Africa was known as a Dark Continent. This statement became a self-fulfilling prophecy. It traumatized the people of Africa and instead of solving problems, it led to further problems which proved the statement to be true. There has been much civil unrest among the people of Africa which is still ongoing up to today, including tribal conflicts, political instabilities, power struggles and divisions among the African people. These struggles have claimed many lives, leaving many children without families or someone to show them love. This has affected the children as many developed antisocial behaviors that continued the problem as they grew into adulthood. These children have become a problem instead of a blessing to Africa.
Broken Families: As families were broken apart and destroyed, the structure of society fell apart, with many tragic results. Families were broken through death and sickness. Birth rates increased rapidly. The children of Africa have become the greatest victims of this broken society. They have suffered many things, including defilement,child abuse, sexual abuse and abduction as child soldiers. Many have been left orphaned and abandoned, homeless and wandering the streets. The broken family unit also ushered in the HIV/AIDS pandemic that is still sweeping across Africa, claiming the lives of many men, women and children every day. The incidence of HIV/AIDS in Uganda continues to be one of the highest in the world.
- There are more than 34 million orphans in Africa and over 11 million orphans as a result of AIDS.
- Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest risk of first-day-death for infants, and is the region showing the least progress towards ending infant mortality.
- Approximately 1 in 16 women living in sub-Saharan Africa will die during childbirth or pregnancy.
- In 2010, it was estimated that 48% of the people living in sub-Saharan Africa are living in extreme poverty, which is defined as living on less than 1.25 USD per day.
This is the world that the African child grows up in. It is a world of extreme poverty, low life expectancy and very little opportunity to change their circumstances. It is a world of uncertainty without assurance of tomorrow.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, the HIV/AIDS pandemic has orphaned more than 14 million children (UNAIDS Global Facts & Figures 2008). According to World Hunger Facts 2009, 11 million children die each year before their 5th birthday.