raize the roof is focused on raising funds to help children who are little less lucky, both here in Canberra and outside of Australia. Our focus is on children who are suffering from serious illness, and children who are orphaned due to disease or circumstance. The funds that are raised from the Charity House will be divided equally, one part donated to Starlight Children’s Foundation and one part taken to Botswana to support SOS Children’s Villages, Botswana.
Learn all about our current campaign to support kids a little less lucky.
SOS Children’s Villages are a global organisation with a focus on social development and the care of orphaned, abandoned, destitute and traumatised children. Endeavouring to restore balance in their lives, SOS Children’s Villages has a mission to provide support and family relationships that the children in need deserve, to help them shape their own future and to share in the development of their communities.
First and foremost, the SOS model offers children stable and secure family homes. Each village consists of about 10-15 family houses, with each family having up to 12 children and a mother. Living with a mother and siblings and with the support of the village community, children have their individuality celebrated and nurtured in a family environment. They are encouraged to express themselves and are provided with opportunities to learn skills that will allow them to live an independent life after they leave the village.
In addition to the standard SOS model, each SOS village in Botswana has a Boys’ Youth house and Girls’ Youth House, which help youths over the age of 17 adjust to an independent life and to support those who cannot find accommodation outside of the village. Facilities in each village include playgrounds, preschools, kindergartens, Skills Training Centres, soccer fields, vegetable gardens, and a small medical clinic.
The Republic of Botswana is in southern Africa and has one of Africa’s most dynamic economies. Since achieving democratic freedom in 1966 they have enjoyed political stability, instituted policies such as free primary education and healthcare, and established access to safe drinking water for 97% of the population. It has been labelled the African success story.
Sadly, the presence of the HIV/AIDS epidemic across Africa is now threatening Botswana’s thriving economy. HIV/AIDS is a nation-wide health problem for Africa, and Botswana has the second-highest infection rate for HIV/AIDS in the world. With help from UNICEF, treatment and prevention techniques are improving, but the disease still takes its toll. In 2008, the number of children orphaned due to AIDS was estimated at 95,000, which constitutes 75% of all orphans in Botswana (UNICEF 2008).
The SOS Children’s Villages program in Africa is committed to providing long-term care and education for orphaned and abandoned children. At present there are three SOS Children’s Villages in Botswana, two SOS Youth Facilities, three SOS Kindergartens and two SOS Social Centres (family strengthening programmes). All children suffering from AIDS are on HAART – the Botswana Government’s Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Treatment.
The ever-increasing prevalence of AIDS in Africa means there will be ever more children orphaned to the disease. In cooperation with raize the roof, a new project will be started by SOS to enhance the family strengthening program in SOS Children’s Village Botswana.
You can help us raise money for this dynamic organisation by volunteering, donating or sponsoring raize the roof.
Bring a smile to the face of a seriously ill kid.
“Imagine granting a child’s wish, so powerful it will never be forgotten.”
Between 10-20% of children under the age of 14 have a chronic illness, such as diabetes, asthma, eczema or even diabetes. Living with illness or injury can cause enormous strain in the lives of children and their families. Emotional, physical and financial stress can often seem overwhelming, and families are stretched to their limits. It is often too easy to focus on the illness and forget that kids just want to be kids.
Children living with an illness or injury can often encounter lifestyle challenges in addition to the problems associated with their illness. Restrictions and limitations on physical and social activities, such as holiday activities or peer relationships, can add additional stress to the child and their family. Most families manage well, but assistance is always needed.
In 2008-2009 there were more than 550,000 children admitted to hospitals within Australia (AIHW). Like all other children, these kids need to participate in educational and leisure activities, and need a supportive social and family life. Often kids with a chronic disease miss out on a lot of opportunities and activities that healthy kids may take for granted. The pain, loneliness and isolation that sick children feel can dominate their lives. The act of bringing joy and laughter into the lives of children living with illness is so important, and can help them to forget their illness for a short time and behave like any other normal kid.
The Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia was formed in 1988, and has been brightening the lives of seriously sick and hospitalised children for more than 20 years. Starlight is a dynamic organisation which works both in and out of hospitals, delivering programs that are designed to lift children’s spirits right when they need it the most.