Life4Life Foundation visits orphanage; calls for respect for rights of HIV-affected children

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Life4Life Foundation, a non-governmental organization focused on child, adolescent and youth development, over the weekend visited the Motherly Love Orphanage in Kwabenya to donate to inmates.

The gesture is part of the the NGO’s corporate social responsibility and the desire to take steps in life for the betterment of others.

Donating the items, President of Life4Life Foundation Daniel Lartey bemoaned the lack of programmes to properly integrate children affected by HIV and AIDS into the society.

“The effects of HIV-related stigma on children made orphans by AIDS is very devastating,” he said.

“These children are either ostracized or isolated by their peers and this goes a long way to affect their general well being, growth and development.”

According to him, stigmatization towards such minority groups, if not curbed, could make less the strides and success chalked in ending the diseases.

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 targets ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030.

The AIDS epidemic cannot be ended without the needs of people living with and affected by HIV and their vulnerabilities being addressed.

These issues must be at the forefront of Ghana’s sustainable development efforts.

Mr Lartey indicated that the focus on policy for children’s development – like that of Ghana’s National HIV and AIDS policy – should not end at the formulation phase but more focus should be placed on its implementation.

“We cannot just have things written in a form of a policy on paper but in reality less action is being taken,” he said, adding that the phenomenon is making it more difficult to protect the basic rights of these children.

“We cannot close our eyes while the basic human rights of children affected by HIV are trampled upon. Children world over are battling this challenge and it’s time we take drastic measures to protect something as basic as right to life.”

Studies have shown that many of these children are at a higher risk of being exploited by criminal gangs or becoming victims of abuse, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

The project Director, Kenneth Parku, for his part, called on policy makers to shift attention to children affected by the diseases and work with CSOs and NGOs to collate data on the situation and initiate appropriate interventions to end the stigma.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana

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