KidzAlive: Our Mission

To provide a psychosocial support system and user friendly tools to capacitate people working with children to guide them through HIV Counselling, disclosure and wellness using counselling and educational play thereby freeing the child from the stigma and fear of illness.


Our Goal

To contribute to increased access of psychosocial service for children 4-11 years old especially children at risk of HIV or children living with HIV, thereby increasing HIV testing, treatment, prevention and long-term survival of children affected by HIV

What we do

  1. Train and Mentor
    Hospitals, Clinics and Community Organisations to provide structured services to children and their Caregivers.
  2. Provide direct services to children and their Caregivers
    a. Wellness days for Community Organisations
    b. Holiday clubs for children
    c. Counselling and Testing of Children
    d. Caregiver support
    e. Disclosure support to children and their caregivers
    f. Psychosocial support in areas of trauma, grief, nutrition and other areas of wellness
    g. Adherence support for children on Antiretroviral therapy
    h. Life orientation around HIV and Wellness for children and teachers in Primary school

KidzAlive Resources

Zoë-Life has developed colourful, interactive and age-appropriate training materials and work-aids. The main character in our stories and tools is a little frog called Sibusiso Selesele. Various posters, storyboards, cartoons and DVDs tell Sibusiso’s story of health and wellness. The Talk Tool is a 70-page guide that HCWs (Health Care Workers) use as a reference during the child-friendly HIV testing and
counselling process. These resources have been piloted and adjusted over the past four years to reflect current clinical practice and to ensure user-friendliness.

Components of the KidzAlive Programme:

Foundations of Working with Children
This is a training course that develops confidence and skills in people working with children, to engage and counsel children in their own language, using play and art techniques. Zoë-Life is currently training NGOs and Hospital staff to create Child friendly spaces and Child Friendly counsellors.

Caregiver Support Intervention
Using the platform of health facility or community support groups, this intervention addresses the fears and unresolved issues of caregivers relating to HIV stigma, disclosure, guilt, shame and anger and helps them provide a supportive environment for their children to be tested and engage with HIV services.  Many children are never tested for HIV because their Caregivers are so afraid of disclosing to their children. During these sessions they face their fears, learn to support one another and get to a point where they are ready to bring their children for testing, and to walk a journey of health as a family.

KidzWhoTest and KidzLiteracy
Using a fun-filled, non-threatening Talk Tool Health care workers, nurses and doctors are trained and mentored to confidently guide a child through the process of HIV testing, TB screening and disclosure, in an environment that is age-appropriate, safe and fun.  Children found to be HIV positive are guided together with their Caregivers through a process of Disclosure, and are assisted to take ownership of their Health Care in a way that is encouraging and life giving. This is done through story-telling, play and an engaging DVD animation of an HIV infected Frog embarking on a journey of health and adherence to ARV medication.

Using this approach, Zoë-Life has been able to assist clinics, hospitals and communities to test children that would otherwise only get tested when they present at hospitals very ill. This approach ensures that children get appropriate treatment whilst they are still well and able to derive maximum benefit from treatment and care.

Wellness Days
Zoë-Life trains and equips community based organisations, clinics and schools to run Wellness Days and Holiday Clubs for children using a toolkit of resources. The themes of the Wellness Days include Healthy Eating, Dreams and Goals, Stigma and Belonging and other Healthy Living topics.  During the wellness days, children play games and enjoy creative activities each with a learning outcome.

Caregivers of the children are addressed separately on issues facing them, including how to access grants, advantages of testing their children, and
basic health education with practical applications. Our Wellness days have been a great success at clinics and communities.

The results have been

  • Up to 50 children coming to be tested for HIV after wellness days.
  • Children becoming less afraid of health facilities
  • Health facilities learning to create child friendly spaces
  • Health messaging taking place in a fun and practical way resulting in improvements at household level
  • Increased Community and Facility cooperation.
  • Community based testing of Children

Schools based Wellness
The Wellness programme is perfectly suited for use in ECD, Primary and High. School Life Orientation sessions.  Each session is pre-prepared with tools and resources, making it easy for Educators to incorporate the sessions into class times. Children love the activities and story boards and come back to school with feedback around how they have implemented lessons learned at home.  This programme supports the Integrated Healthy Schools Programme.