BaanGerda is founded on the principle that all children, no matter how ill or disadvantaged, are entitled to love, nurturing and medical care. We believe further that it is the duty of adults to uphold and secure these rights for children, especially for the most vulnerable. Few children suffer more than orphans of AIDS.
Our approach to treating orphans with HIV differs in key respects from most institutional approaches we are aware of. We believe that recreating a family environment is critical to restoring and maintaining the health of these children. We also are committed to preparing our children for as normal a life as possible, so we have made great efforts to integrate them in local schools.
We have no political or religious agenda, nor do we think we have devised the ideal operation to care for HIV positive kids. However, we believe we have found very effective ways to restore the health of the AIDS orphans who have come into our care, and we are intent on improving our project.
Courtesy Barbara Walton European Pressphoto Agency
It is part of our aim to share our experiences with others who seek to improve the lives of HIV positive children. When we began BaanGerda, we were unable to find much in the way of expertise or advice on home care for orphans with AIDS. This lack of guidance was costly in terms of mistakes made.
We therefore welcome and encourage those interested in helping HIV children to visit BaanGerda and discuss how elements of our program can be applied elsewhere. We have much to share — and much more to accomplish.