The Children of Rusinga Island
Rusinga Island in Lake Victoria is a community in Kenya with one of the highest percentages of HIV AIDS. The migratory nature of workers in the fishing industry and the practices of jaboya, or fish-for-sex trade, contribute greatly to the spread of HIV AIDS in the area. Local cultural practices of polygamy and wife inheritance are likewise contributors. Women and children share the most difficult plight, often orphaned or widowed by HIV AIDS, with no way to financially support themselves. Prenatal care is lacking, leading to preventable transmission of HIV AIDS from mother to child. In the cases where transmission to the child has been prevented during birth, HIV AIDS is often spread perinatally through breast feeding.
On Rusinga Island, many children have lost one or both parents to HIV AIDS or other causes. Although some orphans are cared for by family members or relatives, many of these families are living in poverty and cannot support an additional child. Some form of external assistance is required to provide these children with adequate food, health care, clothing, education and psychosocial support.
Rusinga Island Trust, a Rusinga Island-based community organization, is working with several partners to improve the lives of the people of Rusinga Island. A medical clinic and schools have been built, a goat program is thriving, women are being taught skills that will help them support their families and HIV AIDS screening and education are being provided. We have made great strides, but financial support is needed. The children of Rusinga Island need your help.
Rusinga Island, Kenya Kolunga Village Foundation (501 c3) works in partnership with Rusinga Island Trust and will accept contributions on behalf of Rusinga Island Trust. All programs will be administered by Rusinga Island Trust and the community of Rusinga Island.
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