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AIDS Orphans Rising: What You Should Know and What You Can Do to Help Them Succeed Paperback – December 12, 2007
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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My "Aha!" moment was the realization that we should look and treat these children as head of households in charge of keeping their little brothers and sisters together inspite off all the suffering and dire conditions they are facing. These children are not hopeless, are not helpless nor should they be forgotten. They're trying to move on with their lives and we should help them do it. Like giving gardening and trade advice, providing househols tools, and basic supplies like soap, rice, and sugar. If you can't do it on your own the book provides a list of reputable organizations that do just that.
So if you ever wonder "What can I do to help?" here is your answer. In fact every chapter has 5 to 10 simple steps that you can do at home or in your community that can make a big difference.
Yes you can make a difference!
In many developing and poor countries, the death of both parents leaves the surviving children on their own. Thus a child headed household (CHH) is formed where the orphans, many of them under 9 years of age, have to work for their survival. Those who are not left a house by their parents have to live on the streets, beg for food, and are prone to falling into crime and prostitution in order to survive. The situation is assuming the status of a crisis in African countries, particularly in South Africa and Zambia, where the governments are economically too weak to support AIDS orphans. What do these helpless children do?
As Sister Mary Elizabeth explains in her book, viewing these children as totally helpless will not be so correct a view since these orphan kids have developed coping strategies of their own to ensure their survival. These range from menial labor to selling grains and nuts, and learning technical skills while continuing to go to school full time. Still, they are very much in need of help from grownups not only to live better but also for emotional support and the development of positive and fully functional personalities as they move into adulthood. Without help, they remain at a high risk of becoming a prey to exploitation and abuse.
How can the lives of these AIDS orphans be salvaged? Sister Mary Elizabeth provides a complete resource guide in AIDS Orphans Rising for the readers to help them play their role in helping the poor kids who have been left on their own in the struggle for survival. The Sister ad her team are working in various parts of the world to support AIDS orphans and their efforts make an instance of inspiration for all those who care to save human children from the claws of poverty and potential abuse. AIDS Orphans Rising is a major step in this direction.
Yet the stories are filled with hope. When we in the West think of these children, we tend to count them out. But they are determined to take care of each other, to survive and overcome their circumstances. They're finding work, however humble, and they are going to school whenever they can. They're living in the present, laughing and loving. If they have adult problems, they are also still children, capable of playing and experiencing joy.
Sister MaryBeth Lloyd offers us the big picture, well documented with statistics and projections. She shows us the dimensions of the African AIDS crisis and its effect on children, but she has also filled her book with useful information on how her readers can help meet the needs of these children. And most affectingly, she lets us know and admire the children themselves.
The author was a student in our Grants Training Classes, and I have tremendous respect for the work she does. She combines love for the children with a practical approach to supporting them as they grow up and take their place as the next generation of African adults.
Jillian Coleman Wheeler
This slim book is a mishmash of statistics. with individual stories of children not much different from the narration for one of those infomercials from many non-profits now on various cable stations. For anyone who has read even a little about the topic, there is little new in the numbers, and even more up-to-date references and data can be found by a quick web search. The disorganization and redundancy of both the data references and anecdotes was very distracting. One other concern: there are many other non-profits and Christian organizations involved in similar work, yet the book ignores this fact--one more way in which this resembles an advertisement for the organization rather than an overall picture of this global crisis.
Bottom line: if you want to support the AIDS Orphans Rising organization, do it by donating the cost of the book directly to the organization rather than buying a book of so little real value.
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