Over 80% of the children living in orphanages in Uganda have at least one living parent.
Due to poverty, many families bring their children to institutions in hopes that they receive better care.
At Cherish we exist to build a hope and a future for children living with HIV and we are convinced it happens best in the context of family.
We endeavor to resource families as they take up their God-given responsibility to raise the children God has given to them. We want to promote dignity and responsibility, not dependence.
Rather than taking a child in, the impact is greater by going out to the child’s family and being a resource to them on how to best care for their child/teen.
While in the short-term, it might seem effective to take in a child to help meet their basic needs, we found that most situations were not medical emergencies. With a child’s long-term benefit in mind, we seek to encourage family preservation by working alongside families to empower them to be able to care for their child.
Cherish partners with the families of students at Cherish Schools, families referred to us by local hospitals specializing in HIV care, as well as the families who have a child that used to live in our Short-Term Care Facility (emergency housing for children who are HIV-positive).
No matter how hard we, or any other organization try, an institution is not a home. Children thrive in a family settings and many of these parents don’t want to be separated from their children.
In 2018, we finished resettling all the children from our Short-Term Care Facility and reunited them with found family members, extended relatives, or foster parents.
Family Strengthening Program
We ended the Short-Term Care Facility program to start the Family Strengthening Program.
The Cherish social workers visit the families throughout the year to check on the children, to assess the health of the family and living conditions, and to do individualized trainings with each household.
Social work team visits each partner family 3 times a year.
Trainings (such as budgeting, family planning, etc.)
HIV care training