Arms Around The Child

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Uzima, Ezimbuzini Informal Settlement, Soweto, South Africa

The Ezimbuzini Informal Settlement is situated within an Industrial Site, historically significant for its role in fostering black business growth. Besides its commercial importance, the area has also served as a bustling marketplace for goat sales during weekends, hence its name “Ezimbuzini,” derived from the Zulu word for goats. Located in Orlando East, the settlement is near the iconic Orlando Stadium, which famously hosted the World Cup Concert in 2010.

Uzima’s presence in this vibrant community is a beacon of hope, aiming to create a brighter, healthier future for its residents through dedicated efforts and unwavering support.

Visionary Carol Dyanti, known as Mum Carol to thousands of young Sowetans was driven to her calling by compassion for the many children orphaned by AIDS. Even though she had a good job as a Hotel Manager, Carol couldn’t sit by and let these children fend for themselves. She rallied her community and anyone who would listen to find supporters who would help her care for children who had effectively become heads of the family after their parents’ deaths. Carol is a legendary figure for us here at Arms Around the Child as well as across Johannesburg.  Her own story is that of an apartheid warrior and she is the strongest woman we know. But she needs our support.

3.7 million orphans live in South Africa and an estimated 150k are living in child headed households.

Uzima provides for the Ezimabuzini community and beyond with the following programmes and activities:

 

Health Education Workshops and Campaigns:

Conduct workshops and campaigns to prevent HIV transmission among key vulnerable populations within informal settlements and hostels.

Encourage and monitor adherence support to HIV treatment.

 

Psychosocial Support and Counselling:

Provide psychosocial support, health education, and counselling to individuals affected and infected by HIV, gender-based violence, and substance abuse.

Refer key populations to health facilities or community resources for treatment and medication.

 

Community Psychoeducation:

Provide scholastic materials and mental support for needy children.

Support early childhood development by assisting parents, particularly single-parent households, with essential skills and materials for raising children.

 

Women Empowerment:

Initiate programs to empower women with skills, including gender-based violence prevention, entrepreneurship, and supportive knowledge.

Promote healthcare referrals to government institutions for medical check-ups, diagnosis, treatment, and other needed assistance.

 

HIV/AIDS Awareness and Support:

Provide education on prevention, treatment therapy, disclosure, and coping mechanisms for individuals infected and affected by HIV.

Work towards transforming health services to be people-centred, rights-based, and responsive to community needs, while eliminating stigma and discrimination.