This is the story of one little girl named Malika whose world was turned upside down by AIDS.
After her mother’s death, government medical workers tested all four children for HIV. Malika had it; her brothers and sister did not. Her aunt and uncle took the three disease-free children into their home. But they would not take Malika, their own niece. They were afraid of catching her disease.
She lived on the street, orphaned and alone, and grieving for the family she no longer had. Occasionally her relatives would put a plate of food outside their house for her. If she got to the food before the street dogs did, then she would eat that day. If not, she would have to find whatever scraps she could in garbage bins.
She was never allowed to come inside the house and has not seen her brothers and sisters since they went to live with their aunt and uncle. While living on the street Malika had serious skin infections, asthma and pneumonia. Her compromised immune system was failing her. She didn’t have long to live and really she didn’t have anything to live for anymore. Everything had been taken from her. Fortunately, that’s not the end of Malika’s story.
A social worker found Malika on the street and brought her to an orphanage run by Catholic nuns that is for children with HIV. Now she is getting medical care, nutritious food, education and the love she so desperately needs. And maybe most important, someone half a world away sponsors her, writes her, and encourages her.
Malika came to one of the children’s homes for children with HIV/AIDS supported by World’s Children in 2010. She has graduated from high school and she is currently in a vocational training program for business.
Malika’s first letter to her sponsors
Translated from Telugu into English
Greetings to you from your loving sponsored child. It is my joy to write few words to express my gratitude for your great deed shown towards me. Thank you very much for adopting me as your loving child. I am keeping well and hope the same with you.
Aunties I am Malika, studying VI standard in Z.P.P. school. I am going to school regularly and follow the lessons whatever the teachers tell us. My teachers are kind and patient with us. I am doing hard work to get good marks in my studies.
I love my Home of Hope (Hostel), my sisters and friends. We have Yoga and Meditation in the morning. It helps us to keep good health in body and mind. By nature I am sensitive person and I tend to cry easily. I am fond of Mathematics so much. So, I have a strong desire to become an Engineer when I grow up. I have lot of interest in dance and music. My favorite color is sky-blue.
I simply enjoy playing kabaddi and other games too. We just finished writing our quarterly exams and we are on Dasara holidays. (Dasara is a festival of Hindu brethren of our country). I would like to have your photos, please send to me.
I feel your love for me through your kind deeds. My heartfelt thanks to you for all that you are to me. God bless you and all your endeavors. Thanking you.