Thursday, April 27, 2006
We are a small group of volunteers concerned about the devastation that AIDS has caused to the individuals and the society of Sub-Saharan Africa. We are people of all ages, and many occupations and faiths, who want to work with small projects that will make some difference to the lives of people affected by the epidemic. The projects we have supported have direct, personal connections with our volunteers in Victoria. We encourage like-minded groups in other cities to make angels to raise funds for AIDS-related projects that they may know of, or if preferred, to channel the funds through us to our projects in Malawi, Zambia and South Africa.
Many of our most active and dedicated angelmakers and sellers are university, local college and high school students, or members of youth groups. Besides the fund-raising component of our project, our volunteers - young, middle-aged and older - are also learning about the impact the epidemic is having internationally.
For example, a 2002 UN study in Malawi showed 70 per cent of surveyed houses had suffered losses of labour due to AIDS-related illness, a fact that has contributed to famine in that largely agricultural country. In Sub-Saharan Africa there are about 3 million children under age 15 living with HIV-AIDS. In South Africa alone, 360,000 people died in 2001 from HIV-AIDS.
We recognize that our own efforts in the face of this catastrophe are modest but we hope that the AIDS Angel idea spreads so that people in other communities can lighten the load of those affected by this epidemic.