In less than a decade, the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Thailand has grown from a handful of infections to a major public health threat. Gaining a foothold in injection drug users and commercial sex workers, HIV quickly spread to a wider population of adult males, from them to their wives and partners, and ultimately to their children. The result is a general population epidemic with wide ranging medical, social, and economic consequences.
The direct effects on children are already obvious. By the end of 1994, 16,000 HIV-infected children had been born, and tens of thousands of child prostitutes and street children were at risk of infection. By the turn of the century, more than one million Thai children had at least one HIV-infected parent. Some of these children have been orphaned by the disease; as others were abandoned by infected parents.
Orphans will often have many physical needs such as nutrition and health care, and these can often appear to be the most urgent. But they will have significant emotional needs as well as the sickness and death of a parent is clearly a major trauma for any child. The emotional needs of the children must not be forgotten.
The Liddle Kidz Foundation Global programs support children who have been orphaned due to illness and disease by implementing developmentally appropriate inclusionary programs.
Through our program, caregivers and orphanage staff receive education in appropriate methods of using massage and nurturing touch therapy to provide emotional healing to children who feel abandoned and isolated due to the healthcare status.