As you travel you see it so often. Hunger, poverty, people struggling to survive. Especially in Africa… the face of this continent is hardship.
You chat to people and it’s the same story; there just is not enough money and work for them to get by on.
So, we learn to get tough. It’s life, we can’t change the world overnight and we know it. We look away, give a coin or two, sometimes we can only sympathize, often that’s all we really can do.
But, now and then your path crosses with someone and all that toughness disappears, your heart breaks at the sight of they pain they find themselves in and no matter how hard you try to look away, you just can’t.
This was the case when the Nata Orphan and Aids Fund showed as around this little village in Botswana. A village hit hard with this disease, and poverty combined with illiteracy has had a fatal effect on the spread of HIV/AIDS in this already struggling community.
Learning about the spread of HIV here, learning of the fantastic work the Fund does and gathering information was one thing… meeting a family of more than 12 living in one tiny house, poor and with AIDS was a complete different story.
The children of which there were 9, the youngest just 2 months old, are painfully thin, clearly in need of ongoing help. Their little arms the size of my (already small) wrist, clothes falling off their bodies.
I chatted to the family, which the Fund has already been helping in many ways, and it became clear that the hardship they endure won’t change soon, and they have had no other choice than to adapt and get accustomed to the hunger.
I chat to the elders, play with kids, ask about their suffering and then when the day is done I lie in my comfortable bed and cry myself to sleep.
But, sincere as this might sound, come dawn we drive away – leaving them to their fate. Still filled with sadness and even anger, I know these emotions will fade the further we drive from here.
I also know I can’t help them much right now. I can’t cure them form AIDS, I can’t provide a monthly income and I can’t send clothes to the little beings running around us in the dust with noting but their underwear on.
However, I can spread the word and along with them, I cam hope. For now, that is all I can do.
If you want to donate to the Nata Orphan and Aids Fund, and help this family you can find more details on their website.