There is one very good reason why every person should donate to the Children’s Resiliency Project (CRP). All the work done to solve the AIDS problem has done nothing to solve the orphan problem it caused. AIDS and orphans are two entirely different problems and require two completely different solutions.
All the hype associated with the prevention, treatment and cure of AIDS (which is completely understandable) has overshadowed the stark reality of the plight of orphans. When a cure is finally found for the disease we will still be left with millions of children who have no parents and in most cases no place to go. Unfortunately, solving the AIDS riddle does nothing to eliminate the orphan tragedy.
If the orphan problem were a disease, it would actually be easier to address but there is no injection to make this problem go away. Walk-in clinics are not designed to meet this kind of need or the demand. The only useful treatment for orphans is tender loving care and they need it 24/7.
There is a substantial supply of funds and thousands of professionals already working in unison to discover and dispense cures for all kinds of diseases. The infrastructure to meet the needs of orphans, however, barely exists.
The work to find a cure for AIDS is winding down. The work needed to meet the needs of orphans has hardly gotten started.
Both problems require an enormous effort to solve. One has gotten a lot of attention. The other has gotten mostly lip service. The disparity between the investments made to solve these two problems is embarrassing.
And, to make things worse, while the devastation of AIDS (to those who contract it) is being diminished, the orphan problem is only getting worse.
UNICEF estimates the number of orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa will reach 20 million by 2010 (up from 11 million in 2001) and that is only the number orphaned by AIDS. The actual number of orphans is considerably higher at more than twice that.
The “20 million” number counts for as much as 25% of the childhood population in some of these countries and it represents 90% of all AIDS affected orphans in the entire world. But we don’t see this for what it really is, an entirely separate problem. We have made a lot of progress in treating AIDS. We have done very little to address the orphan issue.
CRP is not addressing the disease and probably never will (it would be overkill if it did) but it is addressing the outcome of the AIDS problem, which according to statistics, has become bigger than AIDS and is still growing.
Question: Will you be a part of the solution? If you have not donated time or resources to any specific orphan home or village then I would ask you in the name of the millions of orphans who desperately need you, to do something today, now.
If you would like to make a donation to CRP and I am encouraging you to do that, go here (South Africans must add a zero to the front of their postal code). If you would like to know more about CRP click here. If you would like to know what I am doing check out my last post (I am riding in a bike race with “CRP Orphan Village” plastered on the front and back of my jersey).
If you want to think about it before you donate, please remember this. When AIDS patients need medication they have dispensaries to rely on. When they need special care they go to clinics and hospitals. Orphans, however, take to the streets. They rely on traffic lights to appeal for a bit of pocket change and rubbish bins outside fast food restaurants for an occasional meal. Let’s do something about this. ThinAboutIt later? Do something now!
Please don’t keep the children waiting. They’re hungry!
BTW, Bob Graham, the founder of CRP, is a highly qualified man. He holds an earned PhD in education, has run a very successful basketball program at the high school level, which he used to develop underprivileged kids, and taught effectively for many years in a private school. He could be leading a normal life making very good money and wishing the best for all the orphans. Instead he is taking the problem head on and all he needs from us is support. It is a privilege to be able to help.