Africaid is a community based organisation in Zimbabwe which, through its Zvandiri programme, provides community and health facility based prevention, treatment, care and support for children, adolescents and young people living with HIV. Zvandiri aims to support national HIV systems to provide a comprehensive package of care for children, adolescents and young people living with HIV which is responsive to their clinical and psychosocial needs and experiences. Children, adolescents and young people are at the heart of the programme, whereby they take the lead in designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating Zvandiri activities.
Africaid’s Zvandir programme started in 2004 when a young girl Simbisai asked for a support group where she and other HIV positive children in Harare could share experiences and develop skills for growing up with HIV. The first group was started and Amanda, a 14 year old girl, named the group Zvandiri, meaning “As I am” in Shona. She wanted to say “I am a child with HIV, but accept me as I am”.
Over the last 14 years, the Zvandiri programme has evolved from this single support group for 6 adolescents in to a comprehensive model of differentiated services for over 75,000. It has been adopted by the Government of Zimbabwe and is being scaled up nationally, in 51 districts of Zimbabwe. Beyond Zimbabwe, the CATS component of Zvandiri is now being adopted or adapted up in Mozambique, Eswatini, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Namibia.
We sincerely thank the children, adolescents and young people of Zvandiri, and their caregivers, for their commitment and partnership in the development of Zvandiri. Also, our work would not be possible without the tremendous support from Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Health and Child Care, Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, National AIDS Council, Harare City Health Department, local clinics and staff.
We also are grateful to our funding and technical partners for their support and efforts to scale our work.
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