Scholarship Support for AIDS Orphans
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The Kukhany’Okusha Zion Church has been a partner church with Global Ministries since 1982. The work of Kukany’Okusha around the HIV/AIDS pandemic has arisen because of the overwhelming reality of HIV/AIDS in the population throughout Swaziland. The members of the church are dedicated to ministering to members of the congregation dying of AIDS by visiting them in the hospital or at home, sharing food, prayer and song. Giving means so much because “the poor give to the poorest of the poor”. Many forego their only meal for the day in order to give money so that someone else may eat.
In late 2001 Kukhany’Okusha became the first church in Manzini (the city where the church headquarters is located) to begin work around HIV/AIDS at its site. Church facilities were remodeled as an office, counseling rooms, and restrooms to house an incipient HIV/AIDS Center and Clinic. A two-week-long HIV/AIDS Counselor Training Workshop was held in November 2001 with approximately 25 trainees who included members from several different churches and church organizations. Five members from Kukhany’Okusha itself were trained, including the pastor and office coordinator who are staffing the center. Public health and non-governmental staff working shared the difficulty of accurate information on the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Swaziland, which officially is estimated at one in four persons. However, cases of tuberculosis and AIDS are reported separately because many people will not admit to having AIDS.
Since the launching of this center and of the church’s work around HIV/AIDS, the women of the Kukhany’Okusha Zion Church have organized to provide a series of direct services for families living with HIV/AIDS. They give special attention and services to AIDS orphans who are living alone or with extended family (often the grandparents). Besides providing food packets and other relief for these struggling families, the women of the Kukhany’Okusha Zion Church identify those children who need scholarship assistance in order to attend school.
This work has evolved into a church program, where financial scholarship assistance is provided to these orphans for the purchase of school uniforms, shoes, school supplies, and food for lunch to take to school. For elementary school students the scholarships average $45.00 and uniforms average $70 for the school year. Secondary school students the scholarships average $50.00 and uniforms average $100 for each school year. The churchwomen of Kukhany’Okusha Zion Church are very proud that one girl they sponsored graduated from high school in 2005.
Upon evaluation of this active year of work around HIV/AIDS, the Kukhany’Okusha Zion Church, plans are being made toward the future. The support to AIDS orphans will be increased, with more scholarships being offered to assure the children’s education.
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To make a gift for this ministry online or by check use the online donation page.
- 100% of your gift will be directed to Scholarship Support for AIDS Orphans
- You will receive updates on the work in this area as they become available
- Share in the vision of God’s abundant life for all people
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