When St. Anthony Children’s Village was established in May 2003, the majority of the children were HIV infected, their mothers having died from AIDS. However, with the availability of ARVs (anti-retroviral drugs) for adults and children, more mothers are able to live and care for their children. Currently, St. Anthony’s has increased the number of vulnerable children it welcomes to include those who have been abandoned by their families, or whose mothers are incapable of caring for them, and especially those with special needs. St. Anthony’s provides both physical and emotional support to these children in a loving and caring community. As needed, the kids receive physiotherapy from a qualified physiotherapist. Caregivers continue with the exercises. The St. Peter Claver Society, which has supported St. Anthony’s since 2004, raised the necessary funds to purchase the physiotherapy equipment.
Siblings, James and Chikondi, are not orphans, but their extremely poor parents locked the children in a house without food. When James and Chikondi arrived at St. Anthony Children’s Village, they were severely malnourished; Chikonddi could not walk at all, and James was unable to walk straight. With physiotherapy and proper nutrition, they can now walk and are able to go to school. Donations are especially needed to deal with the impact of the pandemic.