Posted: Jan 19, 2013 9:25 AM by Victoria Fregoso - MTN News
BILLINGS-A Billings based volunteer group will be Africa bound next week. AIDSpirit USA will spend the next three weeks moving 50 orphans into their new home. The new shelter comes from years of fundraising and volunteer efforts. It includes bedrooms, an indoor kitchen, running water, indoor bathrooms and a medical facility. The new orphanage is about 4,000 square feet and sits on two acres of land.
The previous building housed 17 children and was the size of a small studio apartment. Volunteers say it lacked things that are often taken for granted. "These children sleep on a thin mat on a concrete floor. There's no running water, no toilet, no cooking facilities at all. Everything is done outside. There is no place for them to sit down and eat, no dining room table or anything," said Tom Jacques, AIDSpirit USA Vice Chair.
Construction began in July of 2012. "Thanks to the donations of hundreds of individuals from Billings, Great Falls, Denver, Kansas, and Illinois," Jacques said.
Other efforts by AIDSpirit USA include the drilling of community water wells which has reduced waterborne illnesses by 40-percent. A portion of the volunteers include doctors and nurses that sponsor clinics to treat and prevent Sickle Cell Anemia.
Six volunteers are set to leave this Tuesday and join eight volunteers that are already in Africa. To learn more about the organization, you can visit their website www.aidspirit.org. They are looking for more volunteers.