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Impact Stories: A life of hope and normalcy for People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) – Part 2

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The Kenya Economic Development Human Advancement Project (KEDHAP) is the development, peacebuilding, and relief arm of the Kenya Mennonite Church in the Diocese of Kisumu East. Thanks to YOUR support, KEDHAP has steadily grown and now serves thousands of participants through a wide range of programs in impoverished rural areas.

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KEDHAP’s primary work is in Female Empowerment, Education, Community Development, Health Education, Peace-making & Reconciliation, Food Security & Income Generation, and Leadership Development. A noteworthy project is KEDHAP’s assistance to People living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA), wherein KEDHAP provides food for those unable to work or grow food, and seeds and other materials for those who can grow their own food.

The PLWHA program has been community-driven from its inception in 2000. By talking openly about the effects of HIV/AIDS on families, creating awareness, and supporting those who have declared their status, KEDHAP has helped reduce the stigma of the disease and encourage responsible behavior.

A Holistic Approach to Supporting the PLWHAs

KEDHAP works towards improving health (and access to care) through various activities such as providing economically disadvantaged students (especially girls and orphans) with access to secondary education, providing deserving female students with sanitary supplies to allow them to attend school all month-long, supporting orphaned and vulnerable children, improving hygiene practices and education of such in schools, facilitating access to Comprehensive Care Clinics (CCC) for PLWHAs, enabling access to information, enabling capacity-building for KEDHAP-affiliated groups, providing subsidized food and seeds to those in need, and providing alternative options for healthy food through the promotion of organic farming.

Ogen CCC adolescents attending a group therapy meeting.
Adolescents members after receiving Maize and Cash at the Ogen CCC

Stories of Impact: Love, Dignity, and a Sense of Normalcy

One of KEDHAP’s goals is to follow up on the adolescents under their support, understand the impact of their support on these children’s lives and listen to their stories. These impact stories focus on the impact of the support given to beneficiaries through the PLWHA’s Ministry. Read the stories of adolescents who are members of the ‘Support Groups’ in Tamu and Ogen Comprehensive Care Clinics. (previously published here).

KEDHAP currently has 78 HIV+ adolescents who are given support monthly in these two facilities. Aside from a collaborative effort involving the government to provide ARV medicine, KEDHAP offers transport, maize, counseling, and seeds to adolescents. We are sharing the stories of the most vulnerable individuals under KEDHAP’s support, who have been enabled to live a life of dignity and normalcy.

Rosemary: Looking Forward to a Hopeful Future

…because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist them. The one who was dying blessed me; I made the widow’s heart sing. – Job 29: 12-13 As Rosemary read this verse, tears rolled down her cheek and fell on the pages of her Bible. She wiped them off and knelt on the cold hard floor in prayer.  Now there was hope. There was a purpose amid all her pain..

Rosemary is an eleven-year-old adolescent diagnosed with HIV in grade 4. She gets her ARV medicine from Ogen CCC. Rosemary’s story is one of struggles and loneliness; she is taken care of by a single mother. They live in a rented house in Ogen. Rosemary’s mother makes charcoal which she sells at the local shopping center for food and rent. 

Rosemary's family is blessed by a home visit by KEDHAP staff.
Head of the CCC, Rosemary, her mother and a KEDHAP staff at their humble home.
Raised by a single mom, Rosemary hopes to change the course of her future with KEDHAP's help.

Rosemary says, “We use the Maize provided by KEDHAP to prepare nutritious meals like porridge or Ugali, which gives me strength to go to school. The transport money sponsored by them enables me to reach the facility on time without skipping my appointments and take my medicines on time. KEDHAP gives us seeds to plant crops, which we eat or sell at the market for money. Through a distribution program in school, KEDHAP has also given me pads and pants. The staff encourages us to work hard and adhere to taking our drugs on time as instructed by the doctors so we can live a healthy life with HIV. KEDHAP has also brought us a package of essential groceries and supplies to show their love. When I grow up, I want to be a teacher to earn money and help my mother stop working with charcoal. Kindly continue to help us. God bless you all”.

The staff encourages us to work hard and adhere to taking our drugs on time as instructed by the doctors so we can live a healthy life with HIV.

Rosemary, HIV+ Patient at Ogen CCC Tweet

How can I help?

Thanks to your involvement, these children will grow up with dignity and be empowered to lead healthier lives.

KEDHAP has impacted the lives of hundreds of PLWHAs thanks to YOUR support and encouragement. Your gift can be the difference between a life of fear and a life of empowerment for many vulnerable people like Jerusa!

Are you ready to change a child’s life? Give a gift TODAY here.

Will you give Rosemary a few more smiles?

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