Today, there are approximately 56 million orphaned children in Africa, 15 million of whom have lost parents to the horror of AIDS.
The AIDS epidemic contributes to deepening poverty in many communities. Since the burden of caring for the vast majority of orphans falls on already impoverished families, women or grandparents, they are left with meager resources to care for these children. Such households are expected to earn much less than other households. The most common unmet needs are education, food, medical care, and clothes.
Without a real safety net, street life is the only recourse for many orphans, making them much more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. Housing, feeding, educating and nurturing these children, who suffer from poor health, trauma and psychological distress, is not only a moral imperative but is essential to Africa’s development prospects.