Please sign this petition to increase awareness of children who lost their homes, parents and future due to AIDS. There are 12+ million AIDS orphans living in sub-Saharan Africa today. That’s 80% of the 16+ million AIDS orphans worldwide. Without someone to help them, these children have little hope for survival against the dangers that stalk them -- including hunger, disease, exploitation and violence. A whole generation of children is losing their health, their rights, their well-being and often their lives.
The AIDS epidemic contributes to deepening poverty in many communities, since the burden of caring for the vast majority of orphan’s falls on already overstretched extended families; women or grandparents with the most meager resources. Without a real safety net, street life is the recourse for many orphans, who often suffer from poor health, trauma and psychological distress, making them more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
Averaging over 55% of all people living with HIV/AIDS, girls and women are disproportionately affected. Meanwhile, constraints on their access to education and treatment, coupled with their inability to find paid employment, are causing rural households often headed by women to slide further into poverty.
With AIDS-ravaged economies starting to crumble, urgent international strategies are needed to strengthen governmental, community and family capacities to reverse the tide of this global calamity. “We’re all struggling to find a viable response, and there are, of course, some superb projects and initiatives in all countries but we can’t seem to take them to scale,” says Stephen Lewis, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. “In the mean time, millions of children live traumatized, unstable lives, robbed not just of their parents, but of their childhoods and futures.”
There are many hero's "on the ground" doing amazing work in response to this overwhelming situation. But its not enough and too often the world averts its eyes. We thank and appreciate the work of Organizations like UNAIDS, the World Health Organization, International AIDS Society, and various Social Justice and Health Organizations and International Governments. However, there needs to a be a heightened global, combined and concerted effort to increase the focus on providing more resources, funding, training, medicine and the assistance needed to ensure vulnerable children can live healthy and fulfilled lives while contributing to their communities.
We believe President Obama can further activate a united gobal response through International organizations like UNAIDS, IAS and WHO. The children are the future; please sign in support of them.