U.N. Program Teaches AIDS Orphans Farming, Life Skills
A U.N. program is helping Kenyan children who have lost one or both parents to AIDS-related illnesses learn basic agricultural techniques and other life skills, PlusNews reports. The two-year-old Junior Farmer Field and Life Schools project teaches farming and social health, such as family planning and gender equality, to 120 AIDS orphans at four primary schools in a village in Kenya's western Nyanza province, where HIV prevalence is 15% -- more than double the national average -- according to PlusNews. "Agricultural skills are traditionally taught to children by their parents, but the problem is many parents are dying before they get the opportunity to pass on the skills," Edwin Adbenya, a JFFLS evaluator and monitor, said, adding, "We are facing an intergenerational gap that leaves orphaned children without the necessary skills and knowledge for their future livelihoods." All the crops grown at the school's farms, including medicinal plants, are sold. Grandparents caring for AIDS orphans also participate in the project. There are calls for the project to be broadened to include all students, rather than just orphans (PlusNews, 10/17).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.