South Africa Companies Advised to Fund Orphanages
May 23, 2002
A United Kingdom-based children's organization says private companies must fund orphanages and health care programs to help reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS on business in South Africa. Save the Children, an international agency for children's rights, says many South African companies have to consider children affected and infected by HIV/AIDS as having an impact on their business.
Save the Children launched a report looking into HIV/AIDS' impact on South Africa's children and the corporate sector. The report said most of the 95 large companies sampled have not established forecasts for the impact of the increasing number of child-headed households on markets. As one of its findings, the report indicated that within current programs, there is no explicit emphasis on gender, which is important, given the prevalence of sexual violence and the impact of the epidemic on girls. The organization's director, Kevin Byrne, said the report can shed light on how companies can join efforts to tackle the epidemic and protect children's rights.
According to Byrne, the country stands to have more than 1 million orphans by 2005 and some nine million more children whose lives will be directly affected by HIV. In addition, Save the Children also suggests companies build partnerships to benefit the children and provide a framework through which the impact of company interventions can be measured and reported. Clem Sunter, chairperson of the Anglo American Chairman's Fund, has challenged directors, managers and employees to "think of at least three things you will immediately volunteer to do once you have finished reading the document and go out and do them."
05.16.02; Veronica Mohapeloa
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.