South Africa's Orphan Emergency

According to UNICEF, there are currently 3.9 million orphans in South Africa. Of these, approximately 2 million have been orphaned as a direct result of AIDS, and countless others have been orphaned as an indirect result. Children are the most vulnerable members of society. Without the support of parents, this orphan generation is subject to extreme stigma, exploitation, neglect, disease and a host of other circumstances unseen by any previous generation.

Within Johannesburg and surrounding areas, the need to protect and provide for the children orphaned by AIDS is beyond the capacity of any single government or agency. With nearly a fifth of the population unable to find work and half of the population living below the poverty line, “kinship networks” have been stretched beyond their means and cannot accommodate the influx of children needing a home and a family.

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