The project of the Village of Hope was born in 2002 from the heart and mind of Sister Rosaria Gargiulo and Don Vincenzo Boselli. The aim is to alleviate in some way the suffering of so many children who were born, and unfortunately are still born, HIV positive and already orphans of one or both parents.
The project started in a very simple way: a well dug in a plot of land near Dodoma, on a plateau at 1,100 meters above sea level, and a stable converted into a house / hostel to house the first children and the volunteers who, since then, have been taking care of the construction of all the buildings, structures and services of the project.
The social-health project grows over the years to meet the ever-increasing demands that, from every part of the country, arrive at the Village to take care of these little HIV-positive orphans.
First the volunteers built the houses for families: there are 12 original ones, right in the center of the Village.
Then, over the years, many other building and services were realised, useful for the children of the Village and also for the other HIV-positive people who come here from the neighbouring villages:
- A clinic: for adults or children who live nearby and come to the Village for HIV-related treatments.
- Motherhood: here HIV-positive women can give birth in a protected and safe environment. Here the new moms are also taught what they can do to try to make their child seronegative: not to breastfeed and all the tricks and useful treatments. If managed properly, most children born to HIV-positive women can become seronegative within the 2nd year of life.
- The laundry, the canteen, the workshop: at the Village all essential services for children are managed internally in order to keep costs as low as possible.
- Self-sustainability: even for food at the Village, we try to internally produce the foods at the base of the children’s diet. There is a vegetable garden with aubergines and tomatoes, there is a stable that gives milk and meat, even bread is made internally. The bread that is not used for the VOH children is sold outside at the bakery.
The Hope Village has not only changed the lives of many small orphans for the better, but has also given the surrounding community a real chance to work. The Village counts now 55 employees working in the orphanage project: doctors, nurses, cooks, mechanics etc., and more than 70 people working in the school complex: teachers, service personnel etc.