HIV/AIDS Livelihood Support

Her husband withered away in illness, leaving her with five small children. She struggles to make ends meet as she too is infected with HIV, often too sick to work, and her mud home is starting to crumble. What hope is there for her family?

A widow in Nyanza whose home is falling apartWidowChild whose father died from HIV/AIDs
 
When CMA began reaching into the Nyanza province in Kenya in 1993, the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate was about 35 percent – meaning 1 in 3 people were infected, and the disease was widely misunderstood as a sort of curse. Hospitals were overcrowded to the point of the bedridden being sent home, pastors were heavily burdened with the increasing number of orphans, and widows were in desperate need of support.
 
We sent in a team to survey the knowledge and attitudes of the community, and upon returning, began implementing the Community Leaders Educated AIDS Response (CLEAR) project. By training existing community leaders to disseminate knowledge about HIV/AIDS, the people were introduced to the truth about the disease, how to prevent it, counseling techniques for those infected, and how to care for the sick through home-based care. As a result of our efforts and those of other organizations, the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate dropped by nearly 20 percent.
 
Currently, our CLEAR program focuses on improving the lives of widows surviving HIV/AIDS, their children, and orphans under their care.
 

Units of Hope

 
When a woman in East Africa loses her husband, she faces more than just heartbreak and trauma – she has lost her means of supporting her family, and is often outcast from her community. We have encountered numerous widows struggling to make ends meet and living in dilapidated homes – and through our Units of Hope project, have provided 66 widows with a fresh start, in the form of a new home with a roof catchment and water tank system and a bathroom.
 
A 'Unit of Hope' - home with water tank, bathroom, surrounded by crops the widow has managed to raiseA widow smiles with her young daughterA widow, Adah, and her family stand outside their 'Unit of Hope'
 
Taking things a step further, we offer these widows encouragement and training so they can live better lives – helping them get connected in a local support group, teaching them how to raise crops for food and income, and equipping them with the tools they need to support their own families.
 

The Goat Project

 

Beatrice with her goat, ElizabethA goat provided to a widow by CMAA widow milks her goat
 

When you think of goats, you might think of just milk or meat – but to a widow in East Africa, the gift of a goat means so much more. Not only does goat milk provide nutrition that helps a widow and her children stay strong, but surplus milk can be sold to her neighbors to provide income for her family. Goat manure can be used as fertilizer to help a garden of vegetables grow more bountifully, providing another source of food and income.
 
CMA’s Goat Project provides vulnerable widows with a goat, along with the training to properly raise the animal and utilize all of the goat’s benefits. When a goat kids, female offspring are given to another widow in need, and male offspring are raised to be sold or traded. Through this process, widows join together to help others in need, giving each other support and the means to continue on.
 

We need your help

 
There are many widows and orphans affected by HIV/AIDS that still need our help! Consider how you and your family, friends, and church congregation might contribute to provide a Unit of Hope or goat to a family in need. Not only will your donation give a new life to a woman struggling to overcome devastating circumstances, but you will provide her children an escape from poverty and despair, giving them hope for the future.
 
 

 

Read more stories about our HIV/AIDS Livelihood Support on our blog.

 

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HIV/AIDS Livelihood Support
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