St. Anthony Children's Village
St Anthony Children’s Village is run by the Dominican sisters and opened its doors to HIV infected children in May, 2003. The Village provides both physical and emotional support to orphaned children in a family setting. For a number of years, the majority of the children at St. Anthony were HIV infected, their mothers having died from AIDS. However, with the availability of ARVs (anti-retroviral drugs) for adults and children, more mothers are able to live and care for their children longer, while extended families are more willing to accept responsibility for their relations. Thus, the Village has increased the number of other vulnerable children it accepts: those abandoned by families, those whose mothers are mentally ill, and physically challenged children, most of whom suffer from cerebral palsy.
Since 2003, ZOA-US has provided funding for nutrition and health needs, including HIV testing. Since 2004, St. John the Beloved Catholic Church in McLean, Virginia, has provided ZOA-US the funds needed to support St. Anthony.
The Special Care Unit: The cerebral palsy and physically and mentally challenged children continued to receive physiotherapy 5 days a week by a qualified physiotherapist. The care-givers continued with the exercises on the remaining 2 days. The children responded very well and they were happy and contented. During the year, St John the Beloved Catholic Church raised funds for St. Anthony to purchase physiotherapy equipment.
The Village transfers children who have been integrated into families to Twapia Transient Home to attend the community school. ZOA continues to support both the feeding program. The resulting balanced diest has boosted the health of the children and reduced hospital visits.
The Village plans to establish a chicken rearing project, continue to integrate children with families in the community, and conduct an early childhood learning program, which will be open to the public for a fee.