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A Precious Gift of Life
A neglected girl suffering from HIV is taken in by her uncle – but what happens when a kind heart still can’t pay for the needs of an ailing little girl?
Precious sat alone in the corner. Her clothes were dirty and her feet were swollen and covered with wounds that nobody would dare touch.
Precious rarely cried or laughed, so the day the woman knelt in front of her, nobody knows exactly what the 18-month-old thought. Was she surprised when gentle hands put clean clothes on her and carried her outside?
Did she know that she was being rescued?
Likely infected with HIV at birth, Precious was passed from her dying mother to a neglectful aunt. When an uncle, Conrad, heard about the conditions Precious lived in, he wanted to adopt her. But he worried about the strain it would put on his wife, Asha, who was pregnant with the couple’s second child.
But the day Asha first saw Precious, she knew they couldn’t leave the girl alone in the corner.
Precious’ medical requirements were crippling, though. Precious was to be fed every two hours, and the food she needed was expensive and took hours to prepare. Conrad struggled to provide, and Precious’ health declined.
So Conrad went to the church. He talked to his pastor, who informed him that Precious could be enrolled in the Child Survival Program. And because of your gifts to the AIDS Initiative, Precious would also be able to receive lifesaving support.
The first step in Precious’ care was providing protein-rich foods, including eggs, beans and fish. Once Precious’ health improved, the staff helped Conrad and Asha think of long-term solutions. They taught Asha how to bake snacks and start a business selling them. They showed Conrad how to plant a vegetable garden that he could use to supplement Precious’ diet.
Because the AIDS Initiative is not just about short term-solutions. It educates and equips caregivers and children, ensuring that AIDS is no longer the death sentence that it once was.
Today, Precious is almost 3 years old, and will soon be registered in Compassion’s sponsorship program. She plays and dances. She is nearly unrecognizable from the child who once sat in the corner, alone.
Because Precious is no longer alone. She has caregivers who love her. Compassion staff who protect her. And a Father who heals her.
Compassion children and family members were tested for HIV in the past six months.
Compassion-assisted children and family members tested HIV-positive in the past six months.
children, caregivers and siblings are currently receiving lifesaving antiretroviral therapy.
A Gentle Moment Precious’ aunt braids the girl’s hair outside of their home. Tender moments like these were rare before Precious was taken in by her aunt and uncle.
A Family for Precious While Precious (far right, held by her aunt) was once alone and neglected, she now fills in a happy home with her uncle, aunt and cousins.
Providing for the Family Compassion helped provide Precious’ uncle, Conrad, with the tools and training to plant a vegetable garden at the family’s home.
Hope for the Future Survival seemed impossible when Conrad first found his niece, Precious. But today, because of God’s provision, she is a playful, happy 3-year-old.