AFXB's Global Action for Orphans of HIV/AIDS and Other Vulnerable Children
The Association François-Xavier Bagnoud (AFXB) has made the rescuing of children in need its mission since its inception in 1989. AFXB has actively supported and promoted children's rights, health and human rights, and pediatric HIV/AIDS initiatives in more than a dozen countries.
In Brazil, Colombia, Thailand and the United States, AFXB has established eight François-Xavier Bagnoud Houses for young children suffering from HIV/AIDS. Staff providing tender loving care and the best therapies available help the children in these Houses live longer, happier lives.
In Rwanda, AFXB helped the residents of a community torn by ethnic conflict to draw together to rebuild their homes and care for their orphaned children. At present, 1,505 families are benefiting from a program that promotes income-generating activities. Some 2,000 primary school children from the community are receiving assistance for their schooling. In Kigali, Rwanda's capital, AFXB has recently launched a program to provide support for HIV-positive mothers and for foster families caring for over 200 children who have AIDS or whose parents have died from the disease.
In Uganda, AFXB supports income-generating activities for families who welcome approximately 3,200 AIDS orphans into their homes. Links with local schools ensure that school fees are waived in exchange for support for building new classrooms. Recently, AFXB has begun to work in Alexandra township, near Johannesburg, South Africa, to develop programs to assist AIDS orphans.
In Montevideo, Uruguay, AFXB has reached out to more than 600 street children and young people from poor neighborhoods with workshops and training in human rights, healthy sexual development and employment opportunities. In Goa, AFXB supports care for 86 children of sex workers and provides boarding for more than 150 children. In Thailand, AFXB took the lead in liberating hundreds of young women from brothels. Afterward, the Association set up a program in Burma (Myanmar) to help more than 100 former sex workers learn another profession to earn a decent living for themselves and their families.
The François-Xavier Bagnoud International Pediatric HIV Training Program at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey has imparted skills in pediatric AIDS care to more than 100 health care workers in two dozen countries. AFXB is supporting research for a vaccine derived from the blood of HIV infected people. This research is led by Dr. James Oleske, the holder of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Chair in Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Infectious Diseases at UMDNJ.
To champion the rights of children and to advance the understanding that health is a human right fundamental for sustainable development, AFXB established the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights and its endowed professorship at the Harvard School of Public Health. The Center staff research, analyze, and promote the relationships between health and human rights, with special attention on children. The Center also publishes the Journal of Health and Human Rights, organizes international conferences on themes central to its purpose, and sponsors fellowships for scholars conducting relevant research.
AFXB is an active member of the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child. At its November 1996 session, the United Nations Economic and Social Council granted the Association the designation "special consultative status."
The central focus of AFXB is children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. The Association's president, Albina du Boisrouvray, travels around the world to raise awareness about the catastrophe to come: some 100 million children orphaned by 2010. AFXB is currently circulating the first global civil society petition to draw attention to the orphan crisis. Individuals wishing to be part of this effort can sign on www.fxb.org.
This article was provided by FXB International -- Association François-Xavier Bagnoud.