Orphans per Household

In the early 1990s, the growing AIDS epidemic caused the deaths of enormous numbers of men and women of child-bearing age, severely stressing the social fabric of Malawi. Grandparents became the de facto orphan caretakers, and informal surveys of the 37 villages in 1996 and 1997 indicated that the average “orphan household” included between five and six orphans. Under these conditions, the outlook for the orphans was very bleak indeed.

From its inception, one of the objectives of MCV has been the creation of incentives and supports to encourage more families to accept and care for orphans. For MCV, this has been a remarkable success. By 1999, the average number of orphans in households supported by MCV had dropped to 1.97 (2910 orphans in 1475 households). And this success has been maintained. In 2007, the average was 1.91 (2718 orphans in 1420 households.) Thus, orphans have greater opportunities for both financial and emotional support within the household.

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