Sometimes I hear stories that are so sad, they stay with me for a long, long time. And, as time passes, I get more and more adamant that we WILL do something to right the wrong done to the person of whom the story is told. Today, I have such a story for you, of a young man named Rama.
Rama is a jovial 7 year old boy, orphaned after the death of both his parents. He was left under the custody of relatives who later despised him. They developed all ways of disposing of him but couldn't do so. One day, they dumped in a neighborhood far from the family, hoping he'd die or that someone else would take care of him. During that terribly difficult time in his young life, things only got worse. He was hit on the right side parietal bone by a falling coconut which left the little one paralyzed on the left side for a short time, but now, his left arm & leg are weak.
He was collected by a well wisher, a grandmother who volunteered to take care of him together with her three grandchildren. She is widowed and jobless but said she'd take care of Rama - how could she leave him to die or to fend for himself at such a young age? The first thing grandma did was to bring Rama to our clinic in Mombasa, where he was tested. Indeed, he is HIV+, so he receives medical care and medicine free of charge from the clinic where he also attends Kids Club. Despite the weakness on his left side, this young boy is full of life and joy, playing hard and learning everything he can during Kids Club. He looks forward to visiting the clinic for his monthly stash of medicine and easily won everyone's hearts.
One of the most diffcult things for grandma, though, was to pay for Rama's school fees, uniform and shoes, though. She barely had the funds to pay for her grandchildren...how could she add another child to the list of costs? This is where we stepped in again and Rama now doesn't have to worry about missing school, thanks to his fees and costs being covered by folks like you. I tell you, there is nothing better than walking up to the clinic while Kids Club is happening and looking for the kids we've helped and who are in our programs. Whenever I see Rama, I know that I am going to be met by a huge smile and the tightest hug I could ever ask for. He breathes in my neck and I breathe into his and we both know he'll be fine.
If you ever want to meet Rama, let me know and I'll make it happen. We take teams to visit some of our projects and I know grandma, Rama and the other kids would love to see you there. Just drop me a note at tweaver@AFCAids.org and let's dream together of getting you to Mombasa, Kenya to meet Rama and others you've helped.
Grace is an 11 year old girl from the Kiembeni area of Mombasa and has been seen at the Mbungoni, where she goes monthly for checkups and to receive medication. Her mother Rose is also HIV+.
Grace is an active member of the junior youth support group, which meets once a month. This group of kids gets to spend time together with no stigma issues. They enjoy play, a meal, and good time with friends. They alsoreceive education on things like adherence (they must take their medicine even if they are feeling better), disclosure (when do you tell a child they are positive? When does that child share with friends?), stigma and cleanliness. So far, Grace has been adhering well to the drugs, even when she is healthy and feels fine. We trust this will continue!
Grace is in form 4 at her school and she was worried about not being able to continue school because she was behind on her feed. Now, with her school dues paid, she was very grateful for that support and to continue in school. She is a good student, studying and finishing her work on time. She is another child who knows that hereducation and how well she does will affect her ability to leave the cycle of poverty, so she tries very hard to get good marks and to do her studies.
Besides school fees, Grace also benefited from the gift a bed, a mattress and a mosquito net, as she was sleeping on the floor, unprotected. Her mom is receiving trainings on prevention with positives and nutrition and is visited in their home for more counseling sessions to enable them adhere well to treatment. Her mother sells greenvegetables door to door, which is where she gets money to pay for rent and meet other basic needs.
Thank you for supporting Grace!
Furaha is from the Jomvu area in Miritini station and is aged 13 years and is in class 6 at Kwa Jomvu Primary School, thanks to you. She has 4 brothers as follows; Charo who was trained by the AIDS orphans project as a mechanic and is looking for job. John – dropped out of school last year in class 4. Jumaa who is in class 2 at the same school with Furaha and Joshua, who is in class 1 at Nuru Academy. The 2 sisters are Tabu who is married and Asha who is in class 2 in the same school with Furaha.
Furaha is HIV positive and taking her drugs from Mikindani Clinic (supported by AFCA) .Her mother Jumwa Katana is a widow and is also attending clinic at Mikindani because she is HIV+ as well.
Furaha has been very active in the senior kids support group at the clinic. She has benefitted with education given in the group like adherence, disclosure and personal health .She keeps herself neat and her work is organized. Heradherence is also good and she has disclosed her status to her family members at large. Her school attendance has been quite well and her performance also. Early this year her remedial dues were paid and her family was happy about it. The teachers are helping her to catch up with the hard subjects so that she can perform well in the exams. Her family is staying in their own house and has benefitted with trainings on nutrition, education on minor illnesses and how to maintain their environment. They were provided with mosquito nets to prevent themselves from malaria.
Furaha would not have a future were it not for AFCA and donors who've taken her on and who've helped her get back to school. With little income, Furaha's mom could not afford to send all her children to school, so the gift of education is huge for Furaha. This is why she takes her classes serioulsy and why she is determined to excel. Watch out for her - she is going to do something amazing one day!
I first met Benson seven years ago, when he was 11 years old. Now, a young man of 18, he has finished high school and is aiming to attend classes so he can become a mechanic. I am so very, very proud of Benson! He is HIV+, but has never allowed that diagnosis to stop him from achieving his dreams.
We sat down together this summer to chat about dreams and aspirations. We were in his house in a corner of a slum in Kenya. There, he smiled and told me that he is good with his hands and that he can fix just about anything. He wants to put that ability to work as a mechanic so he can earn some money to support himself. He dreams of owning his own place one day, of getting married, of getting out of the slums. He quickly told me that he doesn't want to marry anytime soon, though...he knows that will slow him down at this time and he simply wants to be responsible and to have a little money saved before he makes a commitment of that type.
The reason I am telling you about Benson is that he finished school thanks to you and your donations. He is looking forward to a good future as an educated young man because of you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
We can't say that enough, as you've just changed the course of a person's history!
On Benson's behalf,
I am so excited to announce that a new family will receive help with school fees, uniforms, shoes, books and a school bag for each child. These children below to Penina Mwende and they are so excited that they have been selected to receive this aid. It really is amazing to me that children get so happy to have the opportunity to attend school, something we take for granted in USA.
Another child (Sharlet) will be able to attend school, too, because her school fees will be caught up when AFCA, through generous donors like you, sends the funds needed to clear her account. Her mother works and is struggling to pay her fees, which is fabulous. With this little help, we'll catch her up and Sharlet can remain in school, learning and dreaming of becoming a teacher.
Thank you, friends, for your continued support of these little ones!
On October 17th, all donations made through this website will be matched at 30%! Please make a donation to help these children and we'll add more kids to the list of those who receive help with school fees.
Thanks for being part of what we do!
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