Child Headed Families  

A child headed family is one in which both parents have died and the children have not found alternative guardians within their extended family or community.  Prior to the HIV pandemic this would be unheard of but the sheer number of orphans has overwhelmed communities.   The eldest child becomes head of the household and the main provider for their siblings.  Families of 5 of more children headed by a teenager make up the majority of families that are supported by this program.  

Read more about how Edith's Home is supporting these families or view the Child Headed Families photo gallery.

Patrick's family story in his own words

The story below has not been edited. 

Parents: Omoding John Peter (Father) and Ajupo Margret (Mother)

Children: Opolot Gidion Patrick  (aged 15 head of family)  /  Omoding Lawance Peter  (aged 15 and seriously ill undiagnosed) /  Aiki Christine (aged 7) /  Oonya Aron (aged 4) /  Asenkenye Grace  (14 months)

Ayatu Alfred aged (aged 13) and Aisu Simon  (aged 10) have been taken in by relatives.
Greetings in the name of Our Lord;

OPOLOT GIDEON PATRICK is my name. First born of 8 children to the above diseased parents.

My father was an army man, who lived out of home for a long time but time came when he fell sick and he was given a sick leave. So he came home and we lived with him happily because he started looking after us and our mother and provided for family needs and our education appropriately.

He continued being sick until he was taken to hospital were several tests were done including HIV/AIDS. During the process he was screened HIV/Aids positive in 2002 and also had bullet remains in his body which I also believe increased his illness. After tests he was put on drugs (ARV’s) but since the screening for HIV/AIDs was done late, this could not help him so much to boost his immunity so as to live longer.

Misunderstanding a rouse between my parents which resulted in to serious domestic Violence and impacted negatively to our lives as children because she divorced and went to her ancestral home that was a distance away from our home. So we lived with our father for 2 years with his condition, I being the bread winner at 16 years and taking care of my sick father as well.  

Read the rest of Patricks story here.