 Facts about Orphans in Zimbabwe

** ** **

Harare, 16 July, 2018 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announces the launch of Pathways, a five-year $35 million program that will offer services to 250,000 HIV-affected orphans and vulnerable children, 59,500 households, and 15,000 vulnerable youth.

Operating in nine districts in Zimbabwe with high HIV burden, Pathways will put communities on a path to self-reliance by building capacity in local institutions to provide a comprehensive set of services that improve health, nutrition, and psychosocial wellbeing of HIV-affected and infected children.

Funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), through USAID, Pathways will be implemented by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in collaboration with key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Ministry of Health and Child Care, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Child Protection Services, communities, and others. 

Although much progress has been made in the past decade, HIV remains one of the top health threats facing the people of Zimbabwe. Since 2000, over 1.2 million adults have died from AIDS, leaving 16 percent of Zimbabwean children orphaned by one or both of their parents. The United States Government, through PEPFAR, supports lifesaving treatment for nearly 1 million Zimbabweans living with HIV.



23 December 2009
Millions of children are orphans from HIV/AIDs in Zimbabwe and Africa. Most houses are now run by children. Very few can afford to go to school and millions die of hunger. For how long will we watch and do nothing. What story of tragedy do we need to hear before we can take action and make a difference. Equiplives educational foundation provides educational support to disadvantaged children from rural schools in Zimbabwe and in the year 2010 will be running a school feeding programme to 389 children and 18 families in kadoma.


In May 2005 the regime of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe demolished informal housing and razed whole neighbourhoods, upending the lives of a huge number of the urban poor. To this day, many of them are still without homes, living in harsh conditions made event more abject by the country’s economic straits

27 July 2017

NORTON, Zimbabwe (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Jabulani Zilawe lost all 11 of his children to AIDS. Now he is the only one left to care for their orphans.

“This has become my life – with my grandchildren. All their parents died. AIDS killed them. I had 11 children, six of them were girls who had moved to South Africa to seek better life, but they all came back dead – one after the other,” Zilawe told the Thompson Reuters Foundation as he surveyed his small grandchildren scrabbling around him.

Zilawe lives in a dilapidated homestead just outside Norton, a town lying 40 kilometers outside Harare, the Zimbabwean capital.

His bedroom is a thatched mud hut that sits near 12 mounds marking the remains of his wife and children.

“My sons, who became illegal gold miners, also suffered from AIDS before they died. You can see the graves here; the additional one belongs to my wife, who also died some two years ago, leaving me to look after our orphaned grandchildren,” said the 76-year-old grandfather, as he craned skywards for more sun.

Nearby, a scattering of his grandchildren wrestled over a pot of leftover porridge. None is in school; instead, like

their grandfather, each child passes the day at the homestead, idling and seeking a spot to bask in the sunshine.

Some of the little ones fall ill – regularly, said Zilawe, who didn’t know if any carried the virus that had killed their parents.

“I don’t know anything about my grandchildren’s HIV status; maybe they have the disease or maybe not,” said Zilawe.


His life is tough. Yet many other Zimbabweans in Zilawe’s age bracket are not just care-givers but are also coping with AIDS diagnoses of their own.

“It’s sad. It’s worrying when you look at the rate of HIV/AIDS amongst aged persons here. The percentage of elderly persons aged 60 years and above living with HIV is around 15.3 percent,” said Marck Chikanza, national coordinator of the National Age Network of Zimbabwe (NANZ), an organization that caters for older people’s needs.

NANZ said more than 115,000 older people are living with HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe, one in ten of the 1.2 million Zimbaweans who the United Nations says are living with HIV/AIDS.

“There has been a decline in the rate of people living with HIV across all age groups except in the 50+ age group where there has been a rise from 13.8 percent to around 14.3 percent,” said Tadiwa Pfupa-Nyatanga of the NAC organization, which coordinates the government’s response to HIV/AIDS.

According to 2016 official statistics, about 185,000 AIDS-orphaned Zimbabwean children are living under the guardianship of their grandparents. Men like Zilawe, who struggle to cope.

“Most aged persons here hardly have the capacity to produce nor buy food on their own. And most of the orphaned kids they look after are far too young to be working to produce food for their families. And the burden, at the end of the day, rests with the grandparents – who, in a true sense, are also dependents,” Anatalia Mabeza, who chairs an HIV/AIDS support group in Norton, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.


Some orphaned children say their grandparents offer little or no medical help for the health problems they inherited.

“I was openly told by my mother before she died that I was born with the HIV/AIDS condition, but now as I live with my grandmother, who is in her sixties, she has never bothered to monitor my condition,” said Lillian Muranda, 14, who lives in Caledonia informal settlement, 25 kilometers east of Harare.

“She tells me I was bewitched, but I’m always ill and absent from school most of the time,” Muranda told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

As Muranda delved deeper into the bewitching story, her grandmother stepped in sharply to intervene:

“Why do you bother her? You news men are very bad. You want to rule out witchcraft from my granddaughter’s illness. Leave us,” ordered Agnes Muranda.

Superstitious beliefs like this hinder government efforts to combat AIDS, and even if a grandparent has good information and plenty of intent, it doesn’t mean that help will follow.

“We have no means to support our AIDS-orphaned grandchildren besides the treatment drugs they receive from government health care centers. What we can only do is to make sure they take their medication. Remember, we are also victims of a failing economy and there are also many amongst aged persons who are living with HIV,” said Jonathan Mandaza, who chairs the Zimbabwe Older Persons’ Organisation.

As Zilawe sees it, he is shunned as an ageing irrelevance yet is left to pick up the pieces of his children’s lost lives.

“As older persons, we are not consulted on HIV and AIDS issues, yet there is also a strong misconception that sex matters don’t concern us. As such, access points for condoms and other HIV/AIDS services only favor younger people, leaving us out,” said Zilawe.



Massacres – Gukurahundi Zimbabwe

Gukurahundi (Zimbabwe)

ISS – Institute for Security studies – Zimbabwe



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