Sunday, December 08, 2013

The Development Centre of Yi Women and Children In Liangshan

I was deeply moved by a CBC news story about families affected by the AIDS epidemic in Liangshan, the home of the Yi  (or Norsu) people,  in rural villages of Sichuan province.  There are about 25,000 reported cases of AIDS among the Yi, although that is likely a gross understatement.  The problem arises from men migrating to the cities in search of work, getting involved in the drug trade,  sharing dirty needles (out of ignorance and poverty), then returning  to infect their wives and children. 

CBC reporter Andrew Lee interviewed Nui Nui and her grandmother Zi'er in a village in Liangshan, where 10% of the population has AIDS.  Nui Nui has lost both of her parents and lives with her aunt La Nui, who also has AIDS.  Although the problem of AIDS orphans of course exists on a more massive scale in Africa, the tragedy in Sichuan is magnified  by the comparative lack of penetration of the area by western aid agencies, the  greater apparent indifference on the part of the Chinese government, and the timing--in a world that has been aware of AIDS for 30 years , these poor people wandered into a trap that they couldn't see coming, but one that the rest of the world, including the Chinese government, could have seen coming.

I wish to support the work of the Development Centre of Yi Women and Children in Liangshan, who have provided some help to Nui Nui, Zi'er and La Nui , but who have not been able to keep them from being ostracized and bullied by other villagers. This NGO  appears to be virtually the only lifeline that they have.  If I could help to pay for their drug treatments, and to educate people into letting AIDS victims back into school, it would help to ease their misery and fill a big gap in the world's public health and development efforts.
the missing mother

"Nui Nui"

No comments: