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Day of the African Child: Focus on Orphans and Vulnerable Children
On June 16, 1971, thousands of South African school children protested the inferiority of their education and the right to be taught in their native languages, and many were killed or injured for speaking out. Since then, advocates mark June 16th, the Day of the African Child, by calling attention to the need to improve the lives of African children. This feature highlights one way URC works to address the needs of African children.
As of 2009, there were an estimated 2.3 million children between birth to 14 years of age living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and the World Health Organization (WHO). Furthermore, estimates show that 14.8 million children between birth and 17 years of age had been orphaned due to AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC), girls and boys who are infected or affected by HIV, are often more vulnerable and at risk of becoming victims of violence, exploitation, trafficking, discrimination or other abuses, according to UNICEF.
The USAID Health Care Improvement (HCI) Project, led by URC, leads the Care That Counts Initiative, a partnership of the US Agency for International Development and programs providing services to orphans and vulnerable children. The partnership seeks to improve the quality of care for these children affected by HIV/AIDS. HCI assists providers of services for orphans and vulnerable children in using quality improvement approaches to strengthen programs, enhance OVC services, and use data to help providers meet OVC service standards. In developing these service standards, HCI incorporates the views of children about their needs.
Children Share Concerns at Abuja Workshop