Chokwé District, where Vukoxa is based, is one of the country’s hardest hit areas, with an HIV prevalence rate of 25%. Its proximity to the border means that many working-age men journey to the mines of South Africa – those that survive often returning HIV+. Over half the population in this district is under 20 years old.
On paper, Vukoxa is a small, lean organisation with just four paid employees led by Michaque Ubisse, their Project Co-ordinator. But this belies their impressive logistical capability. They are able to reach many thousands of grandparents living in remote rural areas and offer vital support both to them and the vulnerable children in their care. Split into associations across 8 different communities, grassroots groups established by Vukoxa feed the needs of their local community to staff members, who in turn work with local government and NGOs to develop programmes that help the families decimated by AIDS.