|The little child in the picture, Mazwi, is 9 years old. He lives in Swaziland where the HIV prevalence is 48%, the highest in the world. This disease has devastated the population leaving 120,000 orphans just like Mazwi. His parents died of HIV/AIDS & he too is positive but is not yet fully aware.
It's typical to leave the children unaware of their status until the age of 10 at which time a family member, social worker, or doctor tries - as best as they can - to teach this child that they have the disease they've watched their parents suffer & eventually die from. The resources they have - medical flip charts & scary pictures - are terrifying to a 10 year old who has just had their future swept out from underneath them. I've heard children being told that they have a monster in their blood and shown pictures of gremlin looking creatures attacking their white blood cells.
It was shocking to me, when I was living in Swaziland, that there isn't a culturally competent and child-friendly book to explain to these children that they shouldn't give up hope! In the US there are books for almost everything, educating on puberty, being adopted, even losing a tooth... but there isn't a single book to explain to children about HIV. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the children who need it most could not afford it even if it did exist.
Because of this, GHFP is using the StartSomeGood platform to ask for your help. With your generosity, a group of authors and illustrators will collaborate to create a book for HIV orphans. This book will be colorful and beautiful, just like the children it will serve and will be donated to orphanages, pediatric clinics, schools, & libraries in Swaziland Africa. It will educate the children, in a child-friendly fashion, about their disease they've contracted by no fault of their own, and emphasize the fact that they are special and they are loved, positive or negative.
**YOUR DONATIONS ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE!!