South Africa is currently experiencing one of the most severe HIV epidemics in the world. In less than two decades, the infection rate has increased from 1% to 17% leaving a trail of infection, illness and buried loved one in its wake.
With over 800 deaths occurring in the country everyday, thousands of children are being destitute and alone, orphaned by illness that in most cases is already beginning to consume them as well. These children, often no more than infants, have lost not only the heads of their household, but also their sole providers of food and support. They wander homeless, plunged into poverty, often HIV+ themselves and suffering from a number of debilitating afflictions including rare types of tuberculosis, foetal alcohol syndrome, Down’s syndrome and epilepsy while also falling prey to rape and abuse on the unforgiving streets.
In the face of such great adversity, it is sometimes difficult to have faith and see beyond the suffering. Yet despite this bleak situation, there are those who still strive to paint a picture of hope and create a brighter future for these children.
Through various initiatives and endless hours of selfless volunteer work, many lives have been changed and much suffering alleviated.
Mary Miyata, founder of the Children’s Aids Art Programme (CAAP), left California in 2002 to follow her dream to Africa, where she has made a marked difference to the plight of countless AIDS infected/affected and abused orphans over the past five years.
Watch Mary Miyata talk about CAAP with Dr. Robert A. Schuller on the Hour of Power from the Crystal Cathedral. Learn about CAAP’s beginnings, achievements and future goals. Watch now.