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Recent News & Highlights

August 2007 Tennessean article on progress at SLCH...

Pictures from the visit by the Ingram Family Foundation to SLCH in July 2007...

Pictures from our recent trip to SLCH in July 2007...

A Great Article, AIDS Orphans Inspire Volunteers" in The Tennessean Newspaper September 23, 2006

July/2005 & July/2006 - Trips to SLCH full story...

See information on CNN's recently aired special documentary 'Where Have All The Parents Gone?' full story...

Click the picture below to see a short clip about HIV / AIDS: Click here to see a short movie clip about an HIV / AIDS poem

Introduction

Sihawukelwe Lauren 's Children 's Home (SLCH) supports orphaned children in Umzinyathi, a village in northeastern South Africa in the KwaZulu-Natal area of South Africa. The health status of the children is unknown; however, all are orphans as a result of AIDS. Currently, seventeen (17) children, ages 3 to 18 years, live there full time as they transition to community or government supported programs. SLCH USA also provides funding of food to both live-in children and orphans supported by community families, and as many as 60 deserving children visit daily for meals. This program is in response to the terrible impact that HIV / AIDS has had in Africa, with 2005 statistics that paint a startling picture of family devastation as a result of AIDS in South Africa:

In Kwazulu-Natal, where our facility is located:

Currently, a center of HIV treatment excellence is being developed at McCord Hospital, a preeminent hospital & HIV/AIDS research facility in Durban, South Africa, in a joint program with Harvard Medical School, Massachucetts General Hospital, and the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine. SLCH USA is pleased that McCord Hospital has agreed to partner with us to provide rural community health resources that will strengthen our ability to care for these children.

SLCH USA functions as the principal funding source to support the day-to-day operations of SLCH and to provide long-range planning and financial support. The opportunities for assisting in expanding this program into other health and social welfare areas are boundless. Everyone is invited to participate in trips to Umzinyathi. Contact Sandie Griffith, President/Board of Directors SLCH at sandiegriffith@comcast.net.

Where is the Children's Home?

The facility is location in Umzinyathi, a village in northeastern part of the country located in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa, that has been ravaged by AIDS. The health status of the children who come to SLCH is unknown, and rarely have they ever been tested. AIDS deaths, often related finally to TB or pneumonia, of both children and adults are commonplace. Durban, a seaport on the Indian Ocean and second largest city in South Africa (2.7 million population) is the nearest commercial center, about 30 miles away. Umzinyathi residents are Zulu tribal. They speak Zulu, although all of the school children also speak English. Most work as subsistence farmers or commute to Durban for laborer jobs, although some men even live in Johannesburg and work in the diamond mines. Durban is known as " South Africa's Playground" and is a diverse cultural center including a large Indian community. Durban's proximity to the warm Mozambique current ensures an equable, sub-tropical climate. Unfortunately, unemployment in South Africa is a significant problem, with unemployement current estimated at 26.7% creating significant poverty issues within South Africa and creating great needs for humanitarian assistance in rural areas across the country.

The AIDS Pandemic in South Africa

South Africa is currently experiencing one of the most severe HIV epidemics in the world. By the end of 2005, there were five and a half million people living with HIV in South Africa, and almost 1,000 AIDS deaths occurring every day, according to UNAIDS estimates.1

A number of factors have been blamed for the rapid rise in HIV prevalence in South Africa, and debate has raged about whether the Government's response to the epidemic has been sufficient. This page aims to examine the effect that AIDS has had on the country, the measures that have been taken to prevent it, and the current attitudes and viewpoints that surround the crisis.

Key Statistics

The information below is taken primarily from the studies contained in the REFERENCE section below and includes key information about the significant problem of HIV and AIDS in South Africa:

References:

  1. UNAIDS (2006), 'UNAIDS 2006 Report on the global AIDS epidemic', Annex 2: HIV/AIDS estimates and data, 2005
  2. Department of Health "National HIV and Syphilis Sero-prevalence Survey in South Africa 2004", published in 2005. This is the 15th in a series of annual studies which look at data from antenatal clinics and use it to estimate HIV prevalence among pregnant women.


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