Let us count to fifteen together slowly - 1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5.. 6.. 7.. 8.. 9.. 10.. 11.. 12.. 13.. 14.. 15. During those 15 seconds, one child in Africa was orphaned by HIV/AIDS. That happens every fifteen seconds. That's 240 children per hour, 5760 children per day, 40 320 children per week.1
In Angola, it is estimated that over 331 000 children have been orphaned.2 That's enough children to fill the massive Soccer City Stadium more than three and a half times over.3 They will be going to sleep tonight without parents to provide, protect or care for them. This is scandalous.
Part of the reason why HIV/AIDS is so successful in orphaning children, amongst other things, is a lack of information about the disease. Yet, many people in Angola are remote and isolated making it very difficult to reach out to them on foot. However, radio can traverse these distances and easily pass over the millions of landmines hidden between the people and the information they need.
Earlier this year we asked TWR partners to prayerfully consider supporting a TWR-Angola programme to do this. We can joyfully report that the costs have been covered in full! As a result, millions of Umbundu-speaking people will have access to information that will equip them to engage the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Reaching Umbundu-speaking people over radio is not only geographically advantageous, but it is also economically appropriate, as radio is an accessible item to those living below the poverty line. Furthermore, it is culturally clear and direct - broadcasts are in the Umbundu heart-language which gains credibility with the local people. It is not viewed as outside interference, but as something by the people, for the people.
This programme will target men and women between the ages of 16 and 45 living in rural areas. It will be 15-minutes long and will have a magazine-style format with four components: music, people's opinions, discussion and Q&A, all from a Christian perspective. The discussion section will contain the meat of the programme - hot topics will be engaged by specialists in such a way that all the listener's doubts will be cleared up, and any remaining questions can be sent in to be dealt with during the Q&A.
A special focus in this programme will be Angolan women. It will seek to give them a voice, encouraging them to participate equally in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Ultimately, Jesus Christ is the one who redeems the lost, brings meaning when all hope is seemingly gone, and removes the sting of death. This programme will be Christ-centred.
Published: 20 October 2010