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A Six Month Anniversary Present
A little over six months ago, two of my favorite bloggers had a wedding. A very special, socially just wedding, with lots of lovely socially just posts as gifts. I have to admit that, up until news of the proposal and engagement began circulating the Blogosphere, I hadn't yet gotten to know the blogs of these two very special women. I wondered, "Who is this Mad person? And why is her baby wearing a hat?" and "Wow! This Jen person has had an amazing life. How could I ever have anything meaningful to say to her?" And through the union of these two amazing bloggers, the Just Posts were born. After the wedding, I began furtively lurking on both of their blogs and greedily read every Just Post nominee. After awhile I began commenting. And now, I consider both of them part of my community. Or should I say, I consider myself a part of their community? Because theirs is a utopian community - intelligent, supportive, and socially aware. A community I wish I could find outside of the Blogosphere.

Now, six months later, it's time to pony up an anniversary gift. Earlier this week, in honor of the six month anniversary of the Just Post Roundtable, both Jen and Mad had some riveting posts about orphans created by the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Please read them. The statistics are staggering. Mad writes:

"There are 8 million children in Canada. There are 13 million AIDS orphans in Africa." In the time it has taken me to write a handful of social justice posts over these last 6 months that number has steadily risen. It is expected to reach 18 million by 2010. The children of almost two Canadas are being raised without parents at all. Many of these children are HIV-positive themsleves. It's too much too even imagine, isn't it? I try to get my head around it but I simply can't.
18 million orphaned children. Just think about that for a moment.

Does that number horrify you as much as it horrified me? Then read on.

In the way that magnificent women do, Jen and Mad are trying to do something to alleviate suffering, rather than just writing about it. In honor of the Just Post Roundtable, they're on a mission to raise money for the cause. Jen points us to an American non-profit organization called Open Arms. Open Arms runs a home for orphaned children on the Eastern Cape. The people of Open Arms keep the children in the community, hire workers from the community, and try to make a difference.

Here are some more statistics from the Open Arms website:
  • On average,600 people die from AIDS each day in South Africa;
  • 21.5% of the entire South African population is living with HIV. This is among the highest infection rates in the world;
  • The HIV prevalence rate among pregnant women is currently estimated at 27.9% nationally and 27.1% in the Eastern Cape;
  • 250 babies are born HIV positive each day in South Africa;
  • Average household income in the Eastern Cape is $1,300 per year, or 7,800 rand per year. The provincial unemployment rate is 32%;
  • Because of the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, the average life expectancy in South Africa is expected to drop to 36.5 years by 2010. It was 68.5 years before AIDS.

Mad also points us to the Stephen Lewis Foundation, a Canadian foundation raising money for a similar cause.

In honor of the Just Post Roundtable, in honor of Jen and Mad and all women everywhere who try to make a difference, I ask you to make a donation to one of these organizations if you can. If you do donate to Open Arms, please put Just Posts in the space for Company Name, so that Jen and Mad can track how much we've raised. And if you'd like, feel free to write about this on your own blog and let Jen or Mad know about it before the June 10th announcement of the May Just Posts. If you can't donate, then give your time to your community and to people less fortunate in any way you can. Let's give these ladies a hell of an anniversary present.

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Blogger Christine said...

It is just amazing how this is making its way around the blog world! I can't wait to see the final totals.

Blogger jen said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. What a lovely post.

And it's amazing, isn't it...what we can do when we come together like this. There is great power here, in all of us.


I am going to check out these wonderful ladies' blogs. I love people that make it there business to make this world a better place!

Thanks for the info!

Blogger flutter said...

What a beautiful post. Nice place you have here

Blogger Mary G said...

What a very good idea. You're a super person too.

Blogger Mad Hatter said...

Lawyer Mama, you are great. Simply great. So big of heart yourself. I am so happy to have found you.

Blogger Celeste said...

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