Slum Doctor Programme

Answering the Call
November 20, 2007, 3:05 pm
Filed under: Programs | Tags: , ,

“The increased spiral of adult deaths in so many countries means that the number of children orphaned each day is expanding exponentially. Africa is staggering under the load.”

-Stephen Lewis, FormerUN Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa

It always happens that in a worldwide catastrophe, like the HIV/AIDS crisis, the populations hit hardest are innocent victims. Children are victims and are feeling the brunt of the impact from the epidemic, as they are left to take care of one another when their parents succumb to AIDS. We need to turn our attention to this generation of orphaned children to break the devastating cycle of AIDS in Africa.

Worldwide, 90 percent of deaths due to AIDS are people between the ages of 15 and 40. The adult population is being hit the hardest and a generation of orphans is being left in the devastating wake, with no one other than grandparents and other children to care for them. HIV/AIDS has left more than 15 million children orphaned in the world, more than 12 million of whom are in Sub-Saharan Africa. And this number is expected to rise. By 2010, there will be an estimated 15.7 million AIDS orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa alone – 27 times the population of Seattle.

Kenya has one of the highest numbers of AIDS orphans in the world. For many AIDS orphans, their only option is to work, which takes away an opportunity for an education – one of the key causes for the spread of HIV/AIDS. Without an education these children are left to the vulnerabilities that come with poverty and lack of education. AIDS orphans who end up living with grandparents or in foster care frequently experience discrimination and are less likely to receive adequate medical care, education, and other basic necessities.

The degree of the AIDS orphans problem is still slightly veiled because of the lag between when adults contract the disease, and when they die. One thing is for sure though, the cycle of poverty and HIV/AIDS will continue to perpetuate as millions of children are left to take care of themselves.

In 2006, we initiated a relationship with the Nairobi Rotary Club to answer the call of millions of AIDS orphans. At the Cura Homes Orphanage, Slum Doctor Programme offers 50 orphans the basic necessities for life, including three meals a day, shelter, education, medical treatment, and loving care. The goal of the partnership is to help create a sustainable development project that addresses the root causes of HIV/AIDS – poverty and lack of education – so more children can grow up in a loving home with their parents.

We are working with the leaders of the Cura Homes Orphanage to create a sustainable project that addresses the root social causes related to HIV/AIDS, and provide the hope of a brighter future for orphans in Kenya.


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