Walking with candles of hope on World AIDS Orphans Day

More than 16 million children are estimated to have lost one or both of their parents because of Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in the world. Most of these children orphaned by AIDS live a difficult life without access to basic education and health care. 



To draw attention to and advocate on behalf of millions of children orphaned by AIDS, President and Founder of FXB (François-Xavier Bagnoud), Countess Albina du Boisrouvray, initiated the grassroot campaign, World AIDS Orphans Day in 2002. Since then, every year on May 7, FXB organises a grassroots campaign to bring attention to the plight of children affected by AIDS and advocate on their behalf. It is also a day to show solidarity and support for the 16 million AIDS orphans estimated to be currently living across the globe – most of them in sub-Saharan Africa.

Children from FXBIS (FXB India Suraksha) project villages' spread across 15 states in India will carry out candle-lit awareness rally to remind the government about the objectives set in 2001 when United Nations’ Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS was signed.

More than 20, 000 AIDS orphans, individuals most at risk and people living with HIV/AIDS are being provided support services by FXB India Suraksha (FXBIS) all across India. FXBIS Suraksha is supporting around 97 children from HIV infected/affected families in east Imphal district of Manipur. Through the FXBVillage program in Manipur, FXBIS has touched the life of total 651 infected/affected children from the year 2008- 2015. A total of 145 children (36 infected, 109 affected) are being provided with supplementary nutrition kit, free medical checkup and counseling services in Vishakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh. FXBIS Community health care centres provide medical support to the people in despair and pain. The organization continues to extend the support to the single mothers or caretakers of the Orphans by helping them strengthening their economic ability through different programs.

According to FXB International, "Children orphaned by AIDS are just a fraction of the problem, as millions more children have been made vulnerable. Behind the statistics are millions of stories of human suffering. The AIDS crisis has a catastrophic impact on households and communities – deepening poverty and exacerbating hardship. Over 95% of children affected by AIDS, including orphans, continue to live with their extended families. However, these families are increasingly overwhelmed by poverty and struggle to protect and raise the children in their care".

The scenario at this point affirms that despite progress in funding, preventing and treating AIDS; the basic needs of millions of vulnerable children still appears to be ignored. Few resources are reaching the families and communities that provide the front-line response, even though they provide the vast majority of care and support to orphaned and vulnerable children. Mamta Borgoyary, CEO, FXB India Suraksha says, "A generation will be lost if we do not take urgent measures to support the basic rights of children, and the families and communities that care for them. We can fight AIDS if we organize a long-term response supported by a strong will".




Related links:

A short film, Generous Chaitanya-

Synopsis- Generous Chaitanya is a story about pain, anger, happiness and generosity of a small town boy 'Chaitanya'(name changed). He is living with HIV. The story—set in Andhra Pradesh and illustrated by a FXBIS volunteer Priyanka Prajapati—shows that by taking ART treatment a person living with HIV can lead healthy lives.

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Twitter handles: #WAOD, #Worldaidsorphansday, #ChildInMe