The Most Vulnerable of All

Today there are 140 – 210 million orphans in the world.  You can check out past posts for more statistics — here and here.

Today I want to focus on a special number of these.  According to Avert, at the end of 2010 there were 3.4 million children living with HIV/AIDS around the globe.  90% of these children live in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Africa’s struggle with the AIDS virus has caused a lot of fear in people.  There has been a lot of work done to educate the African people about AIDS and HIV…how it is spread, how it is prevented, and other facts about the virus.

However, fear remains.  This fear results in children who are orphaned and have HIV being shunned, sent to special orphanages, and avoided.

Project Hopeful has done some outstanding work in advocating for these orphans.

{Photo courtesy of MorgueFile}

These children are unlikely to be placed in families in their home countries.  They are often not able to access the anti-retro viral medications that they need.  And they often will not get the care they need because of limited resources and the belief that healthier people should get the resources.

Their best hope for the future is adoption.  And often, because of our own fear and lack of education, we pass them by as well.

There has never been a transmission of the virus between family members in a normal household setting.

These children have the possibility of living long, happy, fulfilling lives through adoption.  With the right medications, the virus can become nearly undetectable.  It is a chronic, yet manageable disease.

I encourage you to check out:  Positively Adopted, Reece’s Rainbow, Rainbow Kids, andProject Hopeful.

And I hope to begin featuring a special kiddo in need of a loving home here weekly, specifically focusing on those with HIV/AIDS.

You have the power to make a difference in the life of a child.

World AIDS Day

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It’s World AIDS Day.  I wanted to provide some links to organizations who are doing some phenomenal work in this area.  We can make a difference.  Testing HIV+ no longer means an AIDS death sentence.  Get informed.

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Before & After:  90 Days of taking the ARV

Before & After: 90 Days of taking the ARV

Check out:  (RED) for all the great statistics and what is being done to prevent AIDS.  Project Hopeful is an organization that advocates for the adoption of children who are HIV+.  The Luke Commission works on the ground in Swaziland, the country with the most cases of HIV/AIDS in the world.

Get informed.  Get involved.  Change lives.  Change the future.

 

Why I love orphan care

Check out this video from World Orphans

I love orphan care because it’s an opportunity to serve a child who is vulnerable.  There are a lot of people that are willing to “care” for orphans, but at times they are not interested in the child’s well being.  By studying and applying best practice in orphan care, we can truly make a difference.

The vision for Kupenda 127 is becoming clearer every single day.  It’s wrap around, continuum of care for these children — no matter where they are.  It’s supporting their caregivers, families, and the child.  It’s not just residential care or finding kinship care — it’s education, food, medical, and whatever other needs that child and their family have.

It’s partnering with other organizations and groups to help provide great service to these kids and meet a need that is so large and wide spread.  It’s a journey and a chance to really live our faith, be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world today.

Won’t you join us?

 

A fresh vision, a new perspective

I have spent so many hours in prayer and reading my Bible.  Seeking God’s heart and will for my life.  Reading blogs, statistics, researching other organizations, reading books, and plans until my eyes hurt and my brain in on overload.  Reaching out to people, never getting a response…this cycle of feeling hopeful, then let down.  But I don’t that’s not God’s will for my life.  Learning to just keep my eyes on Him so I don’t sink in doubts.  I love the story of Peter walking out on the water to meet Jesus.  I want that kind of trust — and to continue the same trust when I see the waves.

I wanted to share my facts with you all, you can find these on probably a million websites, they are pretty commonly stated, but I think it still bears repeating.  [The source is: www.unicef.org/uniteforchildren]

It is estimated there are between 143 million and 210 million orphans worldwide.  (The current population of the United States is just a little over 300 million, just to put that in perspective.)

Every single day 5,760 more children become orphans.

2,102,400 more children become orphans every year in Africa alone.

Every 15 seconds, another child in Africa becomes an AIDS orphan.

There are an estimated 14 million AIDS orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa (a number higher than the total of every under-eighteen year old in Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Ireland combined).  This was projected to hit 18 million in 2010, those numbers have not been released yet (or I haven’t found them!).

8 out of 10 children orphaned by AIDS lives in sub-Saharan Africa.

Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but…

Each year 14, 505, 000 children grow up as orphans and age out of the system by age sixteen.

Each day 38,493 orphans age out.

Every 2.2 seconds another orphan ages out with no family to belong to and no place to call home.

Briefly, I would like to remind us of one thing — THESE ARE CHILDREN.  Somebody’s baby.  The only difference between them and our children is the location of their birth!  They are innocent and vulnerable.  Every single child deserves to know what love feels like, to have someone to call their family.

I have many more statistics and thoughts about those to come, but let me leave you with this one brutally real statistics and a reminder that these are not numbers, these are PEOPLE.

Number of caring adults needed to change the life of a child:  1