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The Talented Tenth International, Inc.

Quarterly Journal August 2010

this issue

Who We Are p1 Newsworthy Information p2 Making A Difference p3 Get Involved p4

Our Mission

Get Involved p4

Who Are The Talented Tenth?

The Talented Tenth International, Inc. is a non-profit organization. The Talented Tenth was birthed following a discussion with an educator regarding W.E.B. Du Bois and his plea for education. Inspired by the words of Du- Bois and his proclamation that exceptional men would lead masses out of "contamination, death, and the worst" were the founding principles that the Talented Tenth International, Inc. were built upon. The basic principles of this organization were borrowed from a Great leader while the passion, vision, and strength were delivered out of the founders personal experiences. As a child and an orphan, education became the only escape from the harsh realities of life associated with abuse, neglect, and being transferred from one foster home to another. In a plight to go against all odds and challenge not only the status quo but also statistics that show foster children who end up homeless, lack education, live in poverty, abuse drugs, and display generational transmissions of stress and trauma, I fought back against my circumstances and survived through the grace of God and through the pursuit of my education. As fate would have it, I graduated from Pennsylvania State University, and I landed a job working for the very foster care agency that placed me in foster care. This employment opportunity allowed me to have face to-face weekly visitation with foster children, biological families, and foster parents which compelled me to write a book that would inspire children to move forward and strive for better by following my example. Truth Be Told: A Foster Child's Recollection was a mere glimpse into my world. The book afforded me the opportunity to talk to foster children, foster parents, and foster care administrations about some of the major problems in the foster care system from the foster child's perspective. Open forums and on-going discussion about the inter-workings of the foster care system and how it affects the lives of the approximately 600,000 foster children, led to an even deeper discussion about orphans in Africa. Africa will have approximately 20 million orphans by the end of the year 2010. These orphans have been impacted by war, famine, disease, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic coupled with other realities of life. Unfortunately, cultural practices, misinformation, poverty, stigma, and disease will increase this number rapidly if interventions are not put in place to assist this great nation. The Talented Tenth is on a mission to save the millions of hurting children within the United States and all across the continent of Africa. The Talented Tenth International, Inc. seeks to establish orphanages in the top three nations with the highest HIV/AIDS orphan population which includes South Africa, Uganda, and Nigeria. In addition to that, The Talented Tenth will provide HIV/AIDS counseling, testing, research, and vocational and educational programs that will assist the target population. We are The Talented Tenth and we will seek to find interventions and innovative solutions to the nation's greatest problems.

How ou The mission of the Talented Tenth International, Inc is to provide high quality community based services to HIV/AIDS orphans and other at-risk populations within the continent of Africa as well as with individuals in select cities within the United States. The Talented Tenth International, Inc. creates opportunities for families with disadvantages to learn to work and to build more meaningful, independent lives. We seek innovative solutions to meet the needs of our HIV/AIDS impacted families and other targeted individuals which brings the individual, the family, and the community towards optimal functioning.

Our Vision

To ensure the well being of orphaned children and other at-risk populations with economic hardships within the continent of Africa and within the United States. Our aim is to provide HIV/AIDS counseling, testing, research, education, and other medical care to reach individuals affected by HIV/AIDS afflicted within rural and urban communities through various means.

