Contributing to breaking the cycle of poverty and AIDS in rural Kenyan villages, SOTENI International AIDS Barefoot Doctors (ABDs) are community members/health workers who provide home-based care, group therapy and education to people living with HIV/AIDS in our three SOTENI Villages of Hope.
In recent months, SOTENI ABDs accomplished the following:
- Increasing the number of HIV/AIDS support groups in SOTENI Villages of HOPE from 140 to 169, thus adding 828 new members and serving 2,535 people living with HIV/AIDS
- Distributing an additional 324,722 P&G Purifier of Water packets in partnership with the P&G Children's Safe Drinking Program, reaching nearly 19,000 people total
- Refocusing support for people with HIV/AIDS from large group settings to individualized outreach due to the arrival of COVID-19
In addition, SOTENI International took decisive actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as:
- Partnering with the Kenyan Ministry of Health and Amref Health Africa to open Amref’s customized learning platform for ABDs to access the most recent, local COVID-19 information. The ABDs in turn use this information to inform and educate 2,535 people living with HIV/AIDS served by SOTENI, and by extension their families, totaling nearly 19,000 people
- Working with community leaders to ensure there is no disruption in the distribution of P&G water purification packets and supplies, with continued support from P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program
- Installing handwashing equipment in SOTENI Village of Hope Mbakalo and SOTENI Village of Hope Ugunja, and working to do so in SOTENI Village of Hope Mituntu
- Providing ABDs with personal protective equipment, including masks and gloves, as well as comprehensive prevention training from Dr. Victoria Wells Wulsin, SOTENI International co-founder and epidemiologist [insert picture]
SOTENI International strives to continue protecting and preparing our Villages of Hope in this time of crisis. If you give to our COVID-19 Relief Fund, your support will go directly to these critical needs:
- Providing basic protections such as gloves, masks and hand sanitizer
- Expand life-saving education and communication on the importance of hand hygiene, social distancing and self-quarantining
- Upgrading mobile devices and increasing funds for airtime and transport for ABDs, who are traveling greater distances through very remote parts of Kenya in order to reach their clients individually
Message from Executive Director
On behalf of SOTENI International, we thank you for your continued support of our AIDS Barefoot Doctors and SOTENI Villages of Hope. You are an integral part in sustaining SOTENI's outreach to reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS and improve the lives of those affected by it to ultimately create positive change for individuals and communities living with HIV/AIDS in poverty with the hope of brighter and promising future.
In these difficult times, our collective action for global health and security is more important than ever. SOTENI, as a community health organization serving those who are immunocompromised, has a critical role to play in the fight against COVID-19. Over the past month, with help from supporters like you, we have been able to provide:
- basic PPE: gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer;
- continued visits to families from our SOTENI AIDS Barefoot Doctors who will not just provide the regular monthly supply of water purification packets for clean drinking water from P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program, but also expand life-saving education and communication on the importance of hand washing hygiene, social distancing and self-quarantining; and
- increased funds for airtime and transport for our barefoot doctors who are traveling greater distances -- through very remote parts of Kenya -- in order to reach their clients one to one, instead of in larger support groups.
Your continued generosity sustains SOTENI in our unwavering commitment to bring hope, healing and strength to some of the world's most vulnerable citizens.
Wishing you and your family health and safety during this time.
As always, we are because you are.
PS: People are noticing the great work we are doing with support from people like you. Below is a link to a major feature article from the June issue of Cincinnati Magazine featuring on-the-ground reporting from Kenya by correspondent Bob Driehuas on SOTENI. The piece really brings into stark relief the challenges and opportunities that exist in furthering our mission.