The African Child

African children face the primary challenge of basic daily survival. According to the United Nations, lack of food, clean water, medical aid, clothing and proper housing contribute to their daily struggles. They have so little.

They know a world filled with hunger, malnutrition, disease, and poverty. The United Nations Children's Fund reported 5 million sub-Saharan children under the age of 5 died of malnutrition in 2006. Twenty percent don't reach the age of 6. Over 1.4 million African children under the age of 15 are living with HIV/AIDS. Ninety percent of the world's HIV positive children are African. Many have lost one or both parents to this dreaded disease.

Many children of Africa have become orphaned as a result of war, leaving them alone in what are already dire circumstances. They become vulnerable targets to child sexual exploitation, and millions are living on the streets. AERM has a MAPALO (rescue the girls) project which is underway to help girls who are living an immoral life to earn a living.

Africans are keen on education, believing it will provide a way out of their poverty to a place of self-reliance and hope. Unfortunately, most have no access or resources for education in Africa. While government education is free, it is often too far away from those living in remote areas.  There are also hidden costs such as uniforms, shoes, books, pens and pencils, food and the loss of labor to the families. AERM is helping at an Adopt-a-school project in Kafubu Block by sponsoring teachers and students with school needs and helping with clean water.

With sick or absent parents, the children often have to find some kind of work to support themselves and their families. Twenty-five percent of the African child population are involved in child labor and are between the ages of 10 and 14.

The world’s 25 poorest countries are all found in Africa. With hundreds of millions of dollars of debt, African health care in crisis and corrupt governments, it's not likely that the means to help the African children lie fully within.