One of the horrific consequences of HIV/AIDS is that many children, themselves HIV positive, have become orphans. Some can live with relatives, but too many times, they are mistreated and abandoned. When Leena discovered such a child chained to a tree, she was inspired to begin a rescue mission for abandoned children with HIV/AIDS.
In December 2006, the Children’s Care Center was opened at the Center. Resident children vary in age from three to eighteen and can number from 18-28 at any given time. In rescuing an infant from being drowned by her mother, the Care Center took in its youngest resident in 2010. Today the child is 8 years old and was “adopted” by a man and his wife, residents of the Suzanne Home.
The number of children living at the Care Center can fluctuate between about 18-28, most of whom have been living there from a very young age. All are HIV/AIDS positive and receive medical care from physicians and nurses. At first their life expectancy was only three years, but because of the availability of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), proper nutrition, and a physically secure environment, some are living into adulthood. With kindness and love, their despair changes into hope. They are typical children and teenagers who love to play, sing, and dance. They face typical challenges and at times struggle with expectations. They have educational and other opportunities available to all young adults. Two of the residents even got married in 2017. Visitors unanimously report their expressed joy and enthusiasm.
In 2010, the “Sponsor a Child” program began as a way for ServeTrust’s supporters to become more personally involved. You may “adopt” a child in the Children’s Care Center. (For more information see the ‘Sponsor a Child” tab).