Something we talk about through these Northern Uganda distributions are the children who come out of hiding. It’s worth explaining what this means, and how Sweet Sleep responds.
HIV/AIDS is so prevalent in Northern Uganda. With great intention we seek out organizations who are caring for this extremely vulnerable population. We’ve been meeting with HIV and infectious disease specialists to learn more about how to correctly treat these diseases. This allows us to ask questions and know what to look for in partners who are providing the best care possible for these children.
To a HIV+ child, a bed is life saving. The bed protects them from opportunistic diseases such as malaria and pneumonia; illnesses that these little ones are so vulnerable to. Every time Sweet Sleep has gone into a community to give beds to positive children, dozens of others have come out living in secret with the disease, in hopes of receiving a bed, and in the process they get registered with our partner, who then cares for the child. There is still a stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS and we are learning more and more about the literal abandonment that happens to these children. Our partners are stepping in on behalf of these children.
When a child comes out of hiding, Sweet Sleep gives them a mosquito net so they will be protected until we can return with a bed. Our team leader, Alyson, and I had the remarkable opportunity to see this ministry come full circle when a little boy who had come out of hiding, registered with our partner, and had received a net during our time here in February 2012, was called back to receive his full bed set on Monday. We track these children. We come back. We make good on our promise.
On Monday, the day we found HIV+ Maureen sick and listless with Malaria, 54 children came out of hiding. Right now 54 children are living with HIV/AIDS and desperately need to be protected. Will you protect ONE child? $50 provides a complete bed, bible and mosquito net. And a child can be protected from malaria for only $8.
We know too much already. And this week has shown us so much more. Will you join Sweet Sleep in providing rest and protection to these children who need it most? Visit www.sweetsleep.org to give.
With love from under a mosquito net in Northern Uganda,