One African in two is a child. The numbers are such that traditional ways of caring for children in extended families and communities are breaking down. In southern Africa, as a result of HIV/AIDS, an increasing number of families are headed by children. A recent report by the African Child Policy Forum, an advocacy group, says there are now 50m orphaned or abandoned children in Africa. It thinks the number could rise to 100m, meaning misery for them and more violent crimes for others.
Millions of children already live rough in towns and cities. Prostitution and death await the poorest girls. The boys take to glue and crime. Africa has the highest rate of child disablement in the world. Some think 10-20% may be disabled, a staggering number, but since they are rarely seen in clinics and schools that is hard to verify. Paediatricians suspect some are killed in infancy—not Darwin’s natural selection but the dispensing of an extra mouth to feed. Physical stunting is probably rising.
Despite these overwhelming statistics, Africa is not the "dark continent" we often make it out to be. It is an incredible place filled with beautiful and industrious people who have so much potential. How can I ignore this plight currently taking place in Africa? How can I sit idly by? Lord, send me! Please, please, please...let us be a part of the solution!