HIV AND THE FAMILY
In South Africa a lot of families are caring for children that may not be their own.  They might be caring for the children of their siblings who have been orphaned.  They might be looking after their neighbours’ children.  Other people might be looking after children because their parents work away from home. Often, we are looking after children who have lost one or both parents to HIV.  

As care-givers, we also have emotional, financial and psycho-social problems – we might be grieving because we have lost relatives, or we might not be ready to care for another child.  Sometimes we feel sad, and aren’t as strong as we would like to be.

Providing children with a home is a very special thing to do and means that children can grow up with some stability and security even when it is difficult.  

Example SMS:

Being a care-giver is a very special job.  What is your favourite thing about being a care-giver?  

Caring for children can be very tiring and make you feel stressed. What do you do for motivation when things are difficult?

What is life as a care-giver in South Africa like? Tell us who you are caring for and why.

Care-givers also need caring for.  Look after yourself by relaxing when you can, getting enough sleep and eating healthily.  

A care-giver does not have to be perfect. It is OK to feel tired or sad sometimes. Ask your Khuluma support group for help if things are too difficult.