This project was started in 2005 when various social workers asked Mosamaria to give very needy children ongoing support.
Mosamaria works with about OVC in 7 different Support Groups in Botshabelo and Mangaung. They are children from 5 -18 years old, who have lost either one or both parents, and children living in extreme poverty who have been made vulnerable because they are either infected with HIV or live in conditions of need because they have been affected by HIV
Our project manager, Kelebogile Ditema works with 8 Trained Child Care Workers have weekly Support Group meetings with all the children to teach them essential life skills with resilience programmes like Khazimula, Aunty Stella and Crossroads; do regular home visits to assess the children’s living conditions, and render family support services like homestead vegetable food gardens, egg production, Voluntary Saving and Lending Groups and Income Generating Activities and homestead bakeries.
Services provided to children by Mosamaria’s OVC Programme are:
Access to food and food security after an assessment by the OVC Project Manager, which includes: Food parcels; a peanut butter sandwich, fruit and cup of juice at weekly Support Group meetings
General healthcare education and HIV prevention, ART for children, sexual and reproductive health education, basic hygiene.
Child protection – educating children and their families about Children’s Rights and Responsibilities, preventing children from being in abusive and exploitative situations, and having them removed by social workers where necessary, facilitation of child identity documents and birth certificates.
General Educational Support – supervising homework, facilitating school fee exemption, providing school uniforms where needed, identifying learning difficulties, and monitoring educational progress. We have 6 READ box libraries so that children can learn to read and write proficiently and begin to value books.
Psychosocial Support like helping the children to make memory boxes and deal with bereavement, and keeping up traditional songs and dances and developing cultural talents, assisting children to draw their own family trees, encouraging the children to express their emotions and learn important values in life, through creating their own dramatic sketches.
We have recently started Mini Cricket for our children with the kind support of the Free State Cricket Union. We should like to introduce more sporting activities to keep children off the streets.
At present we work with 400 orphans and vulnerable children in 7 Support Groups in Mangaung and Botshabelo. Our 7 Childcare Workers meet them once a week where they spend time learning skills like resilience training, Aunty Stella agony column discussions and HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health education.
We also work with the families of these children and we have 100 families who produce their own fresh vegetables in homestead trench vegetable gardens. We are currently experiencing the worst drought in 105 years and the municipal water supply has dried up.
The municipality has imposed very stringent water restrictions on everyone so it is difficult to plant vegetables at the moment. However our intrepid gardeners have planted vegetables for the winter months as they say they are dependent on this source of food.
The 10 JoJo water storage tanks which were donated to us by the Rand Water Board in 2013, have made a huge difference to those who were able to store water. It would be absolutely wonderful if we could have more of these water storage tanks donated to our families.