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“HopeChild” Program Helps Children Impacted by HIV/AIDS

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The HIV/AIDS pandemic has had a destructive impact on some of the poorest nations on earth in recent years. The statistics are harrowing: twenty-two million people worldwide are currently infected with HIV/AIDS and another 14,000 become infected every day; fourteen million children have been orphaned due to the AIDS crisis and by 2010 this number is expected to exceed 25 million.

The reality of this massive crisis means that much more comprehensive care -- for millions more children -- is necessary for the survival of individuals and whole communities. Americans are becoming more aware of the severity of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the desperate need for action.

Public figures ranging from President Bush to acclaimed rock star Bono of U2 have been vocal about the need to provide help and hope to those who are hurting -- immediately. However, when people become informed and inspired to do something yet have no mechanism through which to personally respond, frustration easily occurs.

Additionally, many believe that even if they responded it would amount to no more than a tiny drop in a huge bucket, making no difference. The staff of humanitarian organization World Vision, numbering 20,000 worldwide, understands these feelings. Now, in order to tackle the greatest humanitarian crisis the world has ever known -- and to invite caring individuals to do the same -- World Vision has introduced a new form of child sponsorship, called HopeChild.

When you sign up to sponsor a HopeChild for $30 a month, you are answering the call to join a worldwide battle to defeat the merciless, rapid spread of HIV/AIDS and the suffering it causes. Most people are familiar with the concept of child sponsorship; in fact, hundreds of thousands of Americans currently sponsor children in need throughout the developing world.

Over the years, people have come to see sponsorship as an effective way to personally help fight poverty through a monthly pledge and correspondence with a child, providing much-needed assistance and encouragement. The HopeChild campaign is designed to illuminate the darkness of despair, one child at a time.

In addition to regular benefits for a sponsored child, a HopeChild sponsorship offers a youngster:

• Trained volunteers to monitor the child’s emotional, physical and spiritual care to help care for sick or dying parents

• Counselors to promote abstinence to help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS

• Age-appropriate education and practical life skills training

• School fees and supplies so that children can stay in school

• Vocational training for older orphans.

Countries from which you can select a HopeChild include: the Dominican Republic, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, Swaziland, Uganda, and Zambia. You can select the age and gender of the child. You can sponsor a HopeChild today by visiting www.worldvision.org or by calling 888-56-CHILD.

World Vision, founded in 1950, serves the world’s poorest children and families in nearly 100 countries and has grown into one of the most effective, efficient stewards of relief and development help in the world.

Eighty-four percent of each dollar raised goes directly to those in need. In 2002, more than 2.1 million children benefited from sponsorship, the cornerstone of World Vision’s community development programs.

Sponsoring a HopeChild gives you the opportunity and responsibility to nurture the life of one vulnerable child -- or more if you choose. Turning the tide on the HIV/AIDS pandemic is an effort that will be accomplished one drop at a time -- through caring individuals -- and each drop is essential. For more information on sponsoring a HopeChild and to see the faces of hope shining brightly for the next generation, visit World Vision online at www.worldvision.org.

Courtesy of ARA Content

EDITOR’S NOTE:

About World Vision:
Founded in 1950, World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization, serving the world’s poorest children and families in nearly 100 countries.

World Vision maintains health, education, agriculture, water, sanitation, and small business projects that help millions of people in their communities, helping transform the lives of children and families in need without regard to their religious beliefs, gender, race, or ethnic background. For more information, visit www.worldvision.org.

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