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Home > Topics > Health > Pandemic: Facing AIDS > AIDS Orphans
Pandemic: Facing AIDS
AIDS Orphans

The AIDS pandemic has devastated families across the globe, especially in Africa, where 12 million children have lost a mother or father, or, in some cases, both parents to AIDS. That number is expected to rise to as many as 40 million by the end of the decade. In families most affected by the epidemic, there are not enough healthy adults to care for the children who have been left behind. These orphans, and the communities to which they belong, face a heavy financial and emotional burden. Groups such as the Uganda Orphans Rural Development Programme, in hard-hit areas like eastern Uganda, are taking steps to address the problem head on by providing AIDS education, testing, counseling and support services.

For related information about organizations working to provide relief to AIDS orphans and the their families, visit the links below.

Action for Orphans
Francois-Xavier Bagnoud US Foundation
83 Cambridge Street, Suite 2A
Burlington, MA 01803
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Children with AIDS are at the heart of Action for Orphans' activities. The organization provides care for AIDS orphans in its François-Xavier Bagnoud Houses; helps their families through our income-generating projects; prevents and treats AIDS through its programs of information, prevention, screening, research and training.

Today, Action for Orphans is mobilizing its resources against an earth-shaking catastrophe: according to estimates, there will be 100 million AIDS orphans in the world just a few years hence. Children who are abandoned, sometimes infected at birth, sometimes in good health, are left to fend for themselves or die because their families have been wiped out by the epidemic and are no longer there to take care of them.

Action for Orphans is a special focus of the Association Francois-Xavier Bagnoud.

For more information, visit the Action for Orphans Web site.


Africare House
440 R Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001-1935
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More than 10 million children have been orphaned by AIDS. Some orphans are fortunate enough to find refuge in an orphanage, but increasingly orphanages are overflowing. Other orphaned children live a terrifying existence on the streets. Without families to care for them, education or hope, these children must resort to crime, violence and desperate measures to survive. Many of these children will die of AIDS themselves. AIDS may destroy the childhood of a generation of Africa's children and now threatens their future.

Separating fact from myth is the first step toward stopping the spread of HIV. Africare is working at the community level to help local health care workers and educators teach the facts about HIV/AIDS prevention. This involves reaching at-risk populations, such as long-distance truck drivers and young adults, with factual information about the spread and prevention of the disease. Africare is also providing aid to the orphans left destitute by AIDS.

Every aspect of Africare's work - from food, water, and the environment - now includes an AIDS strategy, because every aspect of life in Africa is threatened by the growing crisis of HIV/AIDS.

For more information, visit the Africare Web site.


AIDS Orphans and Street Children
865 E. Hall Road
Merritt Island, FL 32953
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Literally thousands of children are being left orphaned and homeless on a daily basis as the deadly HIV/AIDS virus sweeps across the globe. It is estimated that by the year 2010, there will be over 40 million children left orphaned by this horrendous disease. Up to 95% of these children will be living in sub-Saharan Africa.

AIDS Orphans & Street Children (AOSC) was established in 1993 to help care for such children. The vision and goal of AOSC is to provide for children whose parents have died of the HIV/AIDS virus, and children who do not have a sustaining family. AOSC provides food, clothing, shelter, discipline, music and Bible training, and practical training for the future. Training includes such things as sewing, cooking, clerical work, construction, gardening, farming, and mechanics. AOSC's goal is that these children will grow up to be self-sustaining in their adult life.

The Foundation takes a leadership role in establishing a national pediatric research agenda, as well as promoting global education, awareness and compassion about HIV/AIDS in children.

For more information, visit the AIDS Orphans and Street Children Web site.


AIDS Orphans Education Trust - Uganda
P.O. Box 1382

Currently, 77% of the overall population of Uganda are youth. Of that 77%, 30% are orphans, and 39% are either HIV+ or have already developed AIDS. The AIDS Orphans Education Trust ~ Uganda (AOET) seeks to bring hope and a future to this generation of devastated children.

AIDS Orphans Education Trust (AOET) is a Uganda-based Christian organization that assists some of the many AIDS orphans in the country. Its primary goal is to provide an education -- formal and/or vocational -- to desperately poor, neglected and forgotten orphans whose parents have died of AIDS. AOET provides children access to schools, and the tools they need to flourish, such as supplies, books, clothing, and food.

For more information, visit the AIDS Orphans Education Trust Web site.


Ark Foundation of Africa
1505 N. Capital Street, N.E.
Washington, DC 20001
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The mission of the Ark Foundation of Africa (AFA) is to improve the quality of life of Africans by providing assistance through educational and community economic development programs that are replicable, sustainable, and poverty-alleviating. AFA programs assist vulnerable groups, such as those who are infected and affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, women, children and the youth.

