Splashing out for HIV/AIDS orphans

HIV/AIDS orphans are to benefit from funds raised during one of South Africa's premier sporting events.

Organisers of this year's Dusi canoe marathon are holding an on-line auction, proceeds of which will go towards helping HIV/AIDS orphans living in the KwaZulu-Natal province that hosts the marathon.

By Thursday, the auction had already raised US $5,000, Candice Smith, co-ordinator of the Starfish Greatheart Foundation that supports HIV/AIDS orphans, told the UN news service PlusNews. "The funds raised by the auction will be used for school fees, uniforms and stationery for children affected by HIV/AIDS in Kwa-Zulu Natal's Valley of a Thousand Hills area," said Smith.

"Additional funds will go towards establishing a centre in the valley to support AIDS orphans by providing recreational facilities as well as food and education after the children's most pressing needs are met," she added.