Located in Boduppal in Hyderabad, AGAPE society is a safe haven committed to holistic care and development of HIV-affected and infected children. Started in 2003, as an attempt to meet the rising number of AIDS-affected and infected orphans, AGAPE developmental society, with their motto of ‘loving hands, living hope’, aims to provide them with all-round care and development, right from cradle to college. AGAPE stands for ‘Ambassadors of Goodwill for AIDS Patients Everywhere’.
Talking about this initiative, Lynne Voggu, founder, AGAPE, says, “With few options, if any, for HIV-infected children, AGAPE takes pride in being the first children’s home exclusively for AIDS-affected/infected orphans.” The organisation survives solely on private and corporate donations. “Land is our immediate requirement,” Lynne says. “We are currently operating in rented premises but, with our numbers increasing, relocating to a bigger one is the need of the hour,” she explains.
The society was first registered in 2003 and started accepting children from 2004. Children admitted to AGAPE are from families where one or more parents is suffering from HIV/AIDS and do not have any means to support themselves or their families, and also have kids whose parents have already succumbed to the disease.
Equipped with their own English medium school, AGAPE offers each child the opportunity to prove themselves in all spheres of life; be it academics, sports, or extracurricular activities, and pay special attention to their physical training. The school offers free English medium education right from nursery to Class 10.
“We wish to give them an equal chance to prove themselves in the world. By making sure that they are not missing out on anything because of their ailment, we try to build and maintain their self-confidence, as that is their most important weapon to fight this disease.”
Asked about her experience on working with these kids, she says, “There is a general social stigma when it comes to AIDS and, sometimes, without even meaning to, we tend to blame the innocent. These kids are just like the others in the society. They just have a medical problem, with no fault of theirs, and all they require is acceptance, proper care and timely medical help. I see no reason as to why they should be treated any different.”#KhabarLive