LAND OF A MILLION ORPHANS: DailyMail.com investigates the hidden African crisis driven by AIDS and meets ‘children raised by children’ left behind in Zambia
- PART 1 OF AN EXCLUSIVE 3-PART SERIES; VISIT DAILYMAIL.COM TOMORROW FOR PART 2
- Zambia is a land-locked nation in sub-Saharan Africa whose population of 17 million includes 1 million orphans, according to the United Nations Development Programme
- AIDS killed an entire generation of parents, leaving the country with half its population younger than 18; DailyMail.com traveled there to meet children in two slums in the capital city
- Hundreds of thousands of children there sleep in overcrowded one-room shacks or under plastic tarps
- One in 13 Zambians will die before age 5, and many kids don’t know their parents or their own birthdays
- More than 1.2 million Zambians live with HIV; new cases are 29 times as common as in the United States and 53 times the United Kingdom’s rate
- Sexual abuse is rampant; some tribes’ cultures teach that sex with a virgin can cure AIDS, driving child rape and more HIV infections
- You can learn more about humanitarian crises in Zambia from UNICEF, UNAIDS, the PEPFAR program or the Family Legacy charity
By DAVID MARTOSKO FOR DAILYMAIL.COM IN LUSAKA, ZAMBIA
PUBLISHED: 14:08 EDT, 9 July 2019 | UPDATED: 21:38 EDT, 9 July 2019
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Richard is among Zambia’s 1 million orphans, the United Nations Development Programme reports. They live in a land-locked nation of 17 million people that is about the size of Texas. The United States, with its 327 million people, has about 443,000 children in foster care, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Most of Zambia’s orphans are collateral damage of a well-understood AIDS epidemic. The outside world hasn’t, however, grappled with the staggering number of children left without mothers and fathers. UNICEF puts that total at 52 million throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
In countries like Zambia, where help from the developed world came too late, children raise children in trash heaps and chicken coops, or under discarded plastic tarps.
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How can anyone read this and not be touched?
I know that this isn’t the usual “good news” I usually lead with but this made me nauseated.
I don’t know what any single person can do. The Third World is a humanitarian disaster. And, imho, the various Gooferments of these lands are the primary problem.
I’ve ofter advocated that the politicians and bureaucrats should not be permitted to leave these countries while the problem exists. Not to visit the UN. Not to visit other countries. And, certainly not to open off-shore bank accounts where they can store their ill gotten gains.
I’m sure the answer is not in “foreign aid” by other Gooferments.
I believe that the “answer”, if there is one, will be found in the private efforts of faith based organizations and humanitarians everywhere.
Till then, all us little people can do is pray for their relief. When I find a good organization, I send them some of my annual donation budget. Hope every one will too.
Dona Nobis Pacem
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