HIV/ AIDS Orphans
-Click the photo to view more HIV/ AIDS Orphans
in our Photo Gallery.
HIV/ AIDS Crisis, Sub-Sahara, Africa
Responding to Orphans of Pandemic
Recently, Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of UNICEF, issues a warning
that unless we take drastic steps to stop the HIV/ AIDS pandemic,
the world will have a vast human catastrophe beyond what has ever
been known in human history. She said the crisis in the south of the
Sahara desert, amongst orphan children under the ages of 15yrs is
growing and will be long term.
The countries most affected by HIV/ AIDS are Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho,
Swaziland, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Kenya, where more than one in five
children will be orphans by 2010, more than 80% because of AIDS. Even
in countries such as Uganda, where HIV prevalence has stabilized or
fallen, the number of orphans' remains high because of the proportion
of adults already infected with HIV. At least half of these orphaned
children are between the ages of 10 and 14yrs. After AIDS claims their
parents, they are left without critical guidance, protection and support
and because of the desperate poverty that surrounds them, they are
then at high risk of malnutrition, physical or sexual abuse and exposure
to HIV infections.
Ikechukwu Daniel Nwankwo, 7-yrs
Those who are left to care for these children, such as their grandparents,
those of their extended families and others in the community become
overwhelmed at the enormity of the task. Grandparents and women generally
are already poorer and are increasingly less able to provide adequately
for these orphans and yet they are the ones that care for 90% of them.
Failure to respond to the orphan crisis jeopardizes not only the children's
future, but also the prospects for peace and security and development
in Sub-Saharan Africa. Failure to respond would leave children without
parental protection, adequate education, stabilized skills and professions,
or spiritual guidance and would leave these millions ill prepared
to assume responsible, productive roles as adults. It is incomprehensible
what kind of lifestyle such ill prepared orphans would grow up to
live. Without proper care, many would grow up to become bandits or
terrorists with no love for their fellow man.
Chinedum Okezie, 15-yrs
According to Grace Machel, the wife of former South African President
Nelson Mandela and leading advocate for the rights of African children,
"Children cannot wait! Their rights cannot be postponed!"
Providing immediate help to communities and using foster parenting
models from the extended family we must include primary and secondary
level and possibly high learning education, safe and viable options
for earning a living without child labor, meals and lodging centres
and other assistance as needed. It has been said that if parents can
be kept alive long enough, these children can get off to a good start.
I would like to add to that by saying that if we can keep the orphan's
willing caregivers alive long enough, we could give these children
al good and positive start!
I invite you to joint with us in sponsoring one of these children.
Please look through the pictures and lit us know the child/ children
that you would like to sponsor with your gift of $50 per child each
month. Let me remind you that the children you are looking at are
amongst those missing out of the very basics of life - love, food,
proper health care, parental care, education and a future. But with
your sponsorship an orphan will be provided with these basics.
Chioma Frank, 14-yrs old
Truly, I as an African Know fully well, that your sponsorship affects
not only a child but also a whole community. Just get the fire going
in a bush and it will burn the whole jungle. These children and anxiously
waiting for you!
Chizoba Umezuruike, 14-yrs old
Kelechi Onwuasoanya, 16-yrs old
Bright Nwoke, 14-yrs old
Uzoma Sunday, 11-yrs
Onyinyechi Okabalama, 15-yrs
Abraham Frank, 8-yrs