Improving the lives of children affected by HIV & AIDS

Dave (not his real name) was a funny, energetic and playful friend. He was full of games and he loved football very much. During my school holidays, travelling upcountry was the only thing in my mind – and the star of the show was always Dave. Dave’s parents died when he was still a little boy. As I knew it then, they died from “the wrath of a strong wind” wiping out the entire village. After his parents died, he was put under the custody of his uncle and aunt. 

Dave’s aunt was not kind to him. She used to beat him up for petty mistakes. I can’t forget the cries of pain when he was being beaten and he was always given very heavy jobs to do. Despite Dave being sick (we were told that we were not supposed to be too close to him or share our food with him) I never, at any time, saw his aunt take him to hospital or saw him take medicine. Even though Dave was performing well in school his relatives decided to take him out of school—this I never understood. Despite all this harsh treatment he was undergoing, Dave still found the strength to make jokes and have fun. He still could play football with us and score goals with his powerful left foot that always brought our goalpost down.