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The Truth about HIV Orphans in South AfricaWritten by Jacob Prasch
I was really touched by a program on TV several months ago concerning the plight of children in Joberg, some orphaned, many with HIV, who are living in terrible conditions and in constant danger. Also the appeals from child welfare on how stretched they are and how many kids need the publics help to cater for the situation. I was also touched by the present advertisements on DSTV which highlight those kids sexually abused and how they need help.
But there is another side to the "Help" story. Take our situation. Nearly six years ago I brought my family from the UK to work with the many orphans that are in danger in South Africa. Over two years ago we bought a 5 acre plot with the hope of developing a children’s village. In the mean time we have taken on 9 children of our own, many HIV or disabled. Our plan is to help the situation by building 10 family houses on the plot to house 60 children with foster parents to look after them. Surely this would be a good thing to do? It would help the children, help child welfare; it’s as simple as that.
Yet in over two years, after spending over half a million rand building lovely child friendly facilities we are still being refused registration in fact we have been harasses weekly by social workers who cant understand that all the finances come from overseas and we don’t want their precious grants. It has got to the point where I despair and I can only think that programs such as these on TV are misrepresenting the situation. If child welfare needs help, if children are in need, then why are we battling so much? When my wife and I watched the appeal from Joberg social workers we laughed to ourselves.
Please, is there anyway that you can help us get this children’s village up and going? We are not asking for money " “ we have it. We are not asking for equipment " “ we will buy it. We have upgraded our facilities and will continue. The only thing we ask is registration as a children’s home. If the need is so great then why is this government no helping us achieve this? Every day a bed remains empty a child stays in danger " “ but hey, maybe that’s what the government want and all this appealing for help is nothing but a show to attract overseas investment.
We are not normally bitter people. We hardly complain about anything, but when I see TV programs such as this appealing for help and we see the need around us such as the three year old who was raped last week and then disappeared from a hospital before we could help her, we feel frustrated and cynical.
I do hope you can look into this
Pastor Dave Royle
Moriel Missions & Ebyown Children’s Village
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