This calls for some celebration of sorts. A few years ago, we reported how we were facing so many challenges in battling HIV/Aids. Lack of ARVs, inadequate transportation for PLWHA to reach hospitals, stigma...the list was endless.
The story of Monica is a true reflection of what a positive attitude can do to. She joined our outreach campaign, was diagnosed with the virus but never gave up in her pursuit for a happy life. We provided her with transportation to Kitale district hospital for her dosages of ARVs. We gave her a soft loan to start her own business. We linked her to social support cycles. And we ensouraged her every day.
The annual government report on HIV indicates that HIV prevalence has shot down from 14% to 6% over the previous year. A lot of contributing factors, it says, is the effort by grassroots organizations to sensitize and reach out to PLWHA at the village level.
Although Monica's status has not changed from positive to negative, she is now able to live her life to the fullest. Thanks to being able to access medication.
GEMINI continues to play its role in reaching out to the most vulnerable families in rural areas, where access to medication, nutrition, psycho-social support is minimal. With your support, we will continue to support clients like Monica to enable them enjoy their lives to the maximum.
"I have lived my life to the fullest. I feel that I can still accomplish a lot if given the opportunity. I would like to be at the forefront of crusading for increased budget allocation to community-based groups in their fight against HIV/Aids," says Monica. "With determination, a lot is achievable."
But this doesn't mean the celebration goes on and on and on. With your continued support, we will be able to change the lives of other Monicas, provide them with the much-needed hope.
Thanks for being there for us. Like Monica, we believe your determination will help us achieve a lot!
With a grant from the government, GEMINI was able to reach out to vulnerable youth in 2 slum areas with information, free testing for HIV and other reading materials about HIV. The events were meant to strengthen their decision-making skills and enable them make informed choices.
"I'm glad you people came to this place. We have had so many cases of STDs being reported and with your intervention, we feel the youth will be able to be more careful in making sexual choices," said Petronilla, a local nurse, who was part of the organizing team.
The campaign that will run till end of June, will seek to distribute over 2,000 free condoms, provide counseling to an estimated 7000 youth and provide additional reading materials providing referrals and answering additional information.
"We will be empowering more young people in the coming weeks, strengthening their ability to avoid risky behaviour and linking them with existing services," said Stella, GEMINI Director.
GEMINI would like to extend a heartfelt appreciation to all the friends who have continued to support our work. We will keep you in our prayers and do everything to ensure that you are well-informed of all our progress.
We always look forward to receiving feedback, comments and criticism from each of you. Oh, and the donations, too!
GEMINI has always tried to keep you informed of how your donations are being spent. Every step of the way! The aim is to make you own part of the process and feel actively involved in empowering poor communities.
We thank all of you for your continued support.
After the post-election violence in Kenya, a lot of women/girls were, unfortunately, sexually abused. Most continue to languish in camps, with little medical and psychological support.
With your donations, we responded to the crisis. Now that its over, we need to reach out to all the survivors of sexual violence with confidential, free HIV testing.
We are carrying out a Special Appeal that seeks to mobilize funds to set up a specialized VCT center that will provide women/girls with these services.
But we need you help.
We are kindly requesting you to read the attached newsletter that provides some background information on this very important project.
And we are also requesting you to act and make a donation to any of GEMINI projects to enable us accomplish our goal.
Thanks so much and please, remember, any donation will be highly appreciate.