The plight of AIDS orphans in Southern Africa

The plight of AIDS orphans in Southern Africa


The AIDS orphans in Southern Africa belong to one of the fastest growing, but least desirable groups of children in need, on earth.

Every 14 seconds a child will become an orphan. While you watch the video below, 10 children will become AIDS orphans.

Most of the 15 million children orphaned by AIDS worldwide live in economically weak countries and the vast majority of them in Sub-Saharan Africa. (1)

In South Africa, a country of around 47 million, an estimated 5.7 million have HIV.

Every day, an average of 1,000 people dies from AIDS and AIDS-related conditions. The number of orphans in South Africa grew to 1.4 million at the end of 2007 from 780,000 at the end of 2003.(2)

That means that together with the effects of poverty an estimated 500 children a day became orphans.

Homeless child

The scale of the sadness, grief and suffering of these children should be enough to motivate not just the various childrens charities working so hard to reduce the impact of this tragedy, but each one of us too, to find a way to do something.

Furthermore, in a 12 year span, the incidence of HIV among pregnant women has multiplied more than seven times, from an estimated 4.3 percent in 1993 to 30.2 percent in 2005. Most children born to HIV AIDS-infected women develop the condition themselves.(3)

Homeless child This further accentuates the plight of the AIDS orphans, homeless children and other children in need as they live not only without the love of their parents, but with a potentially life-threatening disease.

So what hope is there for an AIDS orphan?

These children face lives of extreme hardship but they have not been completely abandoned. Wonderful organisations in South Africa and around the world have seen the need and responded with energy.



The photographs are courtesy of World Vision, whose CEO also made the powerful statement at the top of the page.(3)

These charities work hard to provide love, shelter, education and food for these children in need. We hope Knit-a-square will do as good a job in providing warmth for the AIDS Orphans of Southern Africa.

So please knit a square (or more) and send them to Africa to make up blankets for the children.

The video below was created for Knit-a-Square. Its message is compelling. I hope it will touch your heart and hopefully encourage you to do something.

Sources:(1) SOS Children's villages (2) (3) © Copyright World Vision Australia 2008. All rights reserved. Used with permission.