Go to any village in Africa, and you will find dozens of little children playing with one another in the dust. Looking over them in the shade will be the grandmothers or other elders, ready to intervene when things get out of hand. If a child is hurt in the squabbles that inevitably arise, they run to soothing arms of their grandmothers.
But war, AIDS, famine have brought to Africa an entirely new concept, children with no family members, no blood relatives, no extended family members. No elders to care for them, they are lost and bereft in a cruel world, and no one seems to care.
The latest Report about the situation of Children in Africa contains that
Twenty percent of Africa’s children will die before the age of five" a recently released report stated. The statement was part of a series of reports that demonstrate the horrible conditions currently facing children throughout Africa.
Every day 30,000 children die from a combination of disease- infested water and malnutrition," the report continued. Water-borne diseases are claiming one child every three seconds. These diseases are the major killers of small children in Africa."
In addition to those lives being claimed for lack of clean water and malnutrition, diseases such as AIDS, malaria, pneumonia and typhoid fever are killing record numbers as well.
It is estimated that more than 18 million people have died to date, of which over 3 million were children. Additionally, more than 25 million adults are currently infected which will result in the continued increase in the number of orphaned children. To date, more than 15 million children have already been orphaned as a result of the epidemic. Another 1 million children are currently infected with the disease.