Ripples International
Meru, Kenya

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The AIDS epidemic in Africa has affected the lives of millions. An affected population that is often overlooked are the children left as orphans if their parents succumb to the deadly virus. Ripples International, run by Mercy Chidi, provides a home for these orphaned children (New Start Center) and a source of anti-retroviral drugs for those children afflicted by HIV.

A four-wheel-drive vehicle donated by MILE HI CHRCH Colorado is taking a nurse, a clinical officer, community health worker, counselor and a cooler full of life-saving medication to remote rural villages of Meru Kenya, where they will call on children and families affected by HIV/AIDS and offer treatment for opportunistic infections (OI).

A report from the New Start Center:

We started the year with 37 children and progressively received 6 children this year. We initiate the first income generating activity of rearing broilers which was very successful. Engagement of volunteers in the home to assist in taking care of the children. This eased the work at the home and more importantly brought awareness to the community. NSC has been able to successfully engage eighteen staffs on a six months contract basis in the different job role.

Challenges:

The number of children being abandoned is still high hence a call to do more community sensitization on children rights. Few people have shown interest in either fostering or adopting a child. This is attributed to the fact that many people still hold to cultural beliefs and systems.

The centre takes care of children up to the age of 3 years. We are faced with a great challenge of getting homes where we can transfer the children who have turned 3 years.

Kenya being in the tropic region, malaria is still a challenge since an infection to one child could translate to all being infected. We continued to experience challenges of drying clothes and other linen because the centre had only one drier and its capacity is quite small.

For more information about the program, visit: http://ripplesintl.or.ke/

To donate by credit card or electronic check, click here

 

Additional Resources

Videos:

Ripples International

 

Excerpt from CNN Documentary


Articles

CNN: World fails to save Africa's AIDS orphans
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UNICEF: Africa's Orphan Crisis: Worst Is Yet to Come
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Courier Press: World Vision exhibit makes crisis in Africa personal
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CNN: Brooklyn kids give back in South Africa
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Books

Children of AIDS: Africa's Orphan Crisis
by Emma Guest

AIDS Orphans Rising: What You Should Know and What You Can Do To Help Them Succeed
by Sister Mary Elizabeth Lloyd

There Is No Me Without You: One Woman's Odyssey to Rescue Her Country's Children
by Melissa Fay Greene

Reaching Out to Africa's Orphans: A Framework for Public Action
by K. Subbarao

Taking Away the Distance: A Young Orphan's Journey
by Miles Roston