Information the World Should Hear More About

"There are more than 34 million orphans in the region today and some 11 million of them are orphaned by AIDS. Eight out of every 10 children in the world whose parents have died of AIDS live in sub-Saharan Africa. During the last decade, the proportion of children who are orphaned as a result of AIDS rose from 3.5% to 32%" (United Nations, 2004). The red ribbon continues to be the universal symbol for Aids awareness. However, the ribbon may not communicate clearly how Aids is impacting the decreased life expectancy in Africa. Unfortunately, the catastrophic impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa continues to show record high death rates. Reducing alarming death rates will remain a pressing issue throughout this century as long as the majority of people who are in need of treatment fail to receive it. Nevertheless, HIV/AIDS is destroying nations, communities and families; the children are the most vulnerable. Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by a merciless disease that could claim the parents of over 20 million children by the end of 2010. A report from the United Nations proclaims that AIDS will kill half of all 15 year olds in Zimbabwe, Botswana, and South Africa by 2012 if something is not done soon. The report highlights the fact that about 24 million people in Sub-Sahara Africa are living with HIV. The spread of HIV/AIDS continues to rise and combating this disease poses a number of different challenges. To further validate this pronouncement, Africa has its own systems, cultural practices, and dynamics that are at the core of these challenges. Particularly, cultural practices, stigma, economic factors, and other misnomers can all be barriers to treatment of HIV/AIDS in Africa. Heightened awareness and educational programs will be the strongest defense against this disease that has no cure. Nevertheless, many professionals are asking themselves why HIV/AIDS continues to spread so rapidly throughout the continent of Africa. To answer this question, the foundation of the HIV/AIDS spread is multifaceted. Some of the major causes of the spread include polygamy, poverty, the sex trade, lack of knowledge, and cultural practices just to name a few. Chiefly, cultural practices are among the highest risk factors that increase the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus. Three of the most common cultural practices in Africa include Polygamy, Female Genital Mutilation, and dry sex. With respect to Polygamy, this practice of men having the ability to marry more than one wife is a custom that places the entire family unit at risk of contracting the HIV/AIDS virus when there is a lack of faithfulness within the polygamous family unit. The lack of committed relationships and increased sexual risk taking holds a top position in the rapid spread of the HIV/AIDS virus. Notably, researchers have found a direct correlation between sexual risk taking and poverty. Sadly, many women in Africa who are poor become involved in the sex trade to earn money. Unfortunately, poverty has forced women to engage in prostitution due to limited economic resources and limited options. Historical background information on some nations in Africa validates this phenomenon. For instance, in Nigeria alone, the target area is comprised of low-income neighborhoods. The Federal republic of Nigeria is the 10th largest country in the world that has a population of over 140 million people according to the 2006 Census. In addition to that, over 70 million Nigerians live in poverty earning $1 per day and the majority of these individuals are women. Nigeria has an estimated 3 million people living with HIV, the third largest in the world. The Niger Delta has some of the highest rates in the country. A United Nations report from the Niger Delta asserts that the prostitution of young women from poor villages into the wealthier oil regions has raised the incidence of AIDS in the delta. The highest rates in this region are among women and girls, especially those 1524 years old. As aforementioned, poverty is correlated with sexual risk taking behaviors which cause the spread of HIV/AIDS among the population. The Niger Delta is rich with crude oil therefore Nigeria's five sea ports are within the Delta region. With that said, sailors spend anywhere from 4-6 months at sea. Therefore, on shore they are exposed to the same sexual risks as oil company workers. With respect to sexual risks, Female Genital Mutilation is simply another cultural practice which place females at risk for the HIV/AIDS infection. Female Genital Mutilation is the practice of genital cutting which is performed in private within unclean environments with unsterile equipment. The women who have been mutilated are at increased risk of contracting HIV/AIDS either during the process of mutilation due to the use of unclean instruments or during future sexual activity. Regretfully, 28 out of 53 nations in Africa still practice female mutilation in some form or another despite pleas from many human rights organizations regarding its harm. Female Genital Mutilation has a long history as a cultural norm in Africa. In fact, Female Genital Mutilation is a global phenomenon which has claimed its casualties mostly from Africa and countries of the Middle East. It has been estimated that about 135 million of the world's girls and women have undergone genital mutilation while about two million girls a year are at risk of mutilation. Female genital mutilation appears to be a direct reflection of the attitudes, ideologies, and value systems towards the female gender. In other words, the women in Africa lack gender equality, human rights, but most importantly they lack respect. The women of Africa are not respected therefore they are seriously mutilated in an effort to decrease sexual promiscuity. With that said, HIV/AIDS will continue to spread like wild fires if interventions are not put in place to overcome these cultural challenges. Many Africans will need to be made aware of the increased risk of HIV/AIDS associated with their cultural practices and or sexual risk taking behaviors. Therefore, African countries will require treatment and counseling to expose these risks coupled with educational programs that must address each barrier to treatment individually in order to overcome these obstacles.

Principles for Success

The Talented Tenth International, Inc. believes that education will be the driving force against this merciless disease that continues to steal the lives of women and children in record numbers. The Talented Tenth International, Inc. is made up of leaders with a boundless vision for tomorrow. Our primary goal and objective is to guide the masses out of contamination, death, poor educational systems, famine, disease, and poverty.

EDUCATION

The educational system in Africa is in great despair. Many complain that the government should be held responsible for the decline in the country because successive governments have failed totally in the area of providing the basic facilities and resources needed for educational development. Disparagingly, schools in Africa are in desperate need of repair with walls and windows that are broken and classrooms that are in poor condition. In addition to that, schools are overcrowded and sixty students can be seen sitting in one classroom at any given time. Supplies within African schools are scarce and many students share textbooks, desks, computers, and a science lab may only have a total of two microscopes. Laboratory facilities have toilets that are filthy, dangerous, and often not functioning. Libraries are poorly stocked and rarely used, if ever. Most deprecating is the fact that in some parts of Africa there are no classes taught outside the core curriculum. Therefore, children are not introduced to extracurricular activities or subjects such as art, music, dance or drama and oftentimes these subjects are rare or nonexistent. Students in South Africa have reported that "fighting is the only physical activity we do." With that in mind, The Talented Tenth International, Inc. is on a mission to provide an exceptional education that exceeds the educational standards. Our goal is to meet the educational needs of the target population by providing a free education on our grounds. We plan to develop an interactive education through technology, hands on learning, and other types of field experiences. Our education and curriculum will incorporate core competencies coupled with extracurricular activities, and classes in the arts. Our facilities will include state-ofthe art technologies as well as virtual and traditional classroom settings.

