International NGO Association François-Xavier Bagnoud (AFXB) Launches Online Action Center for Children Orphaned by AIDS
November 28, 2000
With more than 100 million affected, AFXB's new website tracks AIDS orphan crisis -- with latest news and perspectives for launching targeted intervention strategies
New York, NY -- Every 15 seconds a child in Africa is left parentless from HIV/AIDS. By the time you finish reading this release nearly 10 children will become orphaned. HIV/AIDS threatens to destabilize the economies and security of dozens of developing countries and is tearing apart the social fabric of these hard-hit areas as traditional safety nets are rendered obsolete. In recognition of World AIDS Day, AFXB is launching a website to link grass-roots and community-based children's rights, human rights, AIDS service organizations and religious groups, schools and communities in affluent countries with affected communities in the developing world caring for orphaned, vulnerable, and displaced children.
The new website -- www.orphans.fxb.org -- part of AFXB's Action for Orphans global campaign will show the faces, tell the stories, and project the hopes and dreams of many children at risk on the front lines of the pandemic. Visitors will be able to access AFXB's Orphan Alert -- with the latest news and information about AIDS-affected children and families around the world.
The numbers are staggering: some estimate that there will be 42 million orphaned children from HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa by the end of the decade. Half of all adolescents (15 to 21) in the region are likely to die from the disease. AFXB's studies conclude that there are closer to 100 million orphaned children worldwide from HIV/AIDS, if you factor in children over the age of 15 who have lost either one or both parents, and children who have lost a father.
Countess Albina du Boisrouvray, president of the Association François-Xavier Bagnoud said "We are launching this expanded site to highlight this global public health emergency and provide a means for the pockets of affluence in the North and West to do something -- to act before it's too late."
Countess du Boisrouvray, known widely by her first name, Albina, has dedicated her life to empowering communities and families to care for the orphans in their midst. She stresses that in our global village "we must not leave these most vulnerable global citizens behind."
AFXB's new Action for Orphans web portal is designed to inform individuals and organizations interested in intervening on behalf of AIDS-affected children about the true scope of the crisis. With current news, issues and events centered on the plight of orphans and country- and community-based efforts to support them.
Visitors are encouraged to sign the first ever web-based global civil society petition to show their support for nudging governments and other stakeholders to implement the articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. "The plight of AIDS orphans cannot be sidelined or ignored by focusing only on treatment or prevention. We need to help and empower infected communities to provide a safety net of love and assistance for these children. Economies that do not respect the rights of these children are de facto child abusers" says Albina.
The most potent feature of the website, a global database of families, community-based activists, counselors, health and human rights professionals and local NGOs dedicated to reintegrating orphans into loving communities is in final phases of development and will be operational soon. Initial response from individuals and groups indicates widespread interest. When the database goes live, hundreds of names will already have been listed and identified for donors and community groups to contact, partner-up and fund.
For the past decade AFXB has pioneered the creation and funding of innovative community-based programs in poor countries. The new AFXB database will facilitate networking and allow donors to bypass bureaucracies, waste, and corruption to ensure their donations have direct and sustainable impact in the lives of children in need.
This article was provided by FXB International -- Association François-Xavier Bagnoud.