Allow me to share with you problems of children (Orphans), poverty and deprivation that I have encountered in all forms since BLESSED ORPHANS UGANDA COMMUNITY started its work. I have questions which up now I failed to have answers, mostly in that area of operations in Mukono suburb.
Throughout sub-Saharan Africa and around the world, the damage being brought to HIV/AIDS has a new face. It is no longer the millions of lives claimed by the epidemic, but the millions of children whom it has orphaned leaving them behind to struggle both with their personal losses and with stigma and discrimination that accompanies AIDS.
Some children are also infected with the virus HIV/AIDS, having got it from their mothers during birth, others from being sexual abused -defiled by the infected adults..Usually these problems of the orphans (children) start when parents are tested HIV positive. Since their parents cant go out to look for money to buy them food and other home necessities. They start to suffer physically and therefor they can stop going to school so their performances become very poor etc. Most of them lose their parents at a young age where parental guidance and socialization are most needed. Because of this situation, these children are in danger of making uniformed and sometimes disastrous choices and decisions concerning their lives just because of growing in an atmosphere, which is full of confusing and contradictory messages.
Children orphaned by AIDS are vulnerable in almost all aspects of their lives. Thus invariably, orphans witness the prolonged illness and death of their family members and it disturbs their brain mentally.
The other challenges faced by these children are loss of parents, depression, increased malnutrition, lack of immunization and health care, lack of education, early entry into paid or unpaid labor, loss of inheritance through property grabbing, homelessness, early forced marriage and pregnancies, exposure to sexual abuse, increased risk of HIV/AIDS, lack of beddings, clothing and the burden of having to care for young siblings.
Some children also complain that things change for the worse when they move into the guardians' household e.g. increase in household responsibilities, reduction in personal properties and food, clothing and reduction in household resources. Sometimes these children are treated differently because of having AIDS in their families; some times they are verbally abused or teased and neglected. Community support system, especially foster homes are increasingly overburdened and one of the greatest problem families face is lack of enough food, instead of having two meals a day as other people do they have only one. In the morning they have breakfast and the next meal they eat is in the evening as the sunsets and then they go to sleep. Even the next day it's the same routine.
Another big problem is the time spent mostly on their school days on the roads, being chased from school because of unpaid school fees and being sent back by guardians or care takers with a note asking the teacher to be more patient so as they can pay when the money is got and when the time of examinations reach the children who have not yet paid are not allowed to do the exams unlike children whose parents are alive.
These experiences are representation of what some orphans' lives are like. Others go through worse situations. When their mothers die, their fathers get other women. The children suffer at their stepmothers' hands.
They are beaten very often, denied food and reminded them of their deceased mothers whenever they do something wrong. After all the depressions, lack of food, health care, school fees, homelessness etc..Children start looking for survival. It because worse to girls, this is the time when they are exposed to sexual abuse, unpaid labour, early pregnancies and forced marriages, which increase the risk of HIV/AIDS, they have no ability to say no to sex.
In conclusion, children need help. Providing support to children (Orphans) affected by AIDS and other vulnerable children is not simply humanitarian responsibility but development necessity, too. Both individuals and Governments can do something to restore a flicker of hope to lives of children orphaned by AIDS.
Individuals can improve orphans' lives by accepting them and treating them as normal children, instead of discriminating them. National Governments have responsibility to create an environment where children can realize their rights including those to survival and development; to the highest attainable standards of health; to education and to protection from abuse and neglect.
Thank you for reading our message and your help is always useful to our children.