Making A Difference with Orphanage, Church, and School

While it is best practice to place children with families sometimes this may not be possible. Unfortunately communities and local churches in sub-Saharan Africa cannot provide for all of the needs of orphaned and vulnerable children. While governments have a responsibility to provide basic services, especially in the areas of health care, education, material assistance, and social protection, many governments in Africa are corrupt and children are not receiving these necessary services. Not to mention the fact that the number of children being orphaned are not only affecting economies within African nations but the number of orphaned children continue to grow.

O

In fact, there are more than 34 million orphans in the region today and some 11 million of them are orphaned by AIDS. Eight out of every 10 children in the world whose parents have died of AIDS live in sub-Saharan Africa. During the last decade, the proportion of children who are orphaned as a result of AIDS rose from 3.5% to 32% and will continue to increase exponentially as the disease spreads unchecked. As a result, the disease is in effect making orphans of a whole generation of children, jeopardizing their health, their rights, their well-being and sometimes their very survival, not to mention the overall development prospects of their countries. To assist in the aid of the overwhelming number of orphans in Africa The Talented Tenth International, Inc. is on a mission to meet the immediate physical

needs of orphans by providing food, clothing, shelter, and medical care. In addition to that, our plan is also to meet the educational needs by providing a free education on the grounds that exceeds educational standards. Our plan is to develop an interactive education through technology, hands on learning, as well as other means. Our education and curriculum will incorporate diversity through a virtual environment as well as through the traditional classroom settings. Our program will also account for children's emotional and psychological needs through faith-based psychological interventions, resources, and counseling. We will provide social support for children from the time they enter our program until discharge. Our holistic approach will be instrumental in creating community-minded citizens and responsible, educated adults.

The Role Of The Church

In these times of great calamity more people around the world are looking to the church than ever before. Historically, the church has played a significant role in the lives of African people. The church has always done more than just meet the spiritual aspects of its congregation. Many people rely on the church for aspects of daily life. However, the survival of African people is so crucial at this time with approximately 6,000 deaths per day from AIDS and 11,000 new HIV infections. The people in Africa continue to perish and families are lost. In Africa the family unit has always been a central theme. Therefore, the church will have a major mission to restore families that have been plagued by the HIV/AIDS crisis. With that in mind, the church may be one of the most important entities in fighting against the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In times past, the church has earned great respect within the community for its passion and action on behalf of those who are weak and vulnerable in society and therefore has the powerful ability to influence individuals, communities, and nations through the word of God. Certainly, it will take a multitude to overcome this merciless disease with no cure that is killing Africans by the millions but perhaps more importantly it will take unity. With unity, nothing will be impossible for the great nation of Africa to overcome. The bible offers real life examples of ordinary people achieving things together through unity. One example in Genesis of people who were building the tower of Babel places the concept of unity into real life application. Specifically, the people got together to build a "stairway to heaven." In the end God says in Genesis 11:6, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them." In this scripture God confirmed that when people are unified in purpose they can accomplish impossible feats, both noble and ignoble. This is why unity in the body of Christ is so important. In this case through unified nations of people the continent can pledge war against HIV/AIDS and win the fight.

GET INVOLVED

Join us in the fight against HIV/AIDS by donating today. HIV/AIDS is destroying nations, communities and families; the children are the most vulnerable. Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by a merciless disease that could claim the parents of over 20 million children by the end of 2010. We are on a mission to establish an orphanage in the top three nations with the highest HIV/AIDS orphan population which includes South Africa, Uganda, and Nigeria.

Upcoming Events

Join us in Capetown South Africa in October 2010 for our First Annual HIV/AIDS Awareness concert Visit us in Philadelphia, PA in December 2010 for our Matters of The Heart Conference as we discuss topics related to foster care from the foster child's perspective and we recruit quality foster parents for the more than 600,000 foster children within the United States. Come to Fresno, CA in May 2011 as we celebrate National Foster care Month in California where over 70% of the foster care population is housed.

The Talented Tenth International, Inc. Quarterly Journal August 2010

The Talented Tenth International, Inc.

6223 Everett St. Suite A Philadelphia, PA 19149 [email protected]

© 2010 The Talented Tenth International, Inc.

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