Woman Orphaned by HIV/AIDS says the ‘Children Left Behind’ project Helped Overcome Odds

Monday, 17 October 2011 15:52

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WHAT: “Raising Abel: Joining Hands as One Family in the Face of HIV/AIDS”crslogo

WHEN: 6:00-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26

WHERE: Saginaw Diocese Center for Ministry, 5802 Weiss St., Saginaw 

SAGINAW — The Diocese of Saginaw, partnering with Catholic Relief Services, is hosting a free event for the public about ground breaking work being done to support the children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Catholic Relief Services has pioneered a full range of care for children and caregivers to promote lasting stabilities in the lives of vulnerable children and adolescents.

The event, “Raising Abel: Joining Hands as One Family in the Face of HIV/AIDS” gives members of the community an opportunity to hear from Effie Adhiambo Nyawara, 19, who shares her experience of being orphaned at age seven and how she overcame extreme odds. Through the Children Left Behind project, Effie gained access to education, medical care and life skills that supported her dream to become a teacher. Today, she is on her way to fulfilling that dream.

 Nancy Awino Kemo works for Catholic Relief Services Kenya in the Children Left Behind project and will also be sharing her remarkable experiences at the event. With a background in social work and child advocacy, Nancy’s work assures that children gain access to the services available to them in their communities.
“No single group bears the burden of HIV/AIDS more than children,” said the Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, upon returning from an eight-day pastoral visit to Ethiopia and Kenya this summer. Bishop Cistone is a member of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Board of Directors
With parents falling ill and succumbing to HIV/AIDS, children and adolescents find themselves going it alone, which often means working or caring for others, rather than attending school or exploring their futures. Over time CRS has learned it is not enough to treat those who have HIV/AIDS, it must give strength to everyone whose life is devastated by the virus, especially children.

Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in nearly 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality.

“I hope, in some small way, to increase awareness of the work of CRS within our local Diocese of Saginaw, because our support does make a difference in the lives of our desperately needy brothers and sisters overseas,” Bishop said.

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