Kids Are Battling the Isolation of HIV

By Natalie Sarrett

Zimbabwe has one of the highest HIV/AIDS case counts in the world.

It’s a diagnosis that more than a million in the in the country are facing—along with the ostracizing stigma that comes with it. This immune system weakening disease is especially dangerous in sub-Saharan Africa where water-born illnesses are common and medical care is often difficult to obtain.

Women and children are disproportionately impacted by this disease in Zimbabwe, but you helped Send Relief partners provide food boxes to mal-nourished kids living in rural villages. Each month, these children receive packs of maize meal, sugar, rice, salt, beef, fish and peanut butter, along with some soothing bars of soap and Vaseline.

Most of the recipients are orphans who have either been cared for by their grandparents or an older sibling for the majority of their lives. The region they live in has been in a drought for many years and has an ongoing food. Those living with HIV/AIDS are hit the hardest by this scarcity because they need well-balanced diets to complement their extensive drug regimens. These orphans and vulnerable children were handpicked by the local clinic to receive food assistance because they were identified as the most at-risk population.

Each food distribution provides a new opportunity for our partners to share the gospel and teach these children about the love of God through games and short Bible stories. Through these distributions, Send Relief was able to create a partnership with a local Baptist church and establish a working relationship with government officials who are eager to expand the nutrition program to accommodate even more needy people.

Another side effect of the food distributions was the creation of Bible clubs for kids throughout the region. Over 120 children are now learning about God’s love for them, getting consistent access to healthy meals and making new friends every week! Some of the older kids have now taken on leadership roles and are teaching their younger siblings and neighbors what they have learned in the advanced classes—a few have even expressed interest in becoming pastors or missionaries when they grow up!

Additionally, computer lessons have slowly been introduced to these clubs, training the kids in valuable skills that teachers hope will eventually help them lift their families out of poverty.

Pray for each of these children to grow in knowledge and wisdom as they hear more about Jesus and for their families to become self-sufficient soon.

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Published September 25, 2020