There are an estimated 1.9 million orphans and vulnerable children in Kenya as a result of HIV and AIDS, which remains the country’s single biggest health care challenge.
Children still face major challenges in Kenya, ranging from child labor, harmful traditional practices like forced early marriage and female genital mutilation, poor access to education and healthcare, and a lack of protection from many different types of abuse.
Zimbabwe has a higher number of orphans, in proportion to its population, than any other country in the world, according to UNICEF. Most of these cases are a result of parents dying from AIDS. In a country with such a tense political and social climate, it has been difficult to respond to the crisis. President Robert Mugabe and his government have been widely criticized by the international community, and Zimbabwe has become increasingly isolated, both politically and economically. The country has had to confront a number of severe crises in the past few years, including an unprecedented rise in inflation (in January 2008 it reached 100,000%), a severe cholera epidemic, high rates of unemployment, political violence, and a near-total collapse of the health system.
Our Journey, Inc. is a non-profit organization currently working in Zimbabwe and Kenya with community-based programs emphasizing self-reliance for families and children decimated by AIDS.