Organizations can offer a powerful platform for change, and this is the root of beqom’s social responsibility initiative; Life is Bigger Than Software. Supporting employees to make a difference, in this case, in the lives of children in Swaziland who have been made orphans by AIDS.
Swaziland has the highest AIDS rate in the world, resulting in many tens of thousands of orphans with little or no means of support. Young Heroes is a charity that is transforming the lives of over 2,000 children, providing the life support they need until they reach adulthood.
beqom has been supporting Young Heroes since 2011, with employee Jeff Yoder participating in almost every edition of their annual five-day mountain biking trek across Swaziland. While Jeff will not be joining this year, he is continuing to fundraise to help the children gain an education, remain healthy, and thrive.
beqom has been pleased to see Young Heroes grow over the last seven years, witnessing it expand beyond its core life-support program. Some highlights from 2017 include:
- Healthcare: 2800 children tested for HIV & TB at Family Day clinics; Teen HIV+ support groups.
- Skills Training Empowerment Program (STEP): 80 young adult orphans (who aged out of the Young Heroes life-support program) are enrolled in vocational and business training programs at five centers throughout Swaziland.
- Umliba Loya: Funded by USAID and PEPFAR. Addresses the needs of 9,200 orphans and vulnerable children with individualized support, including home-based HIV care; funds for education; and abuse intervention and counseling.
- Neighborhood Care Points (NCPs): In 2017, the Thomas Engel Foundation asked Young Heroes to assume management of its network of 100 NCPs, where orphans are assured a daily meal and a caring adult presence.
Jeff’s goal is to raise $5,000. Your contribution means a lot and will go towards changing a young life.