World AIDS Day 2013

AIDS Robbed Lucia of Her Childhood

World AIDS Day Flickr Slide Show

Photo Credit: Masie Crow

Lucia is a beautiful young girl who appears to be like any other nine-year-old child you'd meet in rural Mozambique in southeastern Africa. Although most families tend small plots of land to make about one dollar each day, their children still laugh at the silliest of things, play games and eagerly attend school. Life is hard, but children do the best they can until they become adults.

Lucia, however, was forced to bear the burden of adulthood far too soon. You see, her mother died a slow, agonizing death from AIDS.

HIV and AIDS are rampant in this country. It's estimated that AIDS accounts for almost 25% of all deaths in Mozambique. Too often, it's orphaned children like Lucia who suffer the most.

When Save the Children visited her family, Lucia's mother pulled her daughter close and said, “Lucia, when I die, just take care of your sister.”

A few months later, Lucia's mother lost her battle and died a tragic death due to HIV and AIDS complications. Lucia was left all alone to raise her little sister Hilaria.

Without the care and guidance of our caring workers in the field, these beautiful young girls will be lost to a life of severe poverty.

As we mark World AIDS Day, we honor children like Lucia and are working hard to spare other children from her fate. What's more, we are fighting the spread of HIV through the prevention of mother-to-child transmission. In partnership with local governments, mothers can access nurse-initiated antiretroviral therapy – a lifesaving treatment to keep the infection at bay and prevent babies from being infected.

As AIDS wreaks havoc around the world, Save the Children works tirelessly to support and care for the millions of orphans and vulnerable young ones like Lucia and Hilaria.

But we can't do it without support from compassionate friends like you.

Your generous gift provides relief and assistance to suffering children who might not make it otherwise. Please help these precious children like Lucia today. With your help, we can bring them hope this holiday season. Make today matter, because tomorrow may be too late.

Save the Children is committed to providing all this and so much more to help orphans and vulnerable children receive the care and support they need to live healthy, productive lives.

For more information on World AIDS Day read our latest press release.

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