HANDEI

Health and Nutrition Development Initiative

A women is selected from each village to attend ASAP's skills training in agriculture farming
A women is selected from each village to attend ASAP's skills training in agriculture farming

Orphans are children whose dreams and hopes have been shattered by the loss of their parents. In Zimbabwe 3,000 people die every week of HIV/AIDS related illness. Over one million children have lost one or both parents. Traditional obligations to provide care to these abandoned children remain strong. Nearly 20% of adult headed households already contain orphans. When parents die, orphaned children are often sent to the rural area to stay with distant extended families; often with relatives they have never met. Child headed households are increasing at alarming rates as over-burdened extended families can no longer cope.

This home based care center works to become self reliant with the help of sewing machines and skills training
This home based care center works to become self reliant with the help of sewing machines and skills training

ASAP's HANDEI project helps strengthen rural communities to meet the increased demands created by this urban to rural migration of orphaned children. HANDEI is a Shona word meaning "Let's go!" Which ASAP achieves by building on the momentum and team spirit created by the IS&L project. ASAP works with the community to identify the most urgent needs. Unique in each village, the HANDEI project integrates IS&L with skills training to cost-effectively maximize the benefit..

Vocational skills training for unemployed youth provide survival skills and income
Vocational skills training for unemployed youth provide survival skills and income

Agriculture training and nutritional gardening helps to increase food production but filling the physical requirement for survival is only a start. The spiritual and emotional needs of these orphans, left abandoned and devastated by the killer HIV/AIDS, are equally important. Increasing HIV/AIDS awareness and providing training in psycho-social support and counseling for community and family members helps to create a more nurturing environment for these traumatized children.

HANDEI means Let's Go Move forward with ASAP to strengthen community members to thrive
HANDEI means Let's Go   Move forward with ASAP to strengthen community members to thrive

Locally run community home-based care volunteers visit families and distribute material and moral support for families suffering from HIV/AIDS. Through the HANDEI project, ASAP helps these centers create sustainable income generating activities; providing vocational skills to and training in market gardening and animal husbandry such as rearing rabbits for protein and nutrition.

In all of these ways, HANDEI increases the capabilities of communities to meet many of their own needs and create self-reliance.