October 17th will mark the 26th Annual LA AIDS Walk and I’ll be out there again this year, supporting a cause that is very near to my life and heart. This year however I have a special dedication. This year team EveButterflies is walking for Upile.
Upile’s war on AIDS is not unique in Malawi. There are many children like her battling this undiscriminating disease that has wiped out generations. Children are being burdened with a load we adults in our modern societies would have difficulties enduring. Yet so many just like Upile are smiling, wanting to go to school and turning rocks into toys to play games. Seeing this great spirit was a gift, a reminder that we are not alone on this planet and if we all did a little something, we could make bountiful changes. A perfect example of this is Marie da Silva. Marie who grew up in Malawi created the Jacaranda Foundation, a free school for orphans where I met Upile . She used her nanny wages to create the school and with help from friends had minimally kept the school running. She received worldwide recognition for her work and now the school has grown into a safe haven for over 400 orphans, who otherwise would have no educational opportunities. Many are AIDS orphans just like Upile and unfortunately some are AIDS sufferers themselves. After Upile passed Marie saw the need to have a school nurse and also a school bus. You see even though AIDS medication is free in Malawi, those living in these remote villages have no means to get to the hospital. Marie’s foundation is now the means, not only for the students but also for their extended families.
It’s an ongoing necessity to find funding for the foundation. Every year more students would like to join and paying the staff, providing shoes, clothes, food, books and even now medical care is unending cycle. If you think you could make a difference in any amount please see the Jacaranda Foundation and see how far a little bit can go.
You can also join us and walk with Team EveButterflies
Tags: AIDS, AIDS Walk LA, Evebutterflies, Jacaranda Foundation, marie da silva, orphans