Late last week, I interviewed three families affected by AIDS. One was headed by a father raising three children on his own — he is HIV-positive and lost his wife to AIDS. Another was a 13-year-old girl who lives with her aunt — both are HIV-positive. And the third was a 12-year-old girl who lost both of her parents to AIDS.
Most of my days here have been full of positive, encouraging stories, but there are still a few that make me cry. But I’m so thankful Compassion is providing these families with medical treatment, food and counseling. The father I mentioned above is in a Compassion support group. “It makes me feel happy to have a place I can go and feel accepted,” he said.
We also talked with Patience, who heads up the health program at one of Compassion’s Uganda child development centers. “HIV is still on the rise in Uganda,” she explained. “More people are getting infected every day,” she said. “The other problem is that when caregivers are infected, the children are affected. We make sure that children in our program who are at risk are tested. We also make sure that the child is loved.”
One woman told us that she is alive today because of Compassion. “They found me on my deathbed,” she said. “They took me to the hospital and had me tested. I found out that I’m HIV-positive.” Compassion is currently providing her with antiretroviral therapy. I asked her what she would like to say to those who give to Compassion’s AIDS Initiative. “Please tell them thank you,” she said. “Without you, I wouldn’t be here.”
If you’ve given to Compassion’s AIDS Initiative, thank you for your support. You are saving lives and offering hope to those who need it most.
Robyn Spencer, a full-time writer for Compassion International, is currently on her first Compassion trip to Uganda. Robyn is experiencing Compassion’s life-changing work first-hand, so she can educate sponsors and donors when she returns home.