The children who come to AHOPE are HIV+. Many have watched one or more parent die from AIDS, and often they have been abandon with no family member willing or able to take care of them. AHOPE ’s children’s homes are filled with love, care and nurturing for these children. For these children who have lost so much, AHOPE is place of giving and growing. The children at AHOPE are part of the entire AHOPE family and they live in one of two homes: Little AHOPE and Big AHOPE. Currently there are 95 children in these two homes. The homes are divided based on age which allows for more appropriate activities to take place at each home. Both homes are filled with care givers who ensure each child gets some individual attention which all children need. There is also a pediatrician on staff who works part-time with the full-time nurses. Teachers, social workers/counselors and well-trained, supervised, child-care workers are also part of the staff.
When you walk into Little AHOPE you are bound to be greeted with smiles and giggles; and maybe one or two shy “little ones” peeking around the corner curious about the new visitor. The children are likely playing together having fun and being silly. The children at Little AHOPE are well cared for and happy. The kids there range in age from infancy through age seven. These babies, toddlers and young children are loved and nurtured by a dedicated staff. The little ones have playtime, they learn to walk and to speak and they dance to fun music. They are also taught basic skills to ready them for school. Children of kindergarten and early elementary school age attend Worldwide Orphans Academy. And of course they are kept safe and healthy.
Family Group Home
The Family Group Home program was developed as a means for our children between the ages of 11 and 14 to begin integrating into their community outside of school. AHOPE has two Family Group Homes in which 10 children, both boys and girls, live. The homes are staffed by a Mother and Auntie who live in the home with the children. The focus of the Family Group Home program is to provide our children with a home environment and begin teaching basic independent living skills such as chores, helping with the cooking and following curfew. Each of the children continues to attend school; their school fees, uniforms and books are paid for by AHOPE. There are activities arranged that enable the kids to experience different aspects of what their community has to offer. This program is also about fun and friendships. Living in the Family Group Home enables the kids to visit friends after school and on the weekends or have their friends come to the house. This smaller, more intimate home environment, promotes a close nurturing family atmosphere for our children.
Youth Transition Home
In order to address the needs of our children who are now in their teens, the Youth Development Program was established. These older children need transitional intervention in order to be successful adults. We have 31 youngsters, between the ages of 14 and 22, living in 3 Youth Transition Homes (YTH). The focus of these homes is to ensure a successful transition of youth into adulthood by providing them with a comprehensive array of programs and services including: health, life skills, budgeting, housing and job training. While they are still in school there is a need to begin exploring job opportunities as well. The youngsters attend different training programs which give them an introduction to an array of careers.
Independent Living Program
The Independent Living Program is for those young adults over the age of 18 who are ready to take the skills they have learned and live independently of AHOPE. These young men and women will continue receiving supportive services, including rent and counseling, but will be responsible for maintaining their own homes and managing their own budget.