Nyasha Matogo’s still holds great dreams for her children, in as much as she sees possibility for a future in her heart, despite the painful present situation in her life. A widow, in her early forties, Matogo is HIV positive, confined to her little hut and now partially blind. He two little children in grade 4 & 7 are her daily care-giver. They rotate missing school, so that at least they could go begging in the village and feed their mother. She was placed on treatment for HIV but now she cannot afford to walk to Chitate Clinic 15 km away or bus-fare to Murewa District hospital, from Jakopo Village. They live in Ward 8, Murewa, Zimbabwe.
Rozaria Memorial Trust staff were shocked when they visited her last week after receiving an alert from the community volunteer Pedzisai Fero. Matogo was married and her husband dies a few years ago. She was accused of the death of her husband because she was diagnosed positive when she went for ante-natal care for her last child and came and informed her husband. She was thrown out of the matrimonial home together with her two children. She is desperately poor and lonely. The support group has been providing her with some counselling and social support.
The local Methodist women have come in with some help for the children and have pleaded for waiver of school fees with the Parent/Teachers Association at Magaya Primary school. Rozaria Memorial Trust through its nutrition and food security programme is providing emergency food support to the family, to ensure that they have some basics for a month or so while a long term solution is explored. Matogo’s case is one which demands government social services support, but the government is pleading lack of resources and inability to provide. There not organisations providing wide-scale food related humanitarian assistance in this area of Murewa. It’s hard for Matogo, for the children and for all who seek to held and are also surrounded by poverty themselves.
At this moment, there is high policy discussion for review of the global commitments to HIV and AIDS, with a High Level Meeting planned for June 2011 in New York by the United Nations. This will be preceded by a Civil Society Hearing on 8th of April 2011. Such gatherings must listen the the dreams and aspirations of women like Nyasha Matogo, whose life tells the story of gender discrimination, impact of HIV on children and orphans, inability of the public service systems to respond amidst extreme poverty. Nyasha has human rights, deserves to live a life with dignity, and the same for her children. Community initiatives like RMT must be strengthened, resourced and support, because they reach to the such individuals who may just be a statistics in global policy discourse. Support Nyasha Magodo and her children today, through prayers, gifts or donations.
Published on RMT blog http://www.rozaria-trust.org on 19 March, 2011