It has been 30 years since HIV and AIDS were discovered. In some ways it seems like a short time, but in reality, it has been a long, hard-fought battle. There are still 34 million people living with HIV/AIDS. For them, and their children, we need to intensify the fight.
World Concern’s mission is to reach the most vulnerable first – in this case, the children orphaned and affected by AIDS and their caregivers.
Children in Haiti are typically born into a family that survives on less than $100 a month. Eighty percent of the population lives below the poverty line and more than 40% are unemployed. There are about 120,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Haiti. And there are hundreds of thousands of children who have lost a parent to AIDS or whose lives are affected by having a sick parent.
We work in impoverished communities in Haiti ensuring vulnerable children are in school, have nutritional and psycho-social and that their families have medical care, health and hygiene training and more. We’re also reaching thousands of people with AIDS prevention information to help stop the spread of this disease in Haiti.
One of those we’ve helped is Marie, a widow whose husband died in the earthquake. Marie has four children. And she has AIDS. When we met Marie, her biggest concern was not how long the tent they were living in would hold up. What kept her awake at night was worrying about what would happen to her children if she died.
We connected Marie with the support she needed to stay healthy and provide for her kids. They’re getting nutritious meals and an education, and Marie attends support groups for people living with HIV and AIDS.
“I learn about my disease, what causes it, and I get my questions answered. We pray together,” she said. “I found the support I needed here. They’ve helped me.”
For Marie, for her kids Suzeland, Blondel, Jeffton and Luckny, the fight against AIDS is not over. We need to keep fighting with them.
This World AIDS Day, take a moment to learn more and get involved.
You can honor a loved one this Christmas with the gift of support for an AIDS orphan. Find out more here.