The Unique dream, which is slowly becoming Africa’s potential solution to tackling the impact of HIV/Aids on families is the brainchild of the late Catholic priest Father Angelo D’Agostino. Four years ago, the priest modelled his outstanding vision alongside a small pilot project in Kwa-Zulu region in South Africa which is run by the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.
He then began to replicate the Mandela idea in Kenya with ambitious plans to cater for more than 1,000 orphans. Impassioned about making a difference in the lives of children orphaned by Aids, and left in the hands of caregivers who are already vulnerable and helpless, the priest approached several stakeholders including a coalition of donors to make his dream a reality.
Through careful planning and strategy, D’Agostino and his team obtained 1,000 acres of land donated on a freehold lease basis by the Kitui County Council and started working on the project.Each of the 28 households consists of a grandmother and the orphaned grandchildren. There are only two grandfathers in the entire village who take care of their grandchildren single-handedly.
Situated within the village is Hot Courses Primary School; an all orphans primary school where each child narrates to the others about the loss of his/her parents. The school is unique in the sense that its entire student population is orphaned and it is the first such learning institution to be established in the East African region. There are 218 childern, 21 of them in different secondary schools while one is doing a degree course at Kenyatta University.
The village which is gearing for major construction works in its phase two expansion programme will eventually house 1,000 children and elderly guardians upon completion. The programme is supported by private and public donor funding from individuals, foundations, corporations as well as government and non-government sources.
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