Taonga Community Home Based Care
Taonga Community Home Based Care Project (CHBC), was established in 2004 to provide support services to people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS in the community, and orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). Taonga runs HIV awareness and AIDS management programs, and trains community caregivers in basic home nursing and counseling skills. They provide additional training for psychosocial support for children and offer home-based care for HIV and AIDS patients and other vulnerable people, including the elderly and widows/widowers who have no reliable support. Child-headed households, or orphans living with relatives who are too poor to send the children to school, receive special attention. With many of its members being treated with anti-retroviral medications (ARVs), the organization helps train the patients to manage the disease more effectively. Taonga CHBC is an all-volunteer run organization, drawing care-givers from within the community.
ZOA-US partnered with Taonga CHBC in 2008 to provide financial assistance to support 50 to 65 children each year. The children the organization assists are spread over twelve schools in Kabwe. They attend primary and high schools, including Angelina Tembo. Since 2010, the ZOA-US grant has been steadily growing and in 2013, 67 children were supported.
ZOA-US continues to provide funds to Taonga CHBC to benefit nearly 100 orphans and OVC. Funding continues to be a challenge as the number of OVC rises.
Meanwhile, the work of the Progamme has attracted the notice of the Zambian government, specifically the Department of Social Welfare under the Ministry of Community Development & Mother and Child Health. They recently sent email requesting Taonga CHBC to consider supporting 450 OVC with their educational requirements. To an extent, it demonstrates the effectiveness of the Taonga CHBC, but this request is overwhelming for the Programme and it has made an appeal for more funds. In addition, the Taonga CHBC has identified a need for a hostel for girls from distant locations who attend school in Kabwe.