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In Mandarin, the literal translation for Lily is a “pure and spotless person.” We could not think of a more perfect name for this project. We have a dream for The Lily Project. We want to see lives of children in Asia with HIV transformed through education, advocacy, foster care, and adoption.
The name, Lily Project, is in honor of a little girl who, because of her HIV status, had no one to take care of her. She was placed in foster care at the age of two and while living with her foster family for over four years she recieved the necessary medication and care she needed to become the happy and healthy Lily she is today. In November of 2014, Lily was adopted by her foster family. You can watch Lily's story here.
In Asia, many orphanages will not accept HIV+ children. Children and adults living with HIV in Asia have a hard time obtaining an education and a job. The social stigma due to the lack of knowldedge and understanding of HIV mirrors that of leprocy in many countires. People, children included, with HIV are considered outcasts.
David, the boy we fostered, was the result of The Lily Project. We never would have even considered fostering a child with AIDS nor would we have been involved in the HIV orphan community within China. After David left our home I was heavily burdened for these kids. To see them thrive and succeed as they could if they were adopted. But in China that's just not an option - adoption is basically the only way for these kids to have hope and a future. At least for now. Maybe in 10 or 20 years things will change for them. But by that time their life has already been set before them.
The Lily Project was supposed to be a group home for kids with HIV but for many reasons it hasn't worked out yet. Since the group home was put to the side (it may be picked back up in the future) I decided we couldn't let The Lily Project go to waste. I wanted to make it an advocacy and education tool. There are several websites that advocate and educate but I couldn't find one specifically for HIV adoptions in Asia/China. As our advocacy and education grows I am hoping we will see an increase as more people start requesting this "special need" through their agencies.
We believe that each child was created for a purpose, and we want to see children reach their full potential. We want to transform the way society views HIV/AIDS – one community at a time.
Don’t let HIV/AIDS scare you. Don’t let the lies and fear about HIV direct your life. Educate yourself. These kids can live normal healthy productive lives. These kids just need a chance. They need hope. They need families who are willing to love them every day for the rest of their life.
Questions? Comments? Want your story shared on The Lily Project? Email us at email@example.com.
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