When we first began working in Korogocho five years ago, there were 250,000 people crammed together in a slum area the size of 5 football fields. Poverty, illiteracy and violence against women are the tinder that fuels the AIDS pandemic.
On my last visit there in December, I was informed that their were actually only 150,000 residents. Why? Because 100,000 had died!
The most devastating aspect of this statistic is that most of the victims were 20- 40 year olds, the moms and dads, the breadwinners. So now, an already desperate situation has grown catastrophically.
It is estimated that there are over 1,000 orphans in Korogocho alone, many are now teenagers. Unless they receive practical, emotional, spiritual and vocational support, they will give birth to the next generation of AIDS orphans, and the cycle of death will grind onward.
The good news is that in 2002 World Vision went into Korogocho and helped establish a locally elected “Board of Elders” from within the community. This amazing group of men and women have truly become our loyal partners in this struggle
The grandmothers, aunties, businessmen and heroes that make up the Elders Board have truly become our loyal partners in this struggle.
We have already joined forces in;
- The purchase and installation of water tanks to ensure clean drinking water is available for the community
- Bolstering local schools
- Granting micro-loans
- Helping individual orphans receive vocational training
In the coming year we will begin a large scale sponsorship program in Korogocho. This will provide us with the funds necessary to build a safe house for vulnerable girls while also funding secondary education / job skills training for the older orphans.
Please pray for us as we seek to expand our work in this important area.