The HIV/AIDS epidemic sweeping through sub-Saharan Africa has left millions of children parentless, vulnerable and without a future or hope in a world that is becoming more and more selfish by the day. In 2013 an estimated 35.0 million people were living with HIV worldwide. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to only 12% of the global population yet accounts for 71% of the global burden of HIV infection. Ten countries, mostly in southern and eastern Africa; South Africa (25%), Nigeria (13%), Mozambique (6%), Uganda (6%), Tanzania (6%), Zambia (4%), Zimbabwe (6%), Kenya (6%), Malawi (4%) and Ethiopia (3%), account for almost 80% of all people living with HIV.
In-Community Care for Orphans (I-CCO) was set up in Zambia in 1999 by a group of concerned Christians in response to this tragic situation, and seeks to educate and care for as many orphans as possible, and to meet the emotional and spiritual needs of the children.
A dedicated team of workers in Lusaka, operating mostly in the township of Chawama, identify those orphans most in need and support them by providing basic necessities for them and their families. These include food, clothing, education – school fees, books and stationery – and basic health care. They are also involved in raising awareness of the AIDS orphans situation in Zambia, improving the living conditions of the orphans, and running camps and counselling sessions. Skills workshops and entrepreneurship training are also provided for orphans and carers so that they may in time become self-sufficient and not be dependent on handouts.
I-CCO’s main objectives are:
• To protect the orphans from becoming street kids
• Give the orphans a chance to grow up within the home and community atmosphere
• To help orphans concentrate on their education and training.
I-CCO UK was established in 2000 to work in partnership with those already working in Zambia to support the charity through prayer and finance