Kinship care – that is the care of children by relatives or friends of the family – represents a significant resource available for meeting the needs of girls and boys who are orphaned or otherwise live apart from their parents. 1 in 10 children worldwide are living in kinship care. In some countries, it is as high as 1 in 3. This makes it the most common type of care, after parental care. At Family for Every Child we believe that kinship care needs increased recognition and support and needs to be the first care option for children outside of parental care.
In this podcast, we hear from Blessing Mutama, who is the Director of Farm Orphan Support Trust (known as FOST), based in Harare, Zimbabwe. FOST has been an active member of our Alliance since 2015 and Blessing is one of our Board members.
Since 1997, FOST has been supporting vulnerable children in Zimbabwe, particularly in farm worker communities. Zimbabwe faces multiple challenges that affect the capacity of families and communities to protect and care for children. The country is home to around 1.5 million orphaned and vulnerable children. About 1 in every 4 has lost one or both of their parents – the majority to HIV and AIDS.
FOST enables community-based protection systems in remote areas, and works to ensure that children can grow up with their siblings in a familiar environment. They run the Supporting Orphaned and Vulnerable Children programme (known as SOVC), and kinship care is a core component of this work.