Champions For Life (CFL) is a faith-based program that provides psycho-social support (PSS) and care to adolescents living with HIV. Founded in 2005, the organization has over 30 programs running across over 20 cities and towns in Southern & East Africa. Working closely with HIV clinics and hospitals, CFL’s objective is to contribute to the holistic health of adolescents living with HIV, physically, mentally and emotionally
Children living with HIV are a high-risk group within the HIV community. A child living with HIV will typically experience and/or encounter several social and mental health issues, including discrimination and stigma. Clinical depression and anxiety (Common Mental-health Disorders (CMDs) are highly prevalent among adolescents globally. CMDs and are the main cause of complicated health issues and disability-adjusted life years in adolescents.
HIV and our Christian responsibility
HIV has been devasting communities for the past 20 years. Homes broken, lives shattered, and dreams lost. We know too of the impact it has had on children and young people – the stigma, hate and rejection has defined an entire generation as outcasts – a generation of the unloved. While, it is clear what effect HIV has on the physical body, what is not clear is the effect it has on the emotional and spiritual health of people – especially young people.
I have worked with teenagers living with HIV for the past 10 years, and I have seen the effect HIV has on the physical body, and I have also seen the effect it has on the spiritual, mental and emotional sides of a person. I have seen kids who are not sure about the future; kids who are not sure about who they are; kids with low esteem and “pre-destined” for failure. What is even worse, is that today, with advancements in clinical care and treatments, there are drugs available that have greatly improved the capability of the body to fight off the virus. This means that today, we have physically healthy young people but with broken hearts and dreams. What drug or treatment is available for broken hearts?