AIDS Day on the First Advent - Stories from the Mission Field
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AIDS Day on the First Advent
This year it happened again: The first Advent coincided with December 1. The new church year begins and congregations remember the world mission. AIDS is pushed into the background like many other things by the current challenges. So this story of the mission field wants to show how important the topic still is and how committed many project partners of EBM INTERNATIONAL are in this field.
Nearly 38 million people currently live with HIV – 1.7 million of them are under 15 years of age and almost 15 million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS. All over the world, AIDS related diseases are the leading cause of death for women between 15 and 49 years of age. Young girls under the age of 20 are most at risk of infection because they are systematically disadvantaged, exploited, and forcibly married. In many patriarchal structures, they are exposed without protection to the dangers of abuse and violence. By the way: The Monday before World AIDS Day (25 November) was the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women”.
EBM INTERNATIONAL is committed in a variety of ways to combat precisely these issues and to offer help. Children find protection and care, and young women are specifically promoted and encouraged in their independence. One of these women is Shobha, who lived in hopeless circumstances. At the end of her school years, she lost both parents and had no more possibilities to ensure her future and to learn a profession. In this situation, she became aware of the training programmes of Bridge of Hope in Gotlam/India where she is currently training as a tailor.
At our partner Jesus Loves Ministry in Uppada/India, Dooda lived for many years in the children’s home Bethel Ashram after his mother died of the consequences of her HIV infection. Today Dooda has not only received a school education through the children’s home but has also completed his engineering studies. The holistic and long-term support of children into young adulthood is a hallmark of the work of the project partners of EBM INTERNATIONAL. At CREAM in Tallarevu/India, six women receive continuous support to complete training as nurses. Here, too, the help does not end with a place in the children’s home but opens up a variety of life perspectives.
Donate in memory of the many people affected by HIV and AIDS in this advent for our projects in the area of children at risk worldwide. This also benefits girls and boys who suffer from other circumstances. Here innumerable biographies are changed and from sorrowful experiences, ways are smoothed into a better future. For many girls these projects are the beginning of a dignified free life.