Washing the tears of AIDS

Sister Brigid Corrigan often reminds us that statistics are people with the tears washed away. She knows all about it! After many years working in this field in Tanzania and now in Uganda, she knows that in real life, you simply cannot wash away the tears.

Our Sister-doctors will tell you that an important part of the therapy involves helping the children to express how they feel in picture and story-telling. The mural shown here was drawn by a child in Addis Ababa. It says, "Please don't close your door to us."

Many orphans are themselves infected with HIV. Many others are not, but they all need a lot of help. Nothing can replace the love of parents who have died, but a loving, supportive team of caring professionals who show interest in the orphaned child, can go a long way towards helping the little one face life. We give them education and life skills so that they can make it to adulthood with the hope of a happier life ahead.

Supporting children orphaned by AIDS means paying for their school fees, uniforms, books and pens, monitoring their nutrition and general health. It also means supporting the guardian who may be an elderly grandparent. Perhaps that household is now caring for many orphan children and needs a small kitchen extension or a latrine. Where possible, we also try to watch out for orphan children who are living on the streets.