The Five of Us, Spring 2014

The Five of Us, Spring 2014

Numbers that mean nothing--and everything

Apparently I'm a little addicted to this thing. It's still quite a mystery to me. Ya know, why would anyone want to read the randomness happening in my head (and the chaos happening outside my head!)? Anyway, if you're still here, so am I.

I've been reading Rachel Faye Greene's "There Is No Me Without You." It's the story of an Ethiopian woman who became an orphanage for children affected by AIDS when the disease was new and misunderstood (around 2000--things aren't much better 6 years later). It's amazing what people can do. The book flips from her story to factual reporting about various aspects of AIDS (it's origin, etc.). I highly recommend it. We cannot ignore the worst epidemic in history. This disease is wiping out an entire generation of Africans (and others)--the generation that usually is about the business of living--bearing and raising children, supporting the economy--and leaving another generation orphaned. The statistics are staggering. How do we even comprehend such numbers?

Here are some stats I lifted from another blog, so I don't know their true origin:
Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned due to AIDS
11 million African kids under 15 were orphaned in Africa (2001)
That equates to 1 in 3 children orphaned by AIDS
Currently 14 million orphaned – will likely triple in next 8 years
By 2005 more than 20 million orphans worldwide
By 2010 more than 25 million orphans in Africa alone; 44 million will be orphaned worldwide
All orphans lined up hand to hand would stretch zig-zag across the nation from: NYC-Seattle-Philadelphia-San Francisco-Washington DC-Los Angeles-Austin, Texas
1 billion dollars in aid only equates to $55 per orphan

And, here's what Greene reports in her book:
"UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Progran on HIV/AIDS) predicted that, between 2000 and 2020, sixty-eight million more people were going to die of AIDS.... By 2010, between twenty-five and fifty million African children, from newborn to age fifteen, would be orphans. In a dozen [African] countries, up to a quarter of the nation's children would be orphans. The numbers were completely ridiculous. Twelve million, fourteen million, eighteen million--how could numbers so high be answers to anything other than 'How many stars are in the universe?' or 'How many lightyears from the Milky Way is the Virgo Supercluster?'

"Today, in 2006, 4.7 million people in Africa are in immediate need of the lifesaving AIDS drugs and only 500,000 have access to them. [These drugs can also prevent mother-child transmission.] Sixty-six hundred Africans are dying every day of AIDS."

Now that you know, what will you do?

The singer Bono from U2 has begun a campaign in which he partners with brands (e.g., GAP, Motorola, Georgio Armani, etc.) who agree to send some portion of their profits (for GAP, it's 50%!) on particular items to provide ARVs (Anti-retro-viral drugs which combat HIV/AIDS) to Africans. It only costs 50 cents a day to treat someone. It only costs 50 cents a day to prevent mother-child transmission. You can check out this campaign, called Product (RED), at joinred.com.

2 comments:

Steven said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Steven said...

umm, that was ME not Steve!

(hugs) Tami

My Man and Me

My Man and Me
married 7/7/2001

Punk

Punk
ours through biology, born 7/25/2004, home 8/1/2004

Pea

Pea
ours through adoption from Liberia, West Africa, born 7/15/2005, home 10/25/2007

Pup

Pup
ours through domestic adoption, born 1/15/2011, home 2/10/2011, final 8/3/2011

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Round Two Timeline

  • 9/24/08 Home study update home visit for Ghana adoption
  • 10/15/08 Dossier sent to AOHG
  • 10/15/08 I600A application sent to USCIS
  • 10/30/08 First heard about possible domestic private adoption
  • 11/18/08 Last spoke with contact about possible domestic adoption; expected to hear back about meeting with birthmother
  • 12/3/08 Withdrew application from AOHG
  • 1/6/09 Found out another family had been chosen for possible domestic adoption
  • 1/21/09 USCIS fingerprinting appointment
  • 1/8/09 Received USCIS fingerprinting appointment notice
  • 4/11/09 Sent Pre-Application to Covenant Care Adoptions for Domestic Infant Adoption program
  • 6/8/09 Social worker visit to update home study from International to Domestic
  • 7/24/09 Received completed home study update
  • 8/25/09 Went "on the list" for birthfamilies to choose from
  • 4/28/10 Found out a birth mom had chosen us
  • 5/8/10 Met the birth mom
  • 5/11/10 Got the call that birth mom changed her mind
  • 5/19/10 Birth mom's scheduled c-section
  • 11/30/10 Visit from DSS sw about foster parenting
  • 11/30/10 Got the call that another birth mom had chosen us
  • 12/21/10 Met with the birth mom
  • 1/15/11 @1:42 PM BB was born!
  • 1/19/11 ICPC (interstate) paperwork sent to GA for approval
  • 1/31/11 ICPC Clearance Approved
  • 2/10/11 Placement Ceremony and Pup comes home!!!!
  • 8/3/11 It's Official! Pup's Adoption Decree was issued