This situational analysis of four districts in South Africa was conducted to gain information about services offered to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) by government and NGOs and the situation of OVC in general. Ultimately, the analysis is designed to identify strengths and weaknesses of these services and suggest possible ways of improving them.
The majority of OVC live below the poverty line, are hungry, have been traumatised and are socially isolated from other community members. Their greatest needs are food, school fees, uniforms, books and clothing. Almost all OVC interviewed are unaware of policies and legislation that protects them. The NGOs play a major role in addressing the needs of OVC but do not have the capacity or resources to effectively address the challenge, given its magnitude.
The recommendations made by this report center on the use of a holistic approach to meet health, nutritional, psychosocial, educational and economic OVC needs. Specific provisions include placing a priority on mitigating the impact of HIV and AIDS, inciting government departments to take a more active role in addressing the needs of OVC, and reviewing the existing mechanism of collaboration to improve the sharing of information and resources between various OVC providers.
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