Monday, July 20, 2009

Ugandan Lambs

In November of 2004, Ugandan Lambs was
started in response to the needs represented within one
extended family…the family of Sam and Ruth Sebabi.

Sam and Ruth were born and raised in Uganda, and the AIDS epidemic has deeply affected their lives. As sisters, brother, cousins and in-laws began to die from AIDS, the Sebabis found themselves sole providers for all the children left behind. The burden became too great for them bear alone. Ugandan Lambs was established to help provide for the needs of these children, and move them toward independence and a hopeful future. Originally, Ugandan Lambs began with 25 children. Today, there are 58, ranging in ages from 4 to 20.

Uganda began to document its first AIDS cases in 1982, calling the
disease “slim” for its skeleton-producing effects upon the body. Scientists believe that this region of Africa, around the area of Lake Victoria, was where HIV first began infecting humans. To date, over 1.6 million Ugandans have died from the disease, and another one million are living with HIV.

Today, Uganda is widely hailed as Africa's AIDS success story. In 1992 it had a 16 percent rate of infection; by 2003 it had dropped to 4 and 6 percent. The turnaround is widely attributed to President Yoweri Museveni, who spoke out early and often about the disease, and a homegrown grassroots campaign from ordinary Ugandans to care for the sick and educate the healthy. However, even as HIV/AIDS statistics begin to recede, the situation for the children left behind by the disease worsens by the day.

Julie Schumacher, Director
Phone: 562-595-6881, ext 232
Mailing address: 3590 Elm Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90807

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