We serve orphaned and vulnerable children in African settings. Because our focus is primarily on training caregivers of orphaned and vulnerable children, we are focused on both the children and their caregivers as those we serve—so wherever orphans and vulnerable children are being cared for—by grandparents and “aunties”, in community settings, and in orphanages, outreach and street children’s projects—we are eager to be involved. We think it is critical to also train teachers and headmasters, police, health care workers and various children’s officers so that they understand the needs of OVCs, because they have a lot of direct contact with these children.
Recent reports from UNICEF show that the number of orphans in Kenya, for instance, is 2,600,000 children out of a total population of just over 43 million—that is 6 % of the total population, and since about half of Kenya’s population is under 18, it is about 12 % of children. In Ethiopia, where we are also working, the orphan population stands at 4,500,000 children out of a total population of 91, 728,000, or almost 5% of the population. Roughly 1 in 10 children in each of those countries is a single or double orphan.