Born into hunger and disease

It was obvious to Charity’s parents that something was wrong. All babies cry, but not like this. Charity was crying all the time and seemed to be in severe pain, so they took her to the doctor. The diagnosis turned out to be a common one among poor Zambian families: tuberculosis, often the first warning sign of an HIV infection.

Charity, 2, suffers from tuberculosis.

Charity’s father also has tuberculosis and has tested positive for HIV. He is a bricklayer, but lacks formal employment and is unable to earn a steady income. The local health clinic has provided free medications, but without the proper nutrition, the drugs are ineffective. The family of six relies on a diet almost exclusively of mealie meal – a starch-heavy African food – and sometimes only has enough to eat once a day.

Charity’s siblings are surviving on one meal a day.

The good news is that Charity and her family no longer have to struggle alone, thanks to a local group of Christians who provide home-based care for the chronically ill. Volunteers travel from house to house, giving food to the sick, praying with them, building relationships, and sharing the gospel, while helping the families overcome the sense of shame imposed on them by their society.

Cross has partnered with the home-based care program so that chronically ill children like Charity can receive the care and support they need. With your help, we can alleviate their suffering and empower them to live their lives to the fullest.

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