AIDS in Africa: Charity projects

SOS Children delivers charity work to halt the spread AIDS in Africa

AIDS in Africa: Helping HIV/AIDS Orphans


AIDS in Africa continues to have a devastating effect, especially for children who are orphaned or lose siblings to the disease. The tragedy of AIDS in Africa may be something we are becoming more aware as a global society, but much more needs to be done to stop this terrible disease destroying lives.

SOS Children has grassroots projects in most countries in Africa  working at a simple level giving practical support to children. Last year, thanks to people like you, SOS Children supported more than a hundred thousand AIDS Orphans in their old family home in 44 countries through three visits a week with practical help, food, medicine and love. Children are saved one by one and every contribution or small regular donation helps us to help another child.

However, there is so much more to do stem the flow of AIDS in Africa

AIDS in Africa background

There is an epidemic of AIDS in Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa. In some African countries it is estimated that 40% of the working-age population has contracted HIV, with younger and more successful workers being most likely to be affected. However, this is never uniform across a population; 40% of a whole African country will mean there are areas where virtually everyone has contracted HIV / AIDS. The worst affected countries include Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Lesotho. In places like these, village after village has no young adults left. AIDS in Africa is engulfing communities, and the magnitude of the problem is overwhelming

It is hard to know how to approach such a situation. SOS Children has developed a strategy for AIDS orphans in Africa where we do not move children from their familiar background but strengthen their community to look after them. SOS has projects helping more than a hundred thousand African children orphaned by AIDS in 45 African countries, and is growing as fast as you allow us to. We are continually improving our approach with the exchange of experience and best practice. Details of more established projects, such as all our Children's Villages in Africa can be found on our Africa Pages. Family Strengthening Programme in Bakoteh

Inevitably many of those affected by AIDS in Africa are the parents of young children. When parents suffering from AIDS begin to deteriotate, they cannot work and need to be looked after. But the situation is so bad that in parts of Africa no adults are able to help. The children not only have the distress of seeing their parents become weaker and weaker but they no longer have anyone providing for them and often have to try to help care for their parents. It is not unusual to find very young children or some of their brothers and sisters with AIDS (about half of all children of HIV-affected African mothers end up with AIDS themselves), orphaned and caring for toddlers. It is estimated that 90% of the world’s HIV-infected children live on the continent , and more than half a million die of AIDS in Africa each year.

You can read here about a child-headed family and how SOS Children is supporting them.

AIDS in Africa: the way forward?

Girl from Family Strengthening Programme in Guinea

So is this a hopeless situation? No, it is tragic but not hopeless. At present, for those infected with AIDS in Africa, all we can try to ensure is that they are loved and cared for as they grow weaker. For the many young children in Africa who do not have HIV / AIDS, we can make a huge difference. The difference between love and abandonment, between a group of young children scavenging for scraps and a small child-led family with adequate nourishment and even the chance of school.

You can read SOS Children’s latest policy on AIDS, which contains details of our specific approach towards AIDS in Africa, and meetings of our AIDS best practice workshop as more background.

AIDS: Only affecting Africa?

It is true that the most children orphaned and affected by AIDS live in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, as the infection spreads, the number of children who are living with HIV-infected parents and who have lost parents to AIDS is beginning to grow in other regions, including Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

For example, Russia has the fastest growing HIV rates in the world, with 100 new infections every day. Russia accounts for around two-thirds of the cases in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region. There were an estimated 940,000 people living with HIV at the end of 2005 in Russia - up from 760,000 in 2003 - and this figure looks set to increase even further. Some 20 babies are born every day to HIV-positive women, with two of those, on average, abandoned by their mothers. Read here about SOS Children projects in Russia

SOS Children is the world's largest charity dedicated to giving a new family to orphans and supporting the remaining family of children orphaned by Aids. Our charity helps Aids Orphans and other orphaned children in almost every country in Africa. Please visit the list of countries where you can sponsor a child in Africa.

Linked you will find some General Aids Africa Information and the SOS Children Strategy for Aids Orphans. Both give an outline of the principles of our charity's work in Africa.




Did you know? In Pakistan, after the Kashmir earthquake, SOS Children was invited by the government to care for all unaccompanied children from the disaster.