International (MNN) — UNAIDS'
latest report suggests the HIV pandemic is slowing in many regions.
According to the numbers, there
are an estimated 33.2 million people living with HIV worldwide. The total
number of new HIV infections in 2007 is estimated to be 2.5 million, down from
a peak of 3 million in 2001.
Even as many venues are being
credited for their work in the fight against AIDS, U.S. President George W. Bush
re-authorized funding for PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS
The measure nearly triples funding
for the successful global AIDS program over the next five years. As a result,
PEPFAR has the potential to save five to seven million lives by 2013.
Worldwide Christian School (WWCS) says they're cautiously optimistic about the news and are moving
ahead with "Hope for Today's Generation," an HIV/AIDS prevention
curriculum. "We have a whole
generation of kids that are coming up that have not been exposed to the HIV
prevention information done on community-wide bases, or through clinics and so
on. And yet these are the very children orphaned by parents or other relatives
because of AIDS."
"Hope" will help children make decisions that will keep them HIV-free. The
curriculum exposes the students to a worldview that could be lifesaving. "Because we are a Christian-based
organization, the curriculum that has been designed by teachers in Africa for
the African classroom are very biblically-based to give them a moral basis to
make wise decisions."
The potential impact of "Hope" is over two million children in WWCS
partner schools in Africa alone. "We want to saturate the continent and beyond
with an affordable teaching tool," said Dale Dieleman, WWCS Field Director for
Africa. "There is not a classroom in Africa that has not been impacted in some
way by HIV/AIDS."
Although "Hope" is now a complete and field-tested curriculum, it has
yet to be launched because the program still needs funds that will cover
printing and distribution in WWCS partner schools throughout Africa and beyond.
WWCS is looking for partners who can help support the program in order
to keep it affordable for these schools, and to translate the tools into
French–the first language of over 20 African nations.