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5 Simple Ways to Respond...

Written by Adora Iris Lee
January 11, 2006

5 Simple Ways to Respond to Children who have become orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa

Adora Iris Lee - South Africa

For more information on how your congregation, or church organization, can make a meaningful difference in the lives of children orphaned by AIDS in Southern Africa, please contact Global Ministries' Africa Office in Indianapolis at 317-713-2552.

#1:  Support Global Ministries HIV/AIDS Food Packet Initiative:  Hunger is the number one priority of children who have become orphaned by HIV/AIDS.  Your support of the HIV/AIDS Food Packet Initiative gets staple food items to orphans, many of who are living in child-headed households.  A $30 contribution to Global Ministries provides one orphaned child in South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana. Swaziland, or Zimbabwe with enough staple food items to last an entire month.

#2:  Organize a Toiletries Collection Campaign:  Many people in our congregations stay in hotels on a regular basis where they are given small bottles of shampoo, conditioner and mouth wash, along with a bar of soap. If your church organization launched a Toiletries Collection Campaign and collected these items to orphaned children and their caretakers in Southern Africa, you would be blessing others in need.  This may be an excellent project to engage in during the Christmas season.

#3: Sponsor a Child to Camp:  In order to give orphaned and vulnerable children a respite from the challenges of a life of poverty and one without parents, congregations can support scholarships for weekend and week long camps in South Africa and Zimbabwe.  One camper who has been impacted by AIDS said that "when I am at camp, I get a chance to just be a kid!"

#4:  Provide Children with School Uniforms and School Fees:  School children throughout Africa are required to wear uniforms to school each day. Their families are also required to pay school fees, even in government-funded schools.  When children become orphaned, or vulnerable, as a result of HIV/AIDS, they often do not have adequate resources to pay for school uniforms or school fees.  A donation to Global Ministries earmarked for this purpose will help an orphaned child to get an education.

#5: Support Counseling Services for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children:  Many times children who are orphaned due to AIDS are vulnerable to sexual violence and abuse.  Because they do not have adults in their lives to protect them, they are put at risk for all types of abuse.  In addition, children who have lost their parents suffer emotionally and can benefit from counseling and support services.  But, far too often, counseling services and support groups are priced out of their reach.  Your church organization's contribution to Global Ministries for this initiative could lighten the load of many children throughout Southern Africa who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS.

For more information on how your congregation, or church organization, can make a meaningful difference in the lives of children orphaned by AIDS in Southern Africa, please contact Global Ministries' Africa Office in Indianapolis at 317-713-2552.

Peace & Blessings,
Rev. Adora Iris Lee
Adora Iris Lee serves with the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa.  She serves as an AIDS consultant for the Southern Africa Region, which includes Lesotho and Swaziland.



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