Imagine being born with a virus which has no cure... Imagine losing both of your parents to the disease at an early age...
And then imagine the torment of being abandoned by relatives and the rest of society…
Our mission is to extend the work of our charity from our established support of HIV/AIDS orphans to include the physical and mental needs of trafficked and displaced children, including shelter, legal assistance, and documentation for such children, as well as their educational, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Our vision is to create a safe haven and a brighter future for the children who come to us; no unhoused or orphaned child in need will be turned away. Beyond their immediate needs we ensure our children go on to learn vital life skills and skills for their future and have supported children to study, university, careers and beyond.
Children are the most vulnerable victims of AIDS/HIV. Becoming infected from sick parents, losing their parents to AIDS, then subsequently being rejected and renounced by relatives, driven by stigma, ignorance and discrimination; they often become social outcasts.
Myanmar is one of the countries most affected by AIDS/HIV in Asia. The epidemic is driven by sexual transmission, but HIV is also alarmingly high amongst injecting drug users – 61% of them sharing contaminated needles and 10% of them being sex workers injecting drugs. Despite having one of the largest HIV epidemics, only about 20% of infected people receive treatment.
Myanmar has one of the lowest spend on health in the world and the highest mortality rate for children under 5 years old in the region according to UNICEF. Estimates suggest a minimum of around 60 000 HIV/AIDS orphans with approximately 18 000 deaths every year.
The civil unrest in Myanmar has placed new demands on our charitiable work. Sister Martha is again at the centre of things coordinating the return of trafficked children back into Myanmar.
Under the cover of the unrest orphaned homeless children have ended up in the sex trade in Thailand, some being sold into paedophile groups. This is an area that we see that needs our attention. We have set up communication channels and have already received a number of children plus one mentally and physically handicapped girl.
***UPDATE - LITTLE BOY***
After many counselling sessions, he has come on leaps and bounds.He is now the oldest boy in the centre, he takes his responsibilities of locking the gates at night and looking out for the younger children really seriously. He is gaining confidence every day and doing very well at school.
***UPDATE - LITTLE GIRL***
This young girl saved from a certain death is now a teenager living a normal life with her family. She keeps in touch with Sr Martha on a regular basis.
Sister Martha was invited to the Norwegian Embassy to meet the King and Queen of Norway for her outstanding humanitarian work. We are very proud of her!
"Look how beautiful it is! This work will provide not only the shelter, but a home for many homeless children for many years." - Sister Martha
Thanks to all those people who have supported the charity!