AFA believes that the reduction of poverty and HIV/AIDS related health problems lies within the villagers' ability to become self-sufficient. People must not only be informed of AIDS, but they also need a solid understanding of why their cooperation is in their best interest. Thus, AFA supports self-help initiatives that educate and motive people to participate willingly to de-stigmatize HIV/AIDS.

  • AFA develops opportunities for orphaned and poor children to continue with their education by providing scholarships and social support.
  • AFA provides community economic development through its micro-enterprise programs, which supports those affected and living with HIV/AIDS.
  • AFA provides sanitation & HlV/AlDS education/prevention information to control deadly diseases that are spread via poor sanitary condition and cultural sexual behaviors.
  • AFA encourages and supports participatory development — a process through which villagers conceive, design, implement, and participate in evaluating their own development efforts

For more information, visit the Ark Foundation of Africa Web site.


Hope for African Children
155 Plan Way
Warwick, RI 02886
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The Hope for African Children Initiative is a community-based, pan-African effort created to address the enormous challenges faced by more the 13 million children who have been orphaned by the AIDS pandemic in Africa and the millions more whose parents are sick or dying of AIDS-related illnesses. Established in the summer of 2000, this unique partnership brings together five organizations that share an international focus-CARE, Plan International, World Conference on Religion and Peace, Save the Children and the Society of Women and AIDS in Africa-with the purpose of increasing the capacity of African communities to provide care, services and assistance to children affected by HIV/AIDS and their families.

The Hope for African Children Initiative focuses on four strategic objectives:

  • Building awareness and reducing the stigma that surrounds HIV/AIDS.
  • Extending the life of the parent-child relationship
  • Preparing families for transition
  • Ensuring the children's future

Resources donated to the Hope for African Children Initiative will be channeled to community programs and much-needed services, such as family support, HIV testing and counseling, legal assistance, and educational support.

For more information, visit the Hope for African Children Initiative Web site.


Uganda Orphans Rural Development Programme
P.O. Box 853I
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Uganda Orphans Rural Development Programme (UORDP) is a small but fast growing indigenous rural organization based in Tororo, a district in Uganda ranked with the highest HIV/AIDS prevalance in Eastern Uganda.

UORDP’s main goal is to promote and support the health, nutrition, income and educational status of orphaned children, their caregivers, widows and widowers and other marginalized groups especially women affected and infected with HIV/AIDS. UORDP's programme objectives are to:

  • Assist rural partner communities in understanding the extent of HIV/AIDS and possible solutions through education and counseling.
  • Promote the capacity of orphaned families through supporting food production.
  • Set up a community based health care programme to address the needs of vulnerable functional groups in collaboration with the local government.
  • Promote and support the education of AIDS orphans through local contributions and other sources.
  • Train partner communities in business skills development, leadership and group formation and dynamics and help them realize their potential.
  • Train primary teachers and pupils in life skills so that they can be able meet changing life situations.

UORDP hopes to achieve its goals by empowering communities to meet their own challenges.

For more information, visit the Trickle Up Program Web site, through which donations to UORDP are facilitated.


World Medical Fund
P.O. Box 323
Pinner HA5 4YB
United Kingdom

The Worldwide Medical Fund (WMF) is a British-based charity that currently supports more than 1,100 orphans in Malawi, one of the world's poorest countries. WMF works hand in hand with the local communities, recruiting village volunteers to deliver healthcare, support and education to where it is most needed, in the villages. Each volunteer speaks the village language, works with the headman/headwomen and is supported by the charity with training, transport and essential expenditures.

Because of the scale of the AIDS epidemic in Malawi, WMF recognized that relying on institutional responses (i.e. orphanages) was unrealistic as well as contrary to African culture and tradition. WMF, consequently, developed an innovative, community-based response to the AIDS epidemic, and the scores of children left orphaned as a result. The WMF AIDS Orphans project allows orphaned children to stay in the village of their birth, by appointing guardians - who are given food and farm inputs to care for the children without draining their own limited resources - and provides the children's clothes, pays for their school fees and uniforms and arranges Saturday meetings for the orphans to get together to reduce any feelings of isolation.

Vocational training is also provided to ensure that all of the orphans not only have a today but a future too.

For more information, visit the World Medical Fund Web site.


Participate in an e-Forum on Children Affected by AIDS

Do you want to know more about how children are affected by AIDS worldwide? Join more than 430 subscribers from 35 countries in an electronic forum created by The United States Agency for International Development. Click here to learn more about CABA, and how to join the discussion.

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