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Geneva, 13 March 2009 - On the occasion of the Africa Scout Day, World Scouting launches a fund-raising campaign to “help young people to help themselves” with the support of The Scout Universal Fund (“U” Fund). This fund was established in 1963 to provide a means for all members of the Scout Movement to help Scouts in other countries in their development activities.
Millions of people in Africa have been killed, many others wounded or maimed for life. Property has been destroyed, children have been orphaned, abducted and raped. Many have watched in horror as their parents, relatives, sisters and brothers, friends and neighbours are butchered in cold blood. The trauma is unfathomable. The number of African countries at war continues to rise over the years. There is need for a lasting solution; an end to this act of madness.
HIV/AIDS is the worst calamity Africa has ever gone through; the disease is threatening to wipe out a whole generation in the continent. Sub Saharan Africa is the home of 70% of the adults and 80% of the children living with AIDS in the world. This is in the backdrop of public health infrastructures that are already strained by the demands of malaria, Tuberculosis and other diseases. Care for HIV/AIDS sufferers and the affected is therefore inadequate. The Youth of Africa are the most affected by the scourge; one in every ten young people between the age of 15 and 24 years is HIV positive. Yet this is the most active and productive age bracket, the present and the future generation!
Peter is 12 years old. His single mother died of AIDS two years ago leaving him and his two siblings in the care of her brother, Kamau. But Kamau had a family of his own and his meagre salary could not afford to feed three extra mouths much less take them to school. He therefore became abusive to Peter and his sisters denying them food and locking them out of the house at the slightest provocation. Peter could not bear it anymore and he decided to run away to the city, where, he heard, there was plenty of money.