December 2001 – February 2002
Sue Hedden is an English-speaking South African who has lived in KwaZulu-Natal most of her life. The former high-school teacher of Zulu was living at the Buddhist Retreat Centre, in lxopo, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, when two employees died from the AIDS virus. She and the Centre’s spiritual teachers, Kittisaro and Thanissara, found that young people in the neighboring Chibini community were “dying like flies.” Funerals seven days a week meant there was no time and money for social gatherings. Sue – through the new Woza Moya Project – is now starting to help people to cope with the AIDS situation.
KwaZulu-Natal is the worst affected province in South Africa in terms of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Official figures put the infection rate at 30 per cent, but many believe it to be closer to 40 percent and progressing rapidly. Several hospitals are running at 120 percent capacity because of AIDS. They are sending people home to die because they simply cannot accommodate them…aids, socially engaged buddhism, south africa