AIDS ORPHAN CRISIS — Millions Orphaned in Africa
Worldwide, there are an estimated 16 million AIDS Orphans. Of that number, 11.6 million live in sub-Saharan Africa (that’s over 77%). The vision and goal of AIDS Orphans and Street Children is to provide for children whose parents have died of the HIV/AIDS virus, and children or widows who do not have a sustaining family.
Taking the Orphanage to the Orphan
In 1992 Robert M. Bland, Founder and Director of Teen Missions Int’l. asked the Teen Missions board for seed money to start orphanages to rescue as many children as possible. The Teen Missions board not only gave start-up funds but also full use of their video studio, printing, and graphics equipment. AIDS Orphans was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1993. In 1997 AIDS Orphans and Street Children began with a traditional orphanage. By 2001 we discovered a new concept in taking the “orphanage to the orphan” and that has allowed us a more practical way to help thousands.
AIDS Orphans Rescue Units — An Effective Solution
The Rescue Units are small portable buildings set up near the orphans’ own villages. Rescue Units can help several hundred orphans in a five-mile radius which couldn’t possibly be done with a traditional orphanage. Rescue Units are meeting the needs of children who once had no one to care for them.
Children are provided with:
1. Medicine and the provision of malaria treatments and other common preventative medications.
2. Food during nutrition seminars and teaching them how to plant gardens and care for animals to prevent starvation.
3. Education is made possible by providing school fees and uniforms for primary education.
4. Spiritual growth is seen during camps and social development.
Rescue Units are also making a difference by enhancing village life through nutrition seminars, wells, and grinding mills.
Secondary schools are few and far between in these remote bush areas and many girls have to walk in excess of seven miles each way to school. Staying with families who live near the schools has not proved to be a successful alternative as many are abused. To help keep these girls safe, we began a dormitory program in 2003. By fall of 2004 we had 67 girls boarding with us under the supervision of two matrons (young lady graduates of our national Bible schools). Before we started the dormitories, the headmaster reported that 50% of the girls were abused or became pregnant, many most likely will contract AIDS. Our matrons reported after the first year that there was not a single pregnancy and all the girls except two advanced to the next grade. Currently we are caring for over 300 girls.
The number of children that can be reached through AIDS Orphans and Street Children is only limited by finances and staff.
The facilitators who are graduates of our national Bible schools are the lifeblood of the Rescue Units. These are very special national people who abound in love, servanthood and perseverance in the most remote areas of the bush. They make themselves available to the children and the villagers day and night, seven days a week.
How Can You Help?
For only $12 a month you can sponsor an orphan. You will receive a photo of your child and will be able to write letters and send pictures through our office in Merritt Island, Florida. NOTE: Your sponsorship gift will not be placed directly into an orphans’ hand but will be used to increase and expand existing programs at the child’s Rescue Unit.
We have several programs in place to help your youth group, home school group, VBS or church raise funds for AIDS Orphans, complete with printed materials to help you organize and carry out the event.
Annually we send Adult Work/Sewing Teams to our Rescue Units to do various projects.
Available upon request is a Project Brochure with opportunities.
If you want to help by sending something practical, we are always in need of shoes and socks for our Foot washing teams and the following medical items:
• Children’s non-aspirin pain relievers
• Children’s cold medicines
• Cotton Balls
• Toothache medicines
• Antibiotic ointments