Monday, November 21, 2011

Orphan Care and HIV/AIDS

Thinks of some cause and effect relationships that you know.  If you're parenting a little one, you might have thought of something like "touch a hot stove, get burned" or "stick a toy in an outlet, get shocked."  If you're on a diet, you might have thought "eat a cookie, gain a pound."  Or if you've just came home from work, your thoughts might drift towards "be late, get yelled out" or "try to use the copy machine, get confused."

I'm guessing most of you did not think "get HIV/AIDS, leave your children as orphans."  The reality is that HIV and AIDS are contributing factors when it comes to why children become orphans.  When fathers die, families fail.  When mothers die, families fail.  When aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers die, families fail.  It's not even that every person in a child's family dies.  It's that when an important link in the support system is not there, the family cannot sustain itself.  If a father dies, there is no income.  If a mother dies, there is no caretaker.  If siblings die or extended family die, there is no community to fall back on.

Most people are unaware of how manageable HIV is.  It is not a death sentence.  We are not in the 80's.  Take 5 minutes and watch this video from Project Hopeful.  I was amazed when I watched it and had to know more.

Visit Project Hopeful to learn more about HIV/AIDS, to find children who are waiting children living with HIV, or to learn how to support their Hope Sisterhood project which enables HIV positive women to support their families through education and empowerment to work.

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