By Samantha Ritter
This is a group that, despite being at the epicenter of the AIDS epidemic, is often neglected by policymakers and healthcare implementers.
The Cradle Project, hosted at the Washington Studio School and sponsored by the Firelight Foundation and Aid for Africa, displays mostly empty cradles created by artists from across the U.S.
The cradles represent diverse origins and are made of a number of different materials - from fabrics reminiscent of traditional Nigerian masks to debris from Hurricane Katrina. The colorful cradles are displayed in front of black and white photos of African children, creating a stark contrast to symbolize the lost potential of children orphaned by AIDS.
Of the 18 million children who have become orphans due to the AIDS epidemic, it is estimated that 14.8 million of them live in sub-Saharan Africa. Children infected with and affected by HIV experience life-altering hurdles - including displacement, lack of education, lack of economic and food security, stigma, and discrimination.
The Firelight Foundation, an early supporter of EGPAF’s international programs, has brought The Cradle Project to the nation’s capitol to inspire visitors to action. Providing medical, financial, and psychosocial support to children affected by the epidemic is crucial to create an AIDS-free generation.
The Washington Studio School has extended the showing of The Cradle Project through August 22, and admission is free.
Washington Studio School: 2129 S Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008
July 18 to August 22, Monday-Friday 10:00am-4:00pm;
Saturday and Sunday on July 21, 22, 27, and 28 from 11:00am-5:00pm.