This is Rosie, Bridget and Cecilia. Both of their parents are infected with HIV/AIDS. Because they are in school and receiving an education, hopefully they won’t be.
Child marriage: two words that are not supposed to be used together. Yet, in the continent of Africa, there are countries where up to 75% of girls are married before the age of 18. It is no coincidence that high rates of child marriage correlate with high rates of HIV infection. Unfortunately, Zambia is in the heart of this epidemic. Almost 7,000 girls between 15-24 become HIV positive every week. Early marriage increases the risk of infection for these young girls.
So, what can we do to prevent child marriage and, in effect, prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS? It is simpler than you think. Educate girls and women. Teach them their rights. Instruct them on how to prevent the spread of AIDS. Just educate them in general. Educate a girl and you educate her entire village because she will raise her children to be educated in the same ways she was. Educated girls can break their cycle of poverty by getting jobs and gaining independence.
The African Vision of Hope House of Hope is a safe haven for girls to get off of the streets and away from the threat of being sold into marriage. Please consider donating to furnishing this orphanage that will serve to educate, equip and empower young women to be who God has called them to be.