Hello out there!
Looking through the recent photos we took of the orphans at the hostel for sponsorship (Click here for more info about sponsorship), we were reminded that each child and teenager have their own distinctly individual personalities, backgrounds, and care requirements.
When we are trying to deal with a complicated problem like HIV/AIDS and its secondary effects on a society, such as tuberculosis infection, poverty, and orphaned children, we’ve realized that the only way to tackle it is to take each individual on a case-by-case basis, one person at a time. This approach takes huge commitment, as it is labor intensive, organizationally intensive, and resource intensive. But, we believe it is the only way to make real change.
Considering problems like HIV/AIDS in Swaziland, it is easy for outsiders to just hear numbers and statistics, and lose connection to the people that are facing these issues. Here is a statistic: UNICEF says by 2010 there will be 150,000 orphans and vulnerable children under the age of 15 in Swaziland. Here is the human reality of it: How can this many vulnerable children be on their own? Knowing how much individual care and love each child on this earth needs for their development, the reality of these statistics is heartbreaking. But we move forwards, one unique child at a time, and try to support their growth and healing- physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Each child, and each person, is precious and wonderful.
Below is a link to an article about the thousands of orphans in the small country that cannot afford the fees to go to school (there is no public school in Swaziland), and how the government is failing on their promise to support them.
SWAZILAND: School gates close on orphans
Vulnerable children at a Neighborhood Care Point
We do consider our commitment to personal care and attention of the individuals in our community the key to success. One of the specifics we’re working on now is developing a formal educational program for the OVC kids that ensures an individual approach to each child’s development. We’ve hired three new professional teaching staff that will help us design individual programs for the children and teenagers. And we’ve forged an exchange relationship with Cabrini College, to share skills and experience across the world. We’ll keep you updated on that…
Thanks for your support- it really makes a difference in these individual lives.
Blessings & love,
Srs. Barbara and Diane