Episcopal Relief and Development has received a $350,000 grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation for work in rural Zambia in partnership with the Zambia Anglican Council. The two groups will raise money to match the grant so that they can reach up to 4,000 families in rural areas where there is a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS.
The prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in Zambia is among the highest in the world, leaving hundreds of thousands of children orphaned or vulnerable. Parents who are HIV-positive may succumb to the disease, or be too sick to provide sufficient care for their children. This responsibility often falls to a relative or a sibling, who may lack the resources or knowledge to support the child's health, growth and development.
The program will work with 4,000 families affected by HIV/AIDS, addressing the interrelated needs of children under five and empowering their parents or caregivers to support their healthy development. The program will incorporate learnings from the development of The Essential Package: A Framework for Action for Young Children and Their Caregivers Affected by HIV and AIDS, a unique initiative spearheaded by CARE, Save the Children, the Consultative Group on Early Childhood Care and Development and other stakeholders, with funding from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
"One of our primary goals is to facilitate and strengthen the capacity of community-based organizations to deliver early childhood development services for young children and their caregivers who are affected by HIV/AIDS," stated Dr. Shaheen Kassim-Lakha, Director, International Programs at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. "We are very pleased to partner with Episcopal Relief & Development and the Zambia Anglican Council because of their deep local knowledge and wide network of volunteers."
Episcopal Relief & Development and ZAC will integrate activities into their rural program that support children's cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development. Caregivers will also participate in agriculture and livelihood development to improve their families' nutrition and increase family income.