GOOD NEWS: Believers at work in the world today – Princess Zulu Is a Woman 'Called by God' to Speak Out Against HIV/AIDS,from World Vision International
Princess Zulu has traveled the world to educate people about AIDS. She recently participated in the United Nations UNAIDS tour that visited several U.S. cities. Princess Kasune Zulu is a young mother on a mission. Princess is her first name, not a title, but it's the right name for someone with her grace and warmth, and her concern for her people. She's out to fight HIV/AIDS. And her fight is personal.
Princess is an AIDS orphan, and she is HIV-positive. But she is a strong voice for hope. She has become an international spokesperson and AIDS educator for World Vision's Hope Initiative, a nationwide campaign to mobilize Christians and the general public to fight the global HIV/AIDS pandemic.
HIV/AIDS is predicted to wipe out half the people in her home country of Zambia in southern Africa. Worldwide, 15 million children have already lost one or both parents to AIDS. Unless more is done, there will be 25 million of these children by 2010.
The first person to die in her family was her baby sister. Princess herself was young and didn't understand. Then her mother became ill and died 2 years later. A few months after that, her father died.
At the time, neighbors assumed the strange disease was caused by witchcraft. No one was talking about AIDS, or how to prevent it.
She was only 14 years old when she became the head of the household, left in charge of her brothers and sisters. And like many young girls in Africa who are trapped in poverty and needing to survive, she married an older man.
She and her husband later discovered they were both HIV-positive. She knew the stigma of admitting this in public, but she said, "If we keep quiet, so many more people will die." She sensed God was calling her to tell others about HIV/AIDS.
At first her church and community did not want her to talk about it. But she persisted, and soon they came around to supporting her.
"God had called me to be a voice to my brothers and sisters, and not only my biological brothers and sisters, but to the entire continent of Africa."
She has been taking anti-retroviral drugs, and today looks healthy, though is often tired. She has two daughters, and they are HIV free.
Her work to defeat HIV/AIDS includes:
Hosting a nationally broadcast radio show in Zambia called Positive Living.
Posing as a hitchhiker in southern Africa so she can warn truck drivers about unsafe sex with prostitutes.
Establishing a community school for AIDS orphans.
Meetings with world leaders; she spoke with President George W. Bush and pushed for the U.S. to pledge $15 billion to combat AIDS.
Helping World Vision mobilize people to fight HIV/AIDS and care for its victims in the developing world.
Princess Zulu is living proof there is hope: life does not end when you are HIV-positive. She has a positive story to tell about her life.
Hear Princess Zulu on World Vision Radio