May’khethele Programme

Children in Distress Network (CINDI), funded by USAID, implements the Preventing HIV in Vulnerable Populations, Orphaned and Vulnerable Children, Adolescents and Youth (OVCA&Y) in South Africa. CINDI’s programme affectionately named May’khethele (MyChoice) is implemented in five districts in KwaZulu Natal, namely UMgungundlovu, eThekwini, Harry Gwala, UThukela, and Zululand for beneficiaries aged between 01 to 24 years. CINDI has been funded by USAID since October 2007.

The current 5-year funding cycle which commenced in 2018 saw CINDI reaching 117 000 OVC with services in its first year. The targeted vulnerabilities in children has been refined each year to ensure that resources are targeted at children in most need, which led to a reduction in target to enable intense focused service delivery. The current target is 55 030, prioritizing Children and Adolescents Living with HIV (CALHIV), Children of HIV Positive Primary Caregivers, Children Survivors of Sexual Violence, Children of Female Sex Workers, Double Orphans, Children with Disabilities, and Children Adversely affected by COVID-19. 

CINDI contracted Implementing Partners (IP), in each district, who employ different cadres of workers including Caseworkers, Social Workers, and their Auxiliaries, Child and Youth Care Workers, and Linkage Officers to provide direct individual services to vulnerable children at a family level. The current CINDI Partners are Community Care Project and National Association of Child Care Workers in eThekwini, LifeLine Pietermaritzburg in UMgungundlovu, Vukuzithathe Health, and Family Welfare Organisation in Harry Gwala, Thembalethu Care Organisation in UThukela and eDumbe HIV/AIDS Group in Zululand.

CINDI partners engage beneficiaries with one or more vulnerabilities agreeing to the sub-population determination criteria as prescribed by USAID. A prescribed case management process is applied to deliver services and individualized care plans monitored and updated on a quarterly basis by a cadre of workers including lay personnel, child and youth care workers, professional nurses, social workers, and their auxiliaries. Services are provided in two streams; Comprehensive Case Management and Primary Preventive Programming. Services included reaching OVCA&Y in schools and communities with HIV Prevention interventions utilizing evidence-based curricula that include Vhutshilo 1 and Skillz Core in the Preventive Programming.

Comprehensive Case Management involves individual and family-based approaches in promoting support for children to meet the following four benchmarks:


Individual HIV prevention education aimed at motivating and mobilizing communities for the uptake of health services including HIV Testing Services (HTS), linkage to ART, differentiated adherence support services. Conducting supported family-centred disclosure of HIV status; viral load tracking; linking ART defaulters back to treatment; providing multidisciplinary case conferences for CALHIV with high viral loads, and ensuring peer support for CALHIV through Kidz Alive and Vhutshilo 3 structured ART adherence curriculums.


Promoting stability for the OVCA&Y by ensuring household economic strengthening interventions through facilitating the acquisition of vital documents and grant application process for eligible families and providing individual financial capability education to reduce HIV risk.

School Access

CINDI has an MOU with the KwaZulu Natal Department of Education that spans the period ending 30 September 2023. KwaZulu Natal Department of Education has consistently renewed the MOU with CINDI in the past fifteen years. This allows CINDI access to 184 schools in implementing districts. The MOU allows CINDI Partners to provide services to school children outside of teaching hours. CINDI Partners utilize the time to conduct behavior-modifying HIV prevention sessions through evidence-based curricula. Schools also utilize the services of CINDI Partners to access psychosocial support for children in need of such services that include requests for conducting wellness-check home visits on behalf of the school, homework support, support for grade progression, and matric examinations. Partners also provide HIV-related services, referrals of drug abuse interventions, gender-based violence prevention, post-violence care and support as well as family-related counselling to children who required the services. CINDI Partner staff form part of the schools’ crisis management teams and provide support in response to the long-term effects of COVID-19 by making programme resources available to the school where appropriate.

Pragramme Partners

CINDI has collaborated with numerous reputable organisations that implement programmes pertaining to HIV Prevention and Treatment Support as well as those providing psychosocial services to vulnerable populations. In eThekwini, UThukela, Zululand, and UMgungundlovu Districts, an ongoing collaborative working relationship, underpinned by signed MOUs, exists between CINDI and Health Systems Trust, who provide clinical services to children enrolled in CINDI’s May’khethele Programme. In Harry Gwala CINDI is supported by Maternal, Adolescent & Child Health Institute (MatCH). TB HIV Care is the partner that provides biomedical services at a community level, including but not limited to, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Health Testing Services (HTS), and Sexual Reproductive Health Service (SRH) to adolescents enrolled by CINDI in the same programme.

NPO Info

NPO Registration: 011-496 NPO
PBO Registration: 930008976 

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