A few months ago, Rhona, Jud's mom, asked me if I had heard of this book by Melissa Fay Greene. I said that I had, but I hadn't read it yet...Honestly I think I was avoiding reading it. A couple days later the book arrived in the mail. (Thanks Rhona!)
I kept the book on my nightstand for a few weeks, I could feel it staring at me, so I moved it to the coffee table. At last one day about two weeks ago, I finally picked it up and began to read, and read, and read. It was so hard to put down, everytime I had a free minute I'd quick try to get in another chapter. I felt so many emotions while reading the story of Heregewoin Teferra, I felt deep sadness, frustration and anger...I don't remember the last time I cried so hard.
The reason I kept putting off reading the book, was because I had heard so much about it and knowing the nature of the story and knowing myself the way I do, I knew it was going to be difficult to read. I think I feared that the book was going to require me to stand up and make changes in my own life and my own way of thinking.
You know when you're driving in your car and you see an accident, and you think how lucky you were that you didn't leave two minutes earlier, or you could have been the car in the accident? That knot in the stomache is what I felt while I read about the children born in Ethiopia, near Addis Ababa. Over and over I kept thinking, that could've been Emma...I could feel myself changing inside as I read these stories.
I have started looking into organizations commited to bettering the lives of these children who have become orphans because of this devastating disease. I'm not sure exactly how yet but I do belive that this is my fight...
Below is some information from Melissa Fay Greene's website where she mentions specific organizations, there is a link on the right hand side I encourage everyone to check it out.
Life in the shadow of the HIV/AIDS pandemic is brutally difficult for parents and children.
Orphaned healthy children are far less likely to attend school, even to grow up: the mortality rate of children under five spikes when their parents are gone.
Children actually infected with the HIV/AIDS virus will die by the age of two; a small percentage of survivors may live to be ten; but, without medicine, their brief lives are full of suffering.
Fewer than ten percent of adult African HIV/AIDS sufferers -- and an even smaller percentage of children -- have access to the expensive and complicated life-saving medicines.
But, there is hope.
A variety of organizations are importing the miraculous drugs into Africa, helping to build health-care institutions, and saving lives.
Other organizations are nurturing and raising orphaned children; some even facilitate adoptions of HIV-positive orphans to America.
Still other organizations help destitute people find decent work.