The Samaritan Centers in Nakuru, Kenya are home to over 120 boys and girls. These children come from different parts of the country and various desperately poor backgrounds. What they all have in common is the fact that the Samaritan Center is the only place they have ever known where they can be children – they don’t have to raise their younger siblings, they don’t have to walk for hours through the scorching sun to fetch water for the family, they don’t have to find their own food, work all day or wonder if they will ever go to school. Many of the children at our homes have lost their parents to disease or in the post-election violence a few years ago. Some children have run away from home because there was nothing for them, except deprivation.
At Aid for Starving Children, we believe that investing in children is the only way out of the destructive cycle of poverty and underdevelopment. In Uganda, 55% of children under 5 live in poverty, which is why we have long been involved in children's projects there. Our projects in Uganda include schools, homes, community outreach, feeding programs and vocational training. The first project we would like to introduce to you is located in Zana, a poor community ouside of Kampala, that has a very high number of AIDS orphans, many of whom are fending for themselves.
Can you imagine… a baby left on a train with a stranger? A newborn found in a latrine? A toddler abandoned in a marketplace? A tiny infant discovered at a cemetery? All these are true stories reported by our project partner in Lusaka, Zambia. Like Kenya and Uganda, Zambia has been ravaged by the AIDS epidemic. The paucity of medical services and government support for the poor has created a very hostile environment for children, making the need for our projects painfully obvious. House of Moses is a crisis nursery and home for abandoned, malnourished and orphaned children. The children they take in don’t have any other place to go – the mother often has died in childbirth or they might have been exposed by a desperate parent unable to care for the child - and are often in bad condition.