Prodigals Home on Tuesday launched a programme at AIDA centre on facilitating sustained and integrated community based response for children affected by AIDS and vulnerable children in Dimapur. The project which started from June 2010 will continue till December 2011 with Dimapur as the project area.
Funded by UNICEF, the aim of the project is facilitate and provide a sustainable and stigma-free environment to ensure that children who are vulnerable to HIV-infection or who are HIV-positive or otherwise affected by HIV and AIDS enjoy the same benefits and opportunities as all other children to develop their full potential.
Disclosing some findings of the study, assistant director of Prodigals Home Maong Jamir informed that there was a lack of strong networking/coordination between providers of service for the children and those working with children. Consequently support system for the children weak and uncoordinated. He also added that the people were generally ignorant and insensitive to the issues of children affected by AIDS and vulnerable children.
With funding to some NGOs most likely to be stopped due to several reasons, Maong said that potential service providers for the children are the churches which he added was either minimal or negligible owed mostly to ignorance about the issue coupled with lack of expertise. Even the children centre/institutions ill equipped (lack specialized counselors and health workers) and lacked secured sustainability, he informed.
While at the same time the project also lamented that the response from the government was inadequate towards children issues. The Juvenile Justice Act and Child Labor Prohibition are not implemented on ground and education programs were not comprehensively being implemented, the study added.
Director of Prodigals Home Ela also gave a presentation on the scenario of infected/affected children in Dimapur.
She informed that there was no detailed and consolidated information on HIV infected children or children orphaned by HIV for ready reference as there was no organization working exclusively with these children. She also disclosed that there are no HIV infected and orphaned (either or both parents were positive) children’s specialized care homes/ centers at present.
State consultant for UNICEF Dr Nyan Kikon informed that the project was on a pilot basis and will also implemented in other districts if it was successful.
The meeting was attended by various NGOs dealing with PLHA and government officials from related departments.