AIDS Children's Foundation
(aka) American Foundation for Children with AIDS
1520 Greening Lane
Harrisburg, PA 17110
HIV+ children don't have to die. Help us fight poverty and provide life-saving medicine, medical equipment, nutritional supplements, livestock, seeds, emergency relief and hope to children and their caregivers infected or affected by HIV or AIDS.
We look at the goats and find them healthy. Two are pregnant, moving this family closer to economic stability. With the brightest smile, Seraphine shows us corn stored for the winter. This, THIS, is a miracle. Something so small as stored corn is a symbol of a job well done, both by the trainers and by the families. This moment, standing in a dark little mud room, looking up at a wooden structure where the corn lays in a sack, is the moment when my heart breaks but in a good way. I know it because my eyes fill with tears and my throat closes up, a lump forming so that it is hard to swallow. The father of the family comes up to me and asks earnestly that we continue this project so that others can benefit. He explains that his and his family’s lives have been changed and that he wants others to know the same joy. I can’t talk. I honestly can not say a word because the lump in my throat won’t allow me to make a sound. I am glad for the darkness, as I am afraid I am about to cry. He is waiting for an answer, but I have no words.
Instead, I nod.
As we say that it is time for us to go, the family presents us with bananas and smiling, Seraphine points to her husband, who is tying the legs of a rooster. I look on, not quite understanding what is going on until he laughs out loud and hands the rooster to me, saying over and over again, “Merci Mingi (thank you very much)” with a huge smile on his face. Smiling back, I thank him profusely and learn how to say “my chicken” in Lingala. They all laugh as I point at the rooster on the motorcycle and declare him mine. It is a fantastic feeling, this giving and taking, this smiling and laughing. This breaking of my heart.