This weekend America lost a music icon, Ms. Whitney Houston. For decades fans have witnessed her tumultuous career and personal life. Her life in the lime light also ended in the limelight as she passed away at the age of 48, leading to an explosion of media in her remembrance and news stories galore.
Earlier this week I was reminded of a story about a young child which I had heard about a few years ago.
In 2006 my husband went on a humanitarian trip to South Africa. During his time there he and the group of college students had the opportunity to work at a day orphanage. A day orphanage is very similar to low-income day care. Children will spend all day at the orphanage for free while their parents work for meager wages. The children are provided with security, food and education. A majority of the children get to go home with their families and spend the evening at their homes.
Throughout the few days that the group was at the day orphanage there was one child who began to cling to the group. His bright eyes and loving smile brings childhood and innocence to mind. Mokumba was 3 years old in 2006 and was already beating the odds of his fate. Mokumba was an orphan whose mother passed away from AIDS. Since Mokumba’s mother did not receive antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy his life expectancy was only a few years as HIV was passed from his mother to him during birth. A treatment that could extend his life only costs $25 from Global Strategies, an HIV prevention charity and had his mother received the $100 dollar treatment there would have only been a 5% chance of Mokumba becoming infected (Global Strategies for HIV prevention). Africa’s Children continue to die from HIV and until there is a cure the efforts of prevention are the child’s best chance of survival.
Today as I read about the past performances of Ms. Whitney Houston and the tragedy of her life, I am also thinking about the fate of the child named Mokumba. I am putting his life in the limelight in an effort to save the future children of countries affected by infancy HIV. We don’t know if Mokumba is still alive today but one thing that I do know is that the tragedy of his life has led me to give and I hope it leads you to become more aware of infancy HIV.
If you would like to donate and save children from the tragedy of Infancy HIV please go to:
“Save a Life.” Global Strategies for HIV Prevention. Web. 13 Feb. 2012. <http://www.globalstrategies.org/savealife.html>.