Orphans and Vulnerable Children
The OVC Support Program supplies school uniforms, school supplies, and, for older children in secondary school, tuition fees. Goats are provided to families who have taken in orphans.Since inception of the program, the attendance at the Katarara primary school has increased 78%, with a 51% increase in girls' enrollment. An evaluation performed two years after inception of the program (Dieckhaus, Marinelli, et al), demonstrated increased school attendance in orphans and improved financial status and family stability in families that received support.
A community health and needs assessment performed in 2007 identified orphans as a significant area of potential impact for the community. Of 938 households evaluated, over two hundred children were identified as having lost at least one parent. This represented over 8% of the school-aged population and the most common reason for parental loss was HIV/AIDS. There is no orphanage in the immediate area, and several households had no parent and were headed by an older child. By the sixth grade, girls were three times more likely to be drop out of school than boys. Children affected by the loss of a parent were more than twice as likely to drop out of school.