Jan 29, 2021

MY DREAMS ARE COMING ALONG

James (not real name), the last of 10 children, lost his dad at the age of 3 to an HIV related illness. His mother later died in 2009 when she was shortly diagnosed with HIV. At the age of 10, while James was in school, the headteacher knew about his family, and since he was one of the best performing students yet struggling with tuition, he was registered under an organization Compassion International. Compassion International is a Christian humanitarian aid child sponsorship organization dedicated to the long-term development of children living in poverty around the world. The registration procedure was a success, but the organization needed to know every child’s HIV status in registration before they began school. James was confirmed as HIV positive.

James, however, was not disclosed to immediately, he was just started on medication. While living with his sister, he was persistent in taking the medication but kept asking why the medication dose was not getting finished. Due to the endless questions, his sister referred him to one of her counsellor friends living with HIV. The disclosure process was a total success. During the counselling session, He also made a friend but, unfortunately, he passed on in 2014, leaving him in this lonely world alone.

He then withdrew himself in self-stigma because he thought he was the only one taking medication which led to adherence struggles causing consistent illnesses. This forced them to seek medical attention at a nearby clinic, Alive Medical Services. When James came to AMS, he was attended to by one of AMS’ health workers Martin who was disclosed to by the sister about the situation and he advised them to transfer into AMS care as he told them about the comprehensive services offered at AMS.

“Musawo Martin told us about the services offered here at AMS, especially HIV services which I needed most, so we decided to transfer in all the way from Jinja, my hometown.”

He then joined AMS where he was introduced to the famous Victor’s Club for PLHIV which helped him restore his dreams and he got to make new friends who were just like him. He is forever grateful to the AMS staff who have held his hand from the time he joined the facility.

He is now a peer educator at AMS where this has been given the opportunity to share his story with the young people and help his fellow youth live a positive-positive life which relieves him from self-stigma and aspires to become a Psychologist where he hungers to help nurture young people in society irrespective of their HIV status.

 

Oct 22, 2020

Life gets better with a smile!

Rachel with her Jjajja and AMS members
Rachel with her Jjajja and AMS members

“My name is Rachel (not real name), I used to live with jjajja in Salaama but I now live at FoodStep Uganda in Entebbe. I am not certain of my age because I have never celebrated any birthday ever, but jjajja says I am about 11 years old, that is all. She never tells when I was born, possibly because she does not remember. 

Jjajja and I did not have enough food, and we never used to eat well, basically, it was posho with beans or silverfish “mukene” which was not always sufficient. Sometimes we went hungry for days and yet we were on daily medication. It would get very depressing when we did not have food to eat. This caused my Viral load to go up hence never suppressing making it easy for me to get many illnesses and infections. In July 2020, I was not well which led to admission for over two weeks. I thought I was going to die.

The health workers at the clinic got interested in why I was not getting discharged from the centre. Then came aunty Winnie (a pharmacy attendant) and Peace (a peer educator) who wanted to get to the bottom and realised I wasn't having enough food and took it upon themselves to make sure I ate the right food during my stay at the centre. They then linked me to Foodstep Uganda, a home where I can get the health and physical guidance to live a healthy life. At Foodstep Uganda they will be able to provide the services I need because my grandmother cannot.

After consulting my grandmother and gaining consent for the support, I officially joined Food Steps Uganda on the 30th of July 2020.

At Food Steps Uganda, I have met so many people, aunty Aisha, aunty Annette, papa, mama. Everyone is nice, friendly and we even eat well. The food is really nice all the time, especially my favourite, matooke and rice. The best part is the home-schooling part and I love it a lot, I know that if school begins, I will be able to join school since I can at least write my name.” 

Ever since Rachel joined FoodStep Uganda, she is happy and healthy. She takes her medication without any fear of hunger.  When she came back to the clinic, the girl who could barely answer to a simple question like “How are you?'' is now ready to respond to all questions with a smile on her face.

Oct 22, 2020

Life gets better with a smile!

Rachel with her Jjajja and members from AMS
Rachel with her Jjajja and members from AMS

“My name is Rachel (not real name), I used to live with jjajja in Salaama but I now live at FoodStep Uganda in Entebbe. I am not certain of my age because I have never celebrated any birthday ever, but jjajja says I am about 11 years old, that is all. She never tells when I was born, possibly because she does not remember. 

Jjajja and I did not have enough food, and we never used to eat well, basically, it was posho with beans or silverfish “mukene” which was not always sufficient. Sometimes we went hungry for days and yet we were on daily medication. It would get very depressing when we did not have food to eat. This caused my Viral load to go up hence never suppressing making it easy for me to get many illnesses and infections. In July 2020, I was not well which led to admission for over two weeks. I thought I was going to die.

The health workers at the clinic got interested in why I was not getting discharged from the centre. Then came aunty Winnie (a pharmacy attendant) and Peace (a peer educator) who wanted to get to the bottom and realised I wasn't having enough food and took it upon themselves to make sure I ate the right food during my stay at the centre. They then linked me to Foodstep Uganda, a home where I can get the health and physical guidance to live a healthy life. At Foodstep Uganda they will be able to provide the services I need because my grandmother cannot.

After consulting my grandmother and gaining consent for the support, I officially joined Food Steps Uganda on the 30th of July 2020.

At Food Steps Uganda, I have met so many people, aunty Aisha, aunty Annette, papa, mama. Everyone is nice, friendly and we even eat well. The food is really nice all the time, especially my favourite, matooke and rice. The best part is the home-schooling part and I love it a lot, I know that if school begins, I will be able to join school since I can at least write my name.”

Ever since Rachel joined FoodStep Uganda, she is happy and healthy. She takes her medication without any fear of hunger.  When she came back to the clinic, the girl who could barely answer to a simple question like “How are you?'' is now ready to respond to all questions with a smile on her face.

 
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