Thursday, November 12, 2009

A full life

As ADRA’s, LEFAM Project is currently preparing for its exit on 31st January 2010, the ADRA team and community partners continues with interventions in HIV&AIDS prevention, Food Security, Community Home Based Care Providers’ services, Psychosocial support to HIV affected families, Community Based Organizations strengthening, Nutrition demonstrations/trainings and Community Dialogue Sessions. These have positively impacted communities in general and individual families.

Picture: Represents a family supported by an ADRA project but not the family and situation of the story.

Anna (not real name), 27 years old is married to Chimwemwe (not real name) with 2 children: a girl 7 years, and a boy 4 years old.

This family stays in Mikundi at the trading center. Mikundi is one of the 4 project sites in Mchinji district.

In an interview with Anna, she reported that on 10th October 2004, both her and her husband tested HIV positive and their lives experienced episodes of illnesses and this greatly affected their family life, household income and community participation.

In 2005 the husband ventured into a small scale business. He and Anna joined and opened up a small canteen where they