Mpumalanga's Ehlanzeni district municipality marked the end of its week-long Aids conference by donating blankets, school uniforms and food parcels worth more than R115000 to local villagers affected by HIV-Aids.
The deputy manager of municipal health, Ndazo Mdluli, said the scourge of Aids had given a new meaning to the phenomenon of children in need.
He said the local authority was focusing its attention on Aids orphans and the many child-headed households that were cropping up.
"The effects of HIV-Aids demand a more sustained approach involving the community and the primary unit of care and nurturing, the family," Mdluli said.
She said a solid family environment was essential to pave the way to the realisation of children's dreams and aspirations.
Mdluli said she believed that beyond basic needs, such as food and education, children needed emotional support, protection and a sense of belonging.
"There is a need to empower local community-based organisations to provide these elements to orphans and vulnerable children," she said.
"We have resolved to design and implement a monitoring tool for all Aids counselling activities through clear reporting lines, specific communication processes and specific working relationships."