I have started working 6 hours a week in an AIDS orphanage, teaching some of the kids there how to read. The boys and one girl are great, for the most part they are eager to learn, enjoy colouring and games!
The boys age in range from about 7 to 13. Some of the older kids are in the equivalent of Reception Class. Kids with AIDS often don’t get sent to school because the families think that they will die anyway so there is no point. Also there is still a stigma surrounding AIDS so families would rather keep the kids at home. The boys can write their names and know the alphabet but can’t read, which goes to show the way they are being taught doesn’t work! If a child in school is behind then they get left behind, there is nobody to help them, nobody to encourage them. Sadly this is the case for a lot of children in school.
Some of the kids in the home have family but they were brought to the home because they can’t afford to look after them or they have too many other kids to take care of. Often the kids come malnourished and very sick. Although medication is free, the stigma surrounding AIDS means that some families wont go to the clinic for fear of being seen and recognised, and for those in the village the nearest clinic can be quite far away. A baby was brought to the home a couple of weeks ago. He is 2 years old and weighs a mere 5kg. Most of the people at the clinic presumed he was a new-born! In a few days he has put on ½ kg. He is doing well and he receiving all the medication, food and love that he needs.
I am going to make an appeal for this orphanage – they need clothes, school supplies (for the kids I am teaching), toys, books. They are also looking for a nurse or a med-student to be available for the kids and to teach the staff anything they may need to know.
Monetary donations are also welcome.
Contact me if you think you would like to help.