World AIDS Orphans Day will occur on 7 May. More than 25 million children worldwide have lost one or both parents to AIDS – equivalent to the number of people living in New York, Paris, Rome and Bangkok combined. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, 12 million children have been orphaned by the pandemic. In addition to being especially vulnerable to all forms of exploitation, these children face financial difficulties, disease, and stigmatisation.
FXB International, an NGO dedicated to combating poverty and the AIDS pandemic, initiated World AIDS Orphans Day in 2002 to raise awareness about the plight of these orphaned children and encourage Scouts across the globe to “raise their voice” for them. This year the focus is on advocating for the establishment of programmes and urgent measures to support AIDS orphans and those children made vulnerable by the disease.
Showing support for victims of the AIDS pandemic is in keeping with Scouting's principles and desire to make the world a better place. In fact, AIDS awareness is a key topic in many Scouting programmes around the world and also for many of the Gifts for Peace projects.
A new website for World AIDs Orphans’ Day has also just been launched, which is designed to provide all organisations supporting children infected or affected by HIV an opportunity to exchange their experience and provide information on their activities in the field. Through the site, visitors can join the movement, search and post events and add photos and stories reflecting their support.
Participate in World AIDS Orphans Day and help to mobilise support for AIDS orphans!