Five ways World Vision helps those affected by HIV/AIDS

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1. Strengthening Families' Ability to Cope with Their Problems - In developing countries, women and girls usually care for HIV/AIDS patients and orphans. Already poor, they face further increased financial burdens. World Vision's microcredit programs, vocational training and loans, enable women to provide for their families.

2. Encouraging and Supporting a Community-Based Response - World Vision supports local groups that care for HIV/AIDS patients and orphans and assist AIDS-affected families. In Cambodia, World Vision supports a recovery centre for under-aged girls - many of them HIV-positive - who have been sexually exploited. The project offers counseling, legal advice and vocational training.

3. Protecting the Rights of the Most Vulnerable Children and Families - Widows and orphans are often victims of relatives or neighbours snatching their land and possessions. To prevent this, World Vision community workers educate parents about inheritance laws and help them write their wills. They also visit orphans regularly to monitor their well-being and security.

4. Enabling Children to Remain in School and Support Themselves - With ill parents unable to work, children usually drop out of school to become the breadwinners. Through child sponsorship, World Vision enables school-aged children to stay in class. In many communities, World Vision also provides vocational training for older orphans.

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5. Promoting HIV/AIDS Prevention and Awareness - To reduce the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS, World Vision conducts awareness campaigns in partnership with local governments and communities. In El Salvador, World Vision trained teenagers (many of whom are sponsored children) as peer educators who share information on HIV/AIDS with friends and family. In Vietnam, a network of 200 volunteers, including dock workers, bus drivers and shopkeepers, talk to their clients and colleagues about prevention. "At first, I was embarrassed to talk about sexual practices, but I was well trained by World Vision in HIV education and now I'm more confident," says hairdresser Hoang Thu Hang, who has convinced 28 fellow hairdressers to become volunteers.

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For more information visit http://www.worldvision.org

- News Canada

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