Liang Shan Project
The majority of reported HIV infections in China are among rural people living in the southwest and among ethnic minorities.
The China Aids Fund is committed to providing community and educational support to AIDS/HIV affected children and orphans of Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan.
Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan is located in Southwest Mountain Range in China; it is the largest traditional settlement of minority people known as “Yi” in China with more than two million Yi inhabitants. It is also one of the most poverty-stricken areas in the country. It is located along one of the major drug trafficking routes to northwest and central China from the “Golden Triangle”, one of the world’s largest illicit heroin production and distribution centers. The economic and social conditions of this region greatly worsened since the 1990’s caused from the influx of drug use and resulting HIV/AIDS epidemic into Liangshan; and present day, it is one of the hardest-hit HIV infected areas in China. The effects of HIV/AIDs significantly impacted a large portion of Yi population, resulting in disability, imprisonment, abandonment, migration and deaths. This caused the collapse of the family unit with increased numbers of children left orphaned and without parents, families and with no means of social and economic support.
Most of these children must live with the elderly and severely lack daily food and nutrition. There are no assurances that their daily basic physical needs such as food, clothing and shelter are met. They are often on the verge of dropping out of school or never have any opportunity to have schooling at all.
Alarmingly, more and more of these orphan children are left unattended, without any supervision and wandering throughout the city streets.
It is estimated that in 2011, there were approximately 8,000 orphans in the Liangshan region, a society not centered on agriculture and lagging behind in technological advancements. Compounded with an epidemic of drug use and HIV/AIDS, it encapsulates the grave reality of large numbers of AIDs orphans and/or children left without family and financial support.
During recent years, in addition to the government, many domestic and international non-for profit organizations have engaged in providing assistance to local HIV/AIDs orphans and children in need of support in the area. With years of commitment and dedication to funding, community support and education of Henan AIDS orphans, the China AIDs Fund will utilize its experience and maximize efforts in rescuing these destitute orphans and children in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan.
The China AIDs Fund’s mission is to establish a base at Zhaojue County National Middle School in Zhaojue County, one of the most poverty stricken counties in China. Cognizant of the rural geographic terrain whereby local mountain residents are dispersed far apart and the “Yi” language being the only local dialect spoken in most households; CAF will build multiple relief centers or mobile rescue service centers to provide food, clothing and necessities for orphans and children of need to insure their survival, healthy development and growth, and the promise of primary and secondary schooling and possibly higher education.
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT FOR HIV CHILDREN
China government provides free education from elementary school to junior high school. However, we found out that some of the junior high students will need to come up with their own 3 meals and school supply. The government does not cover the cost of education beyond junior high school.
Most of the HIV children are orphans living in the homes of relatives with very little support. We believe we can change the outlooks of these children immensely by providing them the materials and resources necessary to succeed and to become productive members of the society. Together with the interaction through the international pen-pal program, their horizon will be lifted.