What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
AIDS is tearing apart families in sub-Saharan Africa. As AVERT reports:
An estimated 24.5 million adults and children were living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa at the end of 2005.
During that year, an estimated 2 million people died from AIDS. The epidemic has left behind some 12 million orphaned African children. (via)
The number of OVC (orphaned and vulnerable children) has only risen since then. Every 14 seconds, a new child is orphaned from AIDS.
Middle aged people are affected the most by AIDS, with adults (18-50 years of age) dying left and right, leaving their parents to watch over their children. Grandmothers have become the saviors of sub-Saharan Africa, often caring for multiple sets of children when their parents have died.
But when the grandparents have already passed on, the children are left to fend for themselves. This creates a living situation termed “child-headed households”, where the oldest child becomes the guardian of his/her younger siblings. Sometime the head of house is a teenager, or sometimes the child is no more than six or seven years of age.
Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.
It is heartbreaking to witness the holocaust of our day and meet these children who are left to fend for themselves, without any parental support, love, or guidance.
In the time it took you to read this blog post, two to four more children were orphaned due to AIDS.