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Remind World Leaders to Prioritize AIDS Orphans

Today there are over 15 million children who have lost parents to AIDS. The world these children will grow up in will be shaped by the commitments we make today.

Losing a parent to HIV/AIDS is a tragedy that continues to create ripples throughout that child’s life. In addition to the psychological trauma, orphans are less likely to receive healthcare, education, and other needed services, are often threatened by malnutrition, illness, and HIV infection, and are easy prey to many forms of exploitation: forced labor, prostitution, and child soldiering.

World AIDS Orphans Day is an initiative intended to bring awareness and global solidarity around the plight of AIDS orphans. World AIDS Orphans Day is observed on May 7th but the movement to create a brighter future for AIDS orphans can continue every day until there are structures in place that ensure every child who has lost a parent to AIDS has a fighting chance to live a full and rewarding life.

You can become part of the solution.

Learn about AIDS orphans around the world and read their remarkable stories of resilience.

Then fill out a simple form to write to world leaders to put the needs of these children at the center of global AIDS policy.

Comments

Thanks for the reminder, I am in the process of beginning the ground work for a new orphanage in Uganda, called Earth Angels International Orphanage and School. We are looking for new board members to work in our Capital Fundraising Campaign. Look forward to hearing more and getting feedback. Please check us out at http://www.webstarts.com/20100918032242_6355111

Amani K's picture

Looking Upstream

If you are seated on the banks of a river and you see children floating down the stream, what would you do? Right, grab the children in the hopes that they are still alive. You save them. A great gesture indeed. However, that is not enough.

The next step, hopefully, would be asking, what is happening upstream that children are floating down this stream? You would wake up and go upstream to see the 'source' of this problem.

Action towards AIDS orphans so far has largely been saving the children downstream, reactive. We need to wake up and go upstream to see what is causing this churning of orphans - let us look into the 'root causes' of the orphans pandemic. Let us be proactive in our response to the AIDS orphan challenge.

One way of addressing this issue is to look into ways of supporting people living with HIV/AIDS, especially women, so that they have nutritious food and an income to enable them stay alive longer (with income they can afford medication, hospital visits, etc) in order for their children to have at least one parent around longer, than is the case right now.

That is what we do at International Peace Initiatives (IPI: www.ipeacei.org). Working with women living with HIV/AIDS and their children and total orphans to engage in initiatives that empower them to transform the circumstances of their lives, creating sustainability and self-reliance.

I honor all of us out there working with children and people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. Let us honor the humanity of these people by giving them the space to see they are able to do something for themselves, instead of creating welfare systems that perpetuate dependency mind sets. Only in enabling people to see the power they hold to change their lives, freeing them from victimhood to agents of social change, will we turn the tide of HIV/AIDS' disempowerment on all of those infected and affected by it.

Dr. Karambu Ringera
Founder and President, International Peace Initiatives
Vice President, Global Ecovillages Network (GEN) Africa
Advisory Board Member, Women Human Rights Institute, University of Toronto
Member and Delegate, Soroptimist Internationa

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