Background and History
Background Information on HIV & AIDS in South AfricaIn South Africa, more than 60% of new HIV infections occur among young people aged 15 to 25, and highlights the need for interventions that will reduce the vulnerability of this group. In 2004, it was estimated that there are 2.2 million orphaned children in the country (meaning 13% of all children have lost either a mother or father); nearly half of all orphans were estimated to have lost parents to AIDS-related illnesses. (UNAIDS, UNICEF, USAID, 2004).

Support is needed not only to create awareness and lifestyle changes for this target group but helping children/youth to deal with the reality of losing not only one or two parents but caregivers as well. In addition many of the children/youth become head of household taking care of their younger siblings.

There are many successful programmes running in South Africa from Government to Non- government and at grass root community levels. The programmes range from education, community support, job creation, health and many more. One area that supports the youth is in the form of Psycho-Social interventions... Camp Bambanani was formed to address this critical area, and in addition to give children a chance to be children!

Brief History
Camp Bambanani was started in 2003 with the support of the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps (AHITWC - www.holeinthewallcamps.org), a US based NGO that supports camp programmes for children with life threatening conditions, around the world. AHITWC’s policy is to hand over the project to the beneficiary organisations after a period of decreasing levels of financial and technical support. In 2007 Camp Bambanani reached this level of self-sufficiency, became an independent NPO and has been successful particularly in terms of programme design, delivery and fundraising.

For the last eight years nearly 1200 children have benefited from the camp programme. The mission and vision of Camp Bambanani has filtered through into the lives of the children who have been involved. There is an average of 3 week-long camps held during each financial year with a one day follow up for each camp.