The 21st International AIDS Conference was recently hosted in South Africa, with 18,000 delegates from around the world attending. The theme was: “Access Equity Rights Now”, with a call to action to reach those who still lack access to comprehensive treatment, prevention, care and support services. Sadly, little has changed in this regard since the last similar conference was held in South Africa in 2000. And today more than 60% of people living with HIV still remain without antiretroviral therapy. It’s a fact that marginalized groups remain under-prioritized, while widespread violations of human rights, including criminalization continue to undermine effective responses to the pandemic. The practical implications result in hundreds of thousands of children being added to the AIDS Orphan statistics every year.
Sadly, while the “fat-cats” continue to talk, with hundreds of millions of dollars being spent annually on such luxurious conferences, the poor continue to die from very preventable deaths. The cost of this one conference could probably have funded antiretroviral treatment for a year for the entire southern African region, and/or sponsored hundreds more Orphan Day Care Centers across the sub-Continent. Fortunately, while the Big Donors spend their funds on talking, the small Ministries like us, can assure our donors that just about 100% of your donations actually go to the cause that you donated it for.
With the recent visit to Zambia by a team of young people from Twin Lakes Church in California, AFnetAid again showed that we not only care about providing shelter, food and an education program for our AIDS Orphans at the Mansa Center. This team came loaded with gifts, clothes, and pockets full of compassion and joyful camaraderie – showing Christ’s love in tangible ways to our children, and leaving them with encouraging hope for a better future, knowing that there are people who love and care for them, even though they live on the other side of the world.
While in Zambia for this time, we also were able to visit a new region of the country, and start several new Regional Extension Bible Schools across the Copper Belt, in several towns where we had not yet been able to do so in the past. We are greatly encouraged by the ongoing interest and growth in the International School of Ministries (ISOM) program, and especially among the Bemba speaking people of that country. To hear what others are saying about AFnet’s Leadership Training program, you can listen to a short interview clip on the AFnet Website: www.afnet.org
Thank you so much for your interest, prayers and support. With heartfelt thanks!