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Child Headed Households

One of the most devastating consequences of the AIDS crisis in Malawi is that fewer orphans are taken into their extended families. In many cases, there are no surviving relatives or relatives that are financially able to care for these orphans, leaving the children to care for themselves without an adult. This living situation is referred to as a Child Headed Household (CHH).

 

The oldest child, often a teenager or in some cases only 7 or 8 years old, assumes the responsibility of the sole provider, caregiver, and protector of the family, which deprives them of their childhood and the opportunity to go to school. This also forces them to look for ways to provide for their siblings, which increases their vulnerability to child labor, HIV infections, and destructive sexual and cultural practices. 

 

With your support, Our Child Headed Household Ministry provides these families with the resources that a parent would otherwise provide: protection, food, education, shelter, and loving support.

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I remember one granny who had suffered a stroke and was the guardian for her 14-year old grandson, neither of whom could take good care of the other. When we came out to their house to welcome them into the program she said, “Every night since you came, I have been praying that God would make a way where there was no way. Today, God has answered my prayers." The lives of the CHH families are forever changed because they finally have hope and are being shown love and support where some thought there was no hope.   

-Jodi Gardner

     Operations Coordinator