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Abby's Adventures in Africa

The Othandweni Centre

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

“Genetic research indicates that HIV originated in west-central Africa during the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. Many people are unaware that they are infected with HIV. Less than 1% of the sexually active urban population in Africa has been tested, and this proportion is even lower in rural populations.”

Today we went to the Othandweni Centre and played games with the children there. All of the children there, ranging from ages three to eighteen, are affected by HIV AIDS either directly or indirectly. Many of these children have lost parents to this terrible disease. Othandweni means “Place of Love” in Zulu and Xhosa. The centre offers residential care for up to 90 children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected. Due to poverty and increased social problems, facilities such as this are in high demand. Due to the AIDS pandemic there has been an increase in the rate of child abandonment and many HIV-positive children are in need of shelter and special care.

These children were so cute, fun, and full of life. Judging by their disposition, you would never know that they are in such dispiriting situations. We had a great time with them!


Kara Durbin said...

You are so great with kids...I know they loved you!

Will Gharis said...

Abby, you are a beautiful girl inside and out!

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Essential Programs Details

Duration 12 days
When June 2nd - 13th, 2009
Focus Wildlife Research/Conservation
Political History