One of the devastating results of the HIV/AIDS pandemic is child-headed households. A child-headed household is when children take over as the head of the household to fend for themselves without any adults to take care of them. Child-headed households are a growing problem especially in Africa, as these children are vulnerable and often drop out of school to work and to worry about where the next meal is coming from.
Because this issue is a continuing, significant consequence of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa and elsewhere, and one of which TWR is especially concerned, I wanted to encourage all of us with this testimony from Mozambique which I discovered in the TWR-Africa December 2008 newsletter:
My parents died. First my mother became too ill and it was hard for my brothers and I because my father was working in South Africa. After some time he came back home, but he was ill as well.
Our neighbor, who was my mother’s friend, advised them to take an HIV test and they did. Unfortunately they received the news that they were HIV positive. My father committed suicide and within a month my mother also died.
Now I am the leader of the family as I am the eldest. I have two brothers and one sister. I had to give up my studies and I am working as a housekeeper to support my family.
One day our neighbor (the one I have mentioned) invited me to her house. She would often receive guests (women who were going there to pray). I went there and it reminded me of some words that my mother used to say, “God knows everything and He does miracles for those who trust Him.” I heard women crying and praying, asking God for lots of things (refer to the Project Hannah prayer calendar on www.projecthannah.org). Then I decided to give my life to Him. From that moment I felt something that is unexplainable. I joined the group and it feels as if I have gained a family who looks after me and my brothers and sister. Things have changed for the better and the biggest blessing is that my younger sister is about to get married.
Photo credit: Benjamin Tangeman
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