In 2004, I went on my first UNICEF mission to the Southern African nation of Lesotho, a country with one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world. I visited UNICEF-supported intiatives around health care and education. Some of the photos below are from an elementary school for orphans. Nearly 13% of children in this small country have been robbed of their parents due to this terribly high prevalence of HIV/AIDS.
In 2007, UNICEF, recognizing both the short and long-term implications of the crisis, teamed up with the EU and the Lesotho government to launch a wide-scale social protection program to build a safety net with services for vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS. Today, UNICEF continues to lend technical assistance to this program, which increases vulnerable children’s access to health and education services. Expanding scholarship opportunities and providing school uniforms are also among the aims of the program.