What is an OVC?

OVC stands for “Orphans and Vulnerable Children”. These are children who have no support structures when their parents/caregivers are incapacitated or die from AIDS related illness.

What is a child-headed household?

Children who are left behind when their parents die often have to care for themselves. When the eldest child must bear the responsibility for caring for younger siblings in their parental home, this is referred to as a ‘child-headed household’.

Social support is available to OVC through government initiatives. Why are OVC not accessing them?

You may not be aware that for a child to access food parcels from the Department of Social Welfare they need to have an ID book. However many children in rural communities are not registered as citizens because they were never issued a birth certificate (often due to distance from hospitals and subsequent home births), and therefore do not have an ID.

Furthermore, in order for guardians/caregivers to receive child grants, the death of a child’s parents' must be verified with death certificates, which are often not available either.

Without orphanages, child-headed households cannot be formally cared for, so we have to find ways to develop community/neighbourhood schemes to support the children in their parental homes.

How many orphans are living in South Africa?

It is estimated that as of 2005 there were 3.36 million orphans in South Africa, an increase of 100,000 orphans from 2004*. This figure continues to increase as parents and caregivers continue to die as a result of HIV/AIDS. This means serious consequences for a millions of children and their access to basic necessities such as food & water, care, shelter, education and clothing.

*Statistics South Africa (2005; 2006) General Household Survey 2004; General Household Survey 2005. Pretoria, Cape Town: Statistics South Africa. Analysis by Debbie Budlender, Centre for Actuarial Research, UCT.

How does The Lonely Road Foundation help meet the objectives of South Africa’s National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS 2007-2011?

South Africa’s National Strategic Plan notes that children are a particularly vulnerable group, with the impacts of ill-health and death of parents from AIDS contributing overwhelmingly to the rapidly growing number of orphans in the country. Among the most devastating effects of HIV/AIDS in South Africa are household impacts and increases in childhood mortality, both of which threaten the future of the country and its ability to realize the Millennium Development Goals.

To address this crisis, The Lonely Road Foundation delivers on the following recommendations from the National Strategy:

  • Communities be targeted to take greater responsibility and to play a more meaningful role in managing solutions
  • Special focus be given to the vulnerable state of children
  • Priority areas must include ‘care & support’ and ‘human & legal rights’
  • Mitigate the impact of HIV and AIDS on individuals, families and communities by strengthening the implementation of social safety network programmes for orphans and vulnerable children.

Is The Lonely Road a registered charity?

The Lonely Road Foundation is a registered section 21 (not for profit) company. It is tax exempt in South Africa and is able to issue section 18A certificates (tax invoices) which will ensure that all corporate donations are given tax certificates to verify their contributions and ensure that they can take advantage of the tax deductions. We are currently awaiting Non-Profit Organisation registration with the department of social welfare.

Who benefits from the fundraising?

The Foundation will apply agreed criteria to select a rural community that has not responded to or been able to respond adequately to its OVC problem and is not in a position to initiate such a response. We will then follow a specific project implementation framework in which we bring together experienced NGO's to help us initiate the community's response.

A Board of Directors, selected for their credibility and experience, will be monitoring the governance and operation of the Foundation at all times.

How are the funds used?

The proceeds of our fundraising are invested and, if enough funds are raised, we will be able to provide for the projects out of the returns from these investments (an investment committee will oversee this). This would ensure the longevity of the Foundation and its purpose.

In addition, we link up with government, donor agencies, corporate social responsibility initiatives and other NGO's to reduce the financial burden on the Foundation alone, or on any one sector or partner.

The purpose of The Lonely Road is to raise funds as much as to raise awareness, and it is hoped that South Africans, along with the global community, will open their eyes to the fast growing problem of HIV/AIDS and OVC in Southern Africa.

How does the Foundation work?

The targets/measures of success will be that the foundation will provide the community with access to food & water, shelter, care and education for all children identified as orphaned or vulnerable by the end of the project, which takes 3 years to implement and become self-sustaining.

The model used to implement activities focuses on the creation of vital partnerships and a notion of shared responsibility so that the community itself plays a role in managing their own response to the needs of OVC in a sustainable way.

This approach suggests that entire communities must come together to share responsibility and maximize resources in order to ensure the health and well-being of children in a given community. TLRF links with governments, tribal leaders, non-government organizations, donor agencies, corporate social investment initiatives, and community members to maximize impact and reduce the financial burden on any one sector.

The Lonely Road Foundation and its partners implement – and build the capacity of others on the ground in selected communities to implement – the following activities:

  1. Setting up a local organization
  2. Accessing recognized donor agencies for specific project funding
  3. Assessing the needs of both the community and the children in the community
  4. Identifying OVCs and registering them with the local organisation and TLRF
  5. Identifying, training, managing and remunerating caregivers from the community
  6. Registering children with the Department of Home Affairs
  7. Registering children with the Departments of Health, Social Welfare and Education
  8. Accessing various TLRF administered feeding schemes
  9. Ensuring children’s access to relevant social welfare grants (e.g. child support grant)
  10. Protecting children’s right and access to free education
  11. Ensuring children receive psychosocial care and counselling for trauma
  12. Monitoring and evaluating the overall programme, numbers of children reached and their needs met, community capacity for sustainability and extent of impact.


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