Helder – using YBC grant to transform the lives of orphans

At 26, Helder, the eldest of 5 orphan siblings who lost their parents to HIV/AIDS, is the leader of an association of 15 young orphans aged between 18 and 24. He was an adolescent when his parents died and proudly tells the story of how he worked to put his young brothers and sisters through school, and how one of them is today an English teacher and the other an accountant. Helder is now married with 3 children and is always looking out for other orphans and extremely poor families in his neighbourhood, inviting them to eat with his family as he works to enable them to get sustained support from the social services. When I heard about the YouthBank Chimoio (YBC) initiative, says Helder, I gathered a group of 14 young friends and we formed an association (named “Pensai nas Criancas” meaning “Think about the Children”) and decided to start an urban farm development project to produce food crops to eat and also to sell. With the help of the local leader, we identified two small farms and with our YBC grant we bought tools and seeds so we could get started. We needed to improve our farming techniques to improve production and productivity and so we brought in the help of government extension services. The association will use the proceeds from this farming enterprise to cater for their own needs and help 25 orphaned children stay in school. Today, Social Services see them as a star group, enterprising and very responsible, a group they would like to hold as an example not only to other orphans but all citizens.

YouthBank International

YouthBank International

Community House

Citylink Business Park


BT12 4HQ

United Kingdom 


Charity number: NIC101341

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