Even before the AIDS epidemic, Africa’s children faced an inordinate burden from poverty, disease and violence. The devastating impacts of AIDS have left an entire generation more vulnerable than ever. Almost 90 percent of children orphaned because of AIDS live in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is because the subcontinent is more heavily affected by HIV/AIDS than any other region of the world. An estimated 22.5 million people are living with HIV in the region – around two thirds of the global total. In 2009 around 1.3 million people died from AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and 1.8 million people became infected with HIV. Since the beginning of the epidemic 14.8 million children. (1)
Why South Africa?
In fact, it is 25:40’s mission to reach children throughout southern Africa to the extent God desired this of us. We have started in South Africa, however, because we have personally come to know the very urgent need otherwise demonstrated by statistics. An estimated 5.6 million people were living with HIV and AIDS in South Africa in 2009, more than in any other country. It is believed that in 2009, an estimated 310,000 South Africans died of AIDS.22 Prevalence is 17.8 percent among those aged 15-49, with some age groups being particularly affected. 3 Almost one-in-three women aged 25-29, and over a quarter of men aged 30-34, are living with HIV. (2)
Why The Eastern Cape?
The Eastern Cape in South Africa , where 25:40’s work is focused, leads all other South African provinces in poverty, with more than 72 percent of its people (about 4.6 million) living below the poverty line. The region also is characterized by high rate and HIV and tuberculosis. Although HIV rates are quite complicated to measure, studies from 2009 suggest that the rate in the Eastern Cape is a staggering 28 percent.
The Eastern Cape also is the region in South Africa with the highest percentage of orphans (more than 23 percent of the child population).