Fifth World AIDS Orphans Day: tens of “Circles of Hope” are created worldwide by young people to remind governments of the objectives set in 2001 when they signed the United Nations’ Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS.
Children orphaned by AIDS are just a fraction of the problem, as millions more children have been made vulnerable. Behind the statistics are millions of stories of human suffering. The AIDS crisis has a catastrophic impact on households and communities – deepening poverty and exacerbating hardship. Over 95% of children affected by AIDS, including orphans, continue to live with their extended families. However, these families are increasingly overwhelmed by poverty and struggle to protect and raise the children in their care.
Despite progress in funding, preventing and treating AIDS, the world is ignoring the basic needs of millions of vulnerable children. Few resources are reaching the families and communities that provide the front-line response, even though they provide the vast majority of care and support to orphaned and vulnerable children. A generation will be lost if we do not take urgent measures to support the basic rights of children, and the families and communities that care for them. We can fight AIDS if we organize a long-term response supported by a strong political will.
Ten percent of all HIV and AIDS funding should be urgently directed to support AIDS orphans and vulnerable children.
Background on World Aids Orphans Day (WAOD)
- WAOD was initiated in 2002 by Albina du Boisrouvray, FXB Founder, to bring attention to the millions of children affected by AIDS.
- Every May 7, FXB organized a grassroots campaign to bring attention to the plight of children affected by AIDS and advocate on their behalf.
- FXB initiated a worldwide coalition of mayors who engage their constituencies to respect and lobby for the rights of the most vulnerable children. To date, over 800 mayors and elected officials from 41 countries have joined this coalition.
- WAOD advocates call on their home governments to direct at least 10% of all HIV and AIDS funding to support orphans and children made vulnerable by the pandemic.