by Larry Malone
Last month AMG announced that, in response to the staggering needs of children stressed by the HIV/AIDS crisis in Uganda, this missions-centered organization was opening a fourth child-development center in the stricken nation. These centers are providing food, medical attention, help with schooling, and spiritual enlightenment for more than 500 children who live in impoverished family situations but come to the centers daily.
Now AMG is announcing plans for a new orphanage, to be built as four group homes in Kampala, the capital city. Without such help, the future is bleak for these children. Often they are passed from family member to family member, with no one having adequate resources to provide proper care. Their nutritional and health needs are not met and getting an education is not even a consideration.
Although the number of new cases of AIDS is slightly decreasing in Uganda, the devastating effects of near-epidemic proportions of this disease over a period of many years continue to increase. It is estimated that there are 1.7 million children in Uganda who are orphans because both parents have died of AIDS.
Some of the children are also HIV positive and for them life is particularly hard, even if they have a relative who is willing to take them in. The needs of the children with HIV/AIDS are often passed over, in favor of relative's own children. The thought is: "Why should I take food away from my own children and give it to someone who is going to die anyway?"
To help these children, who either have no relatives or whose needs are not being met in the home of a caregiver, AMG is planning to build a special orphanage. Children will be cared for in a loving and safe environment around the clock.
The orphanage will be made up of four group homes, a small clinic, and a chapel. Each home will have a kitchen and dining room, a place for study and recreation, beds to sleep twenty children, and restroom facilities. Each home will have its own house parents. The objective is to provide a nurturing home setting rather than an institutional environment.
AMG's immediate goal is to complete the first of the four homes, so this new outreach can begin as soon as possible.
Larry Malone is manager of
international ministries for AMG International
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