The thought of an orphaned African child conjures up an image of a malnourished child, clutching an empty bowl in one hand, and sibling in the other. Wandering through cobbled roads, in a war-torn state, it appears that they have nowhere to go. Yes, it is true. They are orphans and many of them have no home.
Across Africa, AIDS is killing thousands of people and rendering thousands of small children homeless and orphaned. The latest statistics released by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) states that, there are 48.3 million orphans south of the Sahara desert, one-quarter of whom have lost their parents to AIDS. Another report states that 700 children are orphaned everyday. AIDS has resulted in 650,000 orphans. In fact, Human Rights Watch Group has estimated that there are up to 600,000 children on the streets of Kenya, who have been orphaned due to AIDS.
Estimates by the two U.N. agencies suggest that by 2010, there would be 53.1 million orphaned children under 18, 15.7 million of whom will have had parents who died of AIDS. An estimated 1 million children are believed to be living with HIV. Predictably, these orphans opt out of school and resort to begging. Children orphaned by AIDS are also discriminated against, and they have the least access to essential healthcare facilities and basic amenities. For more information and statistics on Kenyan orphans, visit UNICEF
The concern is, where would these hapless children, orphaned by this killer disease go? Who would care for them and how would they survive? They cannot even depend on their extended family as, one after another, their relatives also die due to AIDS and a number of other dangerous diseases, like malaria.
These ill fated children are not just traumatized by the death of their parents they have to face the social stigma of being associated with the deadly AIDS disease too. As a result they face a dismal future plagued by poverty, lack of schooling, and no one to take care of them.
Housing, feeding and educating these orphans is imperative for Africa’s development. Are you wondering what you can do for these children? You could turn this tragedy into an opportunity to help millions of orphans, who look forward to the basic necessities of life, love and affection.
At the Nakuru Academy & Orphanage, we are always looking for volunteers to come on missions to distribute goods and help with our projects. We help Kenyan orphans who have lost parents to HIV/AIDS, financial instability, and other diseases by providing them with education and the spiritual, physical, and emotional assistance needed to foster their growth into productive and successful adults. Please read more on our site to find out how you can help, today!