Imagine being a mother to nearly 1,000 children. Carol Dyanti is exactly that. She has created a new model for family for orphans living in child-headed households in Soweto, South Africa. These children have experienced first-hand the true devastation of losing their parents and guardians to AIDS. “Ikageng Itireleng” means “help them help themselves,” and the program is unprecedented in the way it helps these children overcome the tragedy they’ve experiences while protecting the remaining family unit. At Ikageng, siblings continue to live together in their homes. AIDS has forced these children to grow up too quickly, and the Ikageng team continues to work hard to help them grow to adulthood, which is frequently not possible for children as vulnerable as these living in often dire circumstances.
Ikageng provides for all the basic needs of the children, relieving the pressure on older children who, having lost their parents to AIDS, are forced to take on adult roles. Through its ongoing support of the project, Keep a Child Alive is committed to helping ensure these children continue to thrive.