From the World Aids Orphan Day website:
- the number of children worldwide who have lost one or both parents to AIDS is expected to reach 25 million equivalent to the number of people living in New York, Paris, and Bangkok combined.
- In sub-Saharan Africa alone, over 15 million children have been orphaned by the pandemic.
- Experts believe that millions more orphans remain unaccounted for in India, China and Russia.
- Impoverished and often without support to educate and protect them, orphans and vulnerable children face increased risk of HIV infection.
- Orphans are often easy prey to many forms of exploitation: forced labor, prostitution and child soldiering
What Can We Do?
- Raise awareness by holding events or collections at work, school, University with your family or friends! We recently hosted a lunch and asked people to contribute money for the meal, which was sent to a brilliant charity!
- Prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS!! It is estimated that 21% of people in the Western World who have HIV don’t know that they have it!
-Show compassion and educate yourself about HIV and AIDS!
- Donate breastmilk so that mother’s with HIV can ensure their babies receive breastmilk instead of formula. For more information about milk banks you can visit UKAMB (milk banking in the UK) and the Human Milk Bank Association of North America (for US and Canada). Breastmilk helps keep babies healthy and if a baby’s mother has HIV or AIDS she can not breastfeed.
- Consider adoption, either of a child orphaned because of AIDS or a child who not only was orphaned due to AIDS but is living with HIV. With the right medications these children can lead normal healthy lives! I am completely open to adopting a child with HIV who is orphaned and while this will not, sadly, provide families for all the 25 million children orphaned, it will hopefully provide families and advocacy for some.
- Read There Is No Me Without You! I read this book every single year and each time come away with renewed enthusiasm and motivation to do something!
- Pray for children and families affected by HIV and AIDS!
I would love to one day blog about the number of orphans due to AIDS decreasing. I have no doubt with education, compassion, treatment, support for communities and donations, we can make that happen!