The Devastation Of Children With Aids Essay

, Research Paper

the devastation of aids in africa

A driving force behind the recent U.N. Resolution 1261 (1999) unanimously

adopted by the U.N. Security Council on August 25, is Olara Otunnu, Special

Representative of the Secretary General on Armed Conflict to the United

Nations. The resolutions which:

condemns the targeting of children in situations of armed conflict

including killing and maiming, sexual violence, abduction and forced

displacement, recruitment and use of children in armed conflict in

violation of international law and attacks on places that usually have a

significant presence of children such as schools and hospitals– and

calls on all parties concerned to put an end to such practices

was championed by Mr. Otunnu, a native of Uganda and past president of the

UN Security Council. Since the beginning of his three-year appointment in

1979, he has traveled extensively, sometimes venturing into war zones to

plea the cause of children. “I seek to be in touch with every organization and

group whose activity and actions have an impact on children and war,” he


An issue which the Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church has

focused on for many years, “the targeting of children in warfare” was a topic

of discussion at Global Gathering II, a GBGM-sponsored event of United

Methodists. Attendees heard Graca Machel Mandela, who was

commissioned by the U.N. to produce the “United Nations Study on The

Impact of Armed Conflict on Children (1995), give an impassioned speech

on the plight of children in war situations. She expressed appreciation for

work the church has done and urged continued advocacy in this regard.

GBGM has proceeded accordingly and placed special emphasis on children

of Africa through the United Methodist Bishops’ Initiative of “Hope for the

Children of Africa”. An extension of this initiative is “Missioners of Hope”, a

new category of missionaries assigned by GBGM to work exclusively with

children in crisis throughout the continent.

Among components of the “missioners” program is the care and counseling

of children traumatized by war. An area of need singled out by Mr. Otunnu,

counseling, he said, is also needed for families of these children. Among

other specific needs he lifted were health care workers and and teachers for

the children. Vision of Global Ministries has already placed some 58

“Missioners of Hope” in these areas. The majority of the “missioners” are

native Africans, some of whom have lived through the very drama that the

children they are to serve are experiencing. This familiarity, along with

knowledge of language and culture, enables them to more readily serve

these children and bring renewed hope to their lives.


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