[ePrayer – Pray for Children’s ministry in Zimbabwe]
In Zimbabwe, many children suffer from the loss of parents and feel unrooted in their young age. AIDS is severely impacting the country and many children have become orphans after one or both of their parents died from this fatal disease. According to the official figures from UNAIDS, 15% of the overall population is HIV infected. The frontier NGOs even estimated that the actual infected figures probably hit 30%. Among the HIV/AIDS orphans, some live with their grandparents or relatives, some are looked after by their teenage brothers or sisters, and some even are left abandoned so their childhood is absent of love and care.
Many Zimbabwe children feel unrooted because they do not have any identity documents. CEDAR visited a school in Zimebabwe last November and 2/3 of the 350 students there do not have birth certificates. Indeed, this phenomenon is prevalent in the country. Many parents will not let their babies out of their homes because of traditional beliefs. They believe there is ‘Evil Eye’ on the streets and their babies will be in danger once they are exposed to the outside. Thus many children have become unregistered and cannot be promoted to high school education. The HIV/AIDS orphans even feel more helpless because they cannot inherit their parents’ processions without identity documents.
CEDAR’s Partner ‘Trinity’ is committed to the education on the parents about the importance of birth certificates so as to change their rooted traditional beliefs. Yet, with a limited number of government offices in the country, some parents have to take a one-day trip for registration if they live in remote areas. A lot of them are unable to register because they do not have money to travel. Trinity is planning to fund their trips in the near future so more children will be able to enjoy higher education and the other benefits that they are entitled to.
Another CEDAR partner ‘Family AIDS Caring Trust’ (FACT) recently launched a programme called Buddy System. The main idea is to pair up a HIV+ orphan with a buddy who is not HIV infected. FACT encourages mutual support between the buddies, such as the healthy buddy can remind his/her counterpart to take medication on time. FACT hope that with this programme, the HIV infected orphans will feel cared and supported even though they do not have their own families.
An executive of FACT said, ‘I wish that the orphans will feel that they are normal and are no different that the others, that they are loved.’ CEDAR supports the both partners through the ‘Join Hands Join Hearts’ Children Ministry Scheme. ‘And most of all be warm in your love for one another; because in love there is forgiveness for sins without number.’ (1 Peter 4:8). We hope all the kids in Zimbabwe will access to the basic needs and experience God’s love in their lives, that the AIDS orphans will be relieved from the pain of loss and unroot.
Pray for Children’s ministry in Zimbabwe:
- May Our Lord provide all the needs for the children in Zimbabwe so that they can maintain their well being. May our Lord not only provide HIV/AIDS orphans with medication, but also let them feel cared and supported in the community.
- Pray for the Buddy System Programme led by FACT. May our Lord grant wisdom to the organizing team so more HIV/AIDS children get paired-up and receive support.
- Pray for the project of identity registry led by Trinity. May our Lord grant resources to Trinity and protect the children and their parents on their journeys to obtain proper registrations.
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