Bringing healing to those living in extreme poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa is a top priority for us. This is why I will be traveling to Zambia this Saturday, October 29, to discuss ideas that will help us design an HIV/AIDS project that targets children, young women and incarcerated individuals living with HIV/AIDS. On my trip, I will meet with government officials, NGOs, advocates and people living with HIV/AIDS.
Our intent is to be incredibly effective in helping the most vulnerable people suffering, and dying, from this disease. HIV/AIDS may no longer be at the forefront of public policy in the U.S., but this remains a significant problem in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2015, there were1.2 million people in Zambia living with HIV/AIDS—85,000 of those infected were children between the ages of 0-14; while 640,000 of those infected were women above the age of 15. In addition, Zambia was among the eight eastern and southern African countries where nearly 50% of new infections occurred. Although new infections have declined by 66% on a pediatric scale from 2010-2015, adult infections are simply not decreasing fast enough.
The Daniel Society’s Center for Global Initiatives is researching these issues and raising awareness about this lingering health crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa. During my week-long trip, I will travel to rural communities to meet with people living in extreme poverty and suffering from HIV/AIDS. Reaching out and listening to the ideas of people facing adversity is one of our core strategies. If we give them the dignity to speak, we may discover simple solutions to the most pressing challenges facing our fight against this disease (see Step 1 of our Collaborative Hope Building model).