Skip to content
Test News Memory Box

CERI Continues to Health Orphaned Children in Africa through “Memory Box” Project

Children’s Emergency Relief International’s (CERI) Executive Director, Dr. Dearing Garner, and his team recently took part in a three day meeting in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, where the focus was all about building resiliency and healing in children affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

CERI, headquartered in Houston, works with the Sinomlando Centre of Oral History and Memory Work at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, on its innovative “Memory Box” project. The Memory Box methodology works with dying parents and their children to preserve memories—both intangibly, in the form of oral history and family stories; and tangibly, in the form of objects, written stories, photographs and letters that can be placed inside a “Memory Box”—before it’s too late. By doing so, the project helps build the children’s resilience and nurture their sense of identity.

“Many grandmothers, aunts and uncles told me about the difference our Memory Box project is making in the lives of their young family members, who they’ve taken to caring for after their parents passed away,” said Garner. “It’s a remarkable feeling to hear how our efforts are truly bringing about peace and hope in times of tremendous sadness.”

The Memory Box project is currently being scaled up across South Africa in partnership with CERI and with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This project is part of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

Since 2008, the Memory Box program has provided training in psycho-social rehabilitation to more than 2,400 HIV prevention and treatment caseworkers in six South African provinces. This success far exceeds the targets set at the beginning of the program.

“It is our hope that, given the tremendous success we’ve seen, this project will continue to grow and lift up more orphaned children throughout South Africa who are coping with the loss of their parents,” said Garner.

Latest Posts

Sponsor

Unlikely Pen Pals

Once a month, a woman in East Texas sends a letter to a little girl in Sri Lanka. The two are separated by oceans, continents, decades, culture and language, but
Read More
South African father

A father’s will to provide

Like most people with HIV/AIDS in South Africa, Shadrack Mvelase receives a disability pension. But it is not enough for a single father raising four children. The Mvelase family lives
Read More
Cathy child sponsor

“No one should be alone.”

May is National Foster Care Month. CERI is part of the global movement to grow foster care around the world. Here’s the story of one mom making a difference for kids at home
Read More
X