Hello readers! I hope that you liked last weeks post explaining the how the school system in Zimbabwe works. In this weeks post I want to take a look at the specific HIV/AIDS statistics in Zimbabwe. Looking up these statistics really put the epidemic into perspective for me and truly opened my eyes.
I would also like to talk about a personal story of one of our students, Ashley M., and talk about how HIV/AIDS has effected her life.
Astounding statistics in relation to Ashley M.:
Ashley is attending Herentals college right now. Both of her parents have died, her mom January 31st, 2003; and her dad December 5, 2007. According to UCSF the year Ashley’s mother died there were 170,000 HIV/AIDS related deaths, and 140,000 the year her father died. Zimbabwe has a higher number of orphans, in proportion to its population, than any other country in the world, according to UNICEF. In fact, as many as 1 in 4 children in Zimbabwe are orphaned as a result of parents dying from AIDS.
After her parents died Ashley and her little sister Ellen moved in with their grandmother and two younger uncles. She said that some of the difficulties she faces is her relatives not having enough money to buy “food and soap.” But after Tariro began sponsoring her, “a lot changed.”
She said that after Tariro came into her life her, “school performance improved as well as her emotional state.” She began worrying less because she didn’t have to be concerned about finding ways to pay her school fees. According to UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund), in 2009 there were 1,000,000 children orphaned by AIDS. Sadly only 95,000 of those students went to school. But Ashley is now one of them because of Tariro’s support.
At the end of Ashley’s interview she said something very moving, “I will be different than the other children who didn’t have the chance to go to school.”
Ashley is one example of an orphan is Zimbabwe who is effected by losing parents to HIV/AIDS. If you look at the thousands of people who died in the same years as her parents it becomes astonishing to think about how many children are effected and go through life changing events because of this epidemic.
Thinking about these statistics:
Going beyond the statistics and relating it back to Tariro’s mission sheds some light on how important our work is. Out of the 95,000 orphans that are attending school, only 39,000 of those are girls. Tariro’s work continues to be more important than ever with us sending girls to school each year and helping make that number a bit higher.
Once again I thank you for your support by just doing the reading. Learning these statistics really opened my eyes. To realize how big the scale is and how many people are effected makes me even happier that I am participating in Tariro’s work.