South African Children

Why Do South African Children Need Help?

The plight of South African children living as AIDS orphans is both very real and incredibly heart wrenching. Too often, these children are left to fend for themselves because their parents are too sick to care for them or have already passed on. Moreover, while communities and the government try to offer assistance, it is not nearly enough.

Southern Africa's Children (SAC) has been working with AIDS orphans in the Shinyaga region of Tanzania since 2002. Their primary goal is to ensure these precious children grow up to be independent adults with bright futures.

The African AIDS Problem

The problem of AIDS in Africa is incredibly widespread to such a degree that most Westerners cannot wrap their brains around the number of fatalities. In 2009 for example, there were more than 22.5 million HIV cases in sub-Saharan Africa. Approximately 1.3 million of those cases ended in death. That makes up 5% of the world's total.

AIDS is spread among Africans primarily through sexual activity and poor medical hygiene. Unfortunately, plenty of superstition prevents African communities from getting a handle on the problem to any large degree. That superstition makes things worse for young Africans, the innocent victims of the AIDS epidemic.

What AIDS Means to Children

A child born to an AIDS infected mother may or may not have the disease them self. If a mother is treated properly during her pregnancy then the chances of the child being infected is about 1%. On the other hand, mothers who are not treated pass on the HIV virus at a rate of about 90%.

One of the missions of SAC is to educate African communities about AIDS transmission. In so doing they hope to prevent the spread of the disease among children.

In terms of AIDS orphans, they are most often neglected and left to fend for themselves once parents are unable to care for them. These children are often seen roaming the streets, begging or resorting to crime and/or prostitution just to survive. It is a terrible situation to say the least.

Getting AIDS Children off the Streets

SAC's dedication to South African children led them to become involved in Tanzania in 2002. Between their orphanage and Hope School, they have helped 58 orphans transition from childhood to adulthood and into productive lives. When children are young, SAC provides a stable home, primary education, and the structure and stability they need to grow.

After primary school, the charity provides the funds for secondary education and eventually vocational training. Seeing all of their current orphans through to the end of their programs will require another 10 years of work. However, SAC does not intend to end their efforts with this current group of orphans.

As long as the funding for their activities continues to come in SAC plans to press on, helping South African children who have become unfortunate victims of the AIDS epidemic. Any help you can provide by way of charitable contributions would be very much appreciated.

To contact Jennnifer Walker email her here or call on: +44 01933 664091

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