While the AIDS epidemic may have fallen off the front pages in the United States, it remains an urgent and critical problem around the world – particularly in sub-Saharan Africa – causing millions of children to lose one or both of their parents at a very young age, some tragically born with the virus.
At Bread and Water for Africa® we have not forgotten these children, the continent’s most vulnerable people who have no home, no food, no family and no hope. At children’s homes in Zambia – Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Center; Kenya – Lewa Children’s Home; and Zimbabwe – Shinga Development Trust; thanks to our supporters hundreds of children have a loving home, the food they need to be healthy and survive, a family with a new-found mother and dozens of brothers and sisters and the hope to see a bright future.
Today, December 1, is the World Health Organizations’ World AIDS Day promoting the theme of “Right to health” highlighting the need for all 36.7 million people living with HIV and those who are vulnerable and affected by the epidemic, to reach the goal of universal health coverage.
Under the slogan, “Everybody counts”, WHO is advocating for access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and health care services for all people in need.
According to WHO, the African region is the most affected region, with 25.6 million people living with HIV in 2016. The Africa region also accounts for almost two-thirds of the global total of new HIV infections.
At Bread and Water for Africa®, thanks to our supporters, we are doing all we can to battle the AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa by providing our partner organizations with the medicines and medical supplies and equipment they need to treat the impoverished sick in their communities, as well as provide the basic needs of the casualties of this devastating epidemic – the children who otherwise would be fending for themselves on the streets.
Any child living anywhere in the world is destined for a life of poverty without an education.
Nowhere is that more true than in sub-Saharan Africa which in no way could be described as “a land of opportunity” for those who can’t read or write, add or subtract of have a general knowledge of the world.
Theirs is a life of struggle and despair with no hope for anything better in their life than to labor hard – if they are fortunate enough to find work – eat for a day, and have a place to sleep for the night.
That’s why Bread and Water for Africa® provides funding for school fees and school uniforms for hundreds of children each year in several African countries.
For example, in Cameroon, our partner there Hope Services, enables deserving children whose greatest wish in the world is to go to school with funding provided by supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®.
This year, Hope Services Director Esther Ndichafah expects to enable more than 200 underprivileged children including orphans and what she calls “persecuted children” to go to school, giving them their only chance for success in life.
Her mission, she says, is to give “the underprivileged the same opportunities to be educated like others” and helping transform “poor children into established self-reliant individuals” by encouraging academic excellence.
At Bread and Water for Africa® Esther’s mission is our mission. We strongly believe that education is not a key to success, it is THE key to success.
In the villages of Bangolan and Babungo in Cameroon, as well as Lolo in Chad, secondary school tuition is extremely inexpensive compared to what it costs to educate a child in the United States.
That is unless you are a poor orphan and then it may as well be $1 million.
In Kenya, Bread and Water for Africa® provides funding for secondary school students living at the affiliated Lewa Children’s Home as well as sponsored children in the local community.
Stella Keino of the Lewa Children’s Home stated that by providing school fees for orphans living at Lewa and others “This benefits the Eldoret community and the country as a whole.”
Stella sees short term, medium term and long term outcomes for the students.
In the short term, children will be able to go directly to high school without any disruption to their education with funding for the school fees in place from the start of the school year to the end.
In the medium term, children will be able to attend all the years of high school without worry of how they will pay their school fees year after year.
And in the long term, the students will be able to attain a higher education than they otherwise might not have been able to “and develop themselves to be better citizens.”
In Zimbabwe, working with our partner there, Margaret Makambira, director of Shinga Development Trust, 30 primary school students and 20 secondary school students, will benefit from our school fee support program.
Margaret firmly believes, as do we, that an educated population will empower the nation, build healthy communities and lead to a long-term goal of self-sufficiency as she works to eradicate illiteracy in her community, one child at a time.
The result of our efforts – all of us, Bread and Water for Africa®, our grassroots partners working every day to better the lives of children in the communities, and you, our supporters who make it all possible – is that today hundreds of children are in school instead of the streets, and tomorrow they will have a bright future, leading the way for thousands to follow.
In the city of Douala, Cameroon today there was a little boy born.
We’ll call him Samuel.
He is fighting for his life, as is his 14-year-old mother.
His mother, we’ll call her Sarah, has no job. No husband. No family to support her. She struggles just to get something to eat each day.
Prenatal care during her pregnancy was out of the question. It’s care that if she had gotten the mother would be rejoicing in the birth of a healthy baby boy, instead of wondering if they are going to live to see tomorrow.
Hope Services, located 120 miles away in the city of Youanda, has operated a clinic there for more than 20 years providing life-saving care to mothers and children just like Sarah and Samuel.
Hope Services has identified a similar need in Douala, and has asked Bread and Water for Africa® for assistance in constructing a clinic treating the most vulnerable and needy in the impoverished country.
On Giving Tuesday, December 1 we will be asking you for help to make that clinic a reality. On that day, people around the country are asked to remember those most in need.
And on that day, we will be launching an initiative #Clinic4Cameroon and know that supporters just like you will think of Sarah and Samuel and the 60,000 children and adults projected to be treated in the first year alone.
#Clinic4Cameroon. It’s about the numbers. Tens of thousands in the first year – hundreds of thousands in the years to come.
#Clinic4Cameroon. It’s about Sarah and Samuel. It’s about the 60,000.
In Cameroon, there is a shocking dearth of clinics and health care facilities for the country’s most vulnerable – impoverished infants, children and new mothers, particularly girls under 15 years old.
It’s a dearth that leads to death.
For more 20 years, Hope Services has been providing health care for those with little or no money to pay for routine medical services that has saved the lives of thousands in the city of Duala.
Prenatal care we take for granted in the United States, is an unaffordable luxury for poor pregnant girls and women – a “luxury” which not only saves the lives of children, but mothers as well.
Basic medical care, such as antibiotics for an infection, and medicines for the treatment of malaria, Typhoid fever and many other tropical diseases, makes a difference between being sick in bed for a week or two, or ending up dead.
With the success of its long-established clinic in Youande, Hope Services has discovered there is a great need for such a clinic in the city of Douala, about 120 miles away where the poor in the city are not underserved – they are not served whatsoever.
Hope Services is asking Bread and Water for Africa® for our help in constructing this clinic which is projected to provide medical services to 60,000 children and adults in the first year alone.
And we are asking for your help.
On Giving Tuesday, December 1 we will launch “Clinic4Cameroon” when people around the country are asked to remember those most in need. And on that day, we know our supporters, both long-time and brand-new, will think of the thousands of children and adults who are literally struggling to survive in one of the poorest countries in the world.
#Clinic4Cameroon. It’s about the numbers — tens of thousands in the first year, hundreds of thousands in the years to come.
#Clinic4Cameroon. It’s about the 60,000.
Hope Services in Yaounde, Cameroon was founded in 1994 with a mission to provide economically disadvantaged children, women and men with affordable health care services, and free treatment for those with no ability whatsoever to pay, to hundreds of thousands of residents of Cameroon.
Today, Hope Services has a goal to expand its healthcare services to tens of thousands more by opening a second clinic in the city of Douala, about 120 miles from Yaounde, where there is a lack of adequate, affordable health care for hundreds of thousands of impoverished residents.
The need is great and the facts are staggering.
· In sub-Saharan Africa countries including Cameroon, hundreds of women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
· The risk of maternal mortality is highest for adolescent girls under 15 years old and complications in pregnancy and childbirth are their leading cause of death.
· Less than half of women in sub-Saharan Africa benefit from skilled care during childbirth – meaning that millions of births are not assisted by a doctor, trained nurse or even a midwife.
· Children in sub-Saharan Africa are more than 15 times more likely to die before the age of five than children in developed countries. In Cameron, nearly 30% of the deaths of children under 5 are from malaria and diarrhea alone – a mortality rate that could lower significantly with access to health care.
For all these reasons and more, Bread and Water for Africa® is launching “”Clinic4Cameroon”. In the month of December, starting on Giving Tuesday, our goal is to raise the $37,000 necessary to construct a clinic which is projected to serve 60,000 children and adults in its first year of operation alone.
#Clinic4Cameroon. It’s about the numbers – tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands in the years to come who will have a place to turn to when their lives are being threatened by easily preventable and treatable diseases.
#Clinics4Cameroon. It’s about the 60,000.
At Bread and Water for Africa® among our most generous and loyal partners is the Medical Equipment Recovery of Clean Inventory (MERCI) program operated by the University of Virginia.
Through this partnership, we are able to ship millions of dollars’ worth of medical equipment and hospital supplies to our partners in Cameroon, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone, who operate free and low-cost hospitals and clinics for the most needy in the poorest countries on Earth.
In July alone, we shipped a 40-foot container full of equipment and supplies to our partner, Hope Services in Cameroon, and have since traveled to MERCI in Charlottesville, Virginia and filled up a truck with dozens of boxes of equipment and supplies in preparation for our next shipment to Sierra Leone in the fall.
When we arrive at MERCI, we never know exactly what we’re going to get. This time around, as always there were dozens of boxes of bandages, gauze, surgical packs, catheters, scrubs, prep trays, x-ray viewers and even a LTV 1150 ventilator allowing patients the freedom of portable advanced care ventilation in the home or at a post-acute care facility.
We are proud to play a role in having these brand-new, still-in-the-original packaging supplies and gently used equipment, being repurposed to help save lives in Africa, rather than being wasted and ending up in a landfill.