Opening windows to a brighter world: a better future for girls and boys orphaned through AIDS

Conference Reports
30 p.

In October, 1999, UNESCO hosted a Round Table discussion on the plight of children whose parents have died from AIDS. This brought together representatives from some of the hardest hit countries, as well as NGOs in the field. The Round Table provided a platform for dialogue and exchange. The problems faced by the orphans were discussed, and experiences shared. Recommendations and strategies for intervention were proposed. The two-day discussion revealed the difficulties faced by individuals, communities and organizations, and pointed out the efforts needed. It also reinforced the importance of dialogue and communication at all levels for treating the problems associated with HIV/AIDS. It confirmed that real change can be achieved through community action, as well as collaboration among organizations. Most importantly, the discussions revealed areas where positive actions are being developed; where "windows of hope" are being opened for individuals and communities. This document synthesizes the essential elements presented and discussed at the Round Table, and describes community actions in which young orphans are actively involved. It is hoped that the recommendations, as well as the results of efforts already being made, may be of use to other communities in taking measures against the spread of AIDS. It may also serve as encouragement to continue the effort to work towards opening more windows for change.

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