Written by Sheila Mwanza, eighteen years old and a volunteer teacher in Mulenga community school near Kitwe, Zambia. As Sheila volunteers her time to teach primary school students who cannot afford to attend government schools, she finds herself learning and growing as well.
Moses is 6 years old and is in my class at our community school in Mulenga. Both of his parents are dead. He lives with his grandmother who does not work and is not able to take care of him. Moses’s parents both died of HIV/AIDS. They left three children, Moses and his two brothers. The other two brothers, one who is blind, live with their uncle. I’m afraid that Moses, the youngest in his family, is also infected with the same disease as his parents, and I would not be surprised if I was told that he has tested HIV+.
Can you imagine a 6 year old child having to start taking ARVs and then be on them for the rest of his life? Like all of us, this child could not decide for himself into which family he would be born. But God decides in which family we should be born, and does not make mistakes. He puts us into a family of his choice for a purpose.
I’m sure that God did not make a mistake to put Moses in that family. You know, when I see this child, I see the image of God. I see God himself. I see the goodness of God. I see the bright future in this child. I’m sure God will provide in His own time. But as far as I’m concerned, God works through us. Let us accept the life that we have been given and reach out to others to see our world changed by the power of God’s hand through us. God doesn’t ask us to give what we don’t have but to offer whatever we have. To this vulnerable child we can give love, food, shelter, clothes, blankets, or the word of God.
Can you imagine a child who is taking ARVs every day without eating anything? No blankets, no clothes. Not only is Moses alone, but there are many orphans who have similar sad stories. Let us help them, let us draw close to them, and let us make them our friends. Let’s treat them like our own children, and let us who are able support and care for them.