Me: We need to remember to bring in soap next week?
Me: Well, we are bringing it in for some friends who live far away, in Southern Africa. These friends are sick with something called HIV/AIDS. It is really important for them to stay extra clean and keep germs away so that they don’t get even sicker.
Erin: Oh. They don't have soap there?
Me: Yes, they do. But sometimes when you’re really sick, it’s hard to take time to get everything you need. You know how you want to stay in bed sometimes when you’re really sick?
Erin: Yeah. We should buy soap. I’ll tell dad.
Maybe that’s a pretty simple explanation of why we get soap for AIDS CARE KITS, but it’s a start. If you’ve been at The Meeting House for a while, chances are that your kids know about AIDS CARE, but it’s also really important to have some more check in conversations to make sure that they have the right information.
I have heard kids in complete innocence and naivety say things like:
“We are sending soap because there isn’t soap in Africa.” (FALSE!)
“We are sending soap because people with HIV/AIDS are dirtier.” (FALSE!)
It’s important that our kids have these kinds of innocent errors corrected so that we ensure proper communication about the intent of the AIDS CARE KITS, the truth about HIV/AIDS (at an age-appropriate level), and that we represent the countries that make up the continent of Africa in a fair and honest way.
Remember, those who AIDS CARE is helping are people just like us. Let’s show them respect and give them some dignity alongside that bar of soap.
What is AIDS Care?
AIDS Care is a fundraiser that The Meeting House organizes annually to support the work of Mennonite Central Committee in 6 countries in Southern Africa. We collect AIDS Care kits that help people living with HIV/AIDS and we also give money (AIDS Care Cards) that goes towards many different programs that support communities where HIV/AIDS is a major issue.
What is HIV?
HIV is a sickness that affects a body’s ability to fight infections and other illnesses. People can get HIV when their blood touches the blood of someone who already has HIV. It is not possible to get HIV by hugging someone or through mosquito bites.
What is AIDS?
AIDS is a disease caused by a tiny germ called a virus. AIDS is mostly a disease of grown-ups, but if kids are born to a mom with AIDS, they could get AIDS when they are born. AIDS happens when HIV is not treated and takes over a body. It makes people tired, weak, and their bodies cannot fight off infections.
Is there a cure?
Doctors can give medicine to help people with HIV/AIDS to live longer and feel better, but once it is in someone’s body, it will always be there.
What do we do in kidmax to help?
In kidmax, we bring in soap to go into the AIDS Care kits. The soap helps people who are sick stay clean, and that helps them not get other sicknesses that could make them feel much worse. We also pray because we believe that God can heal the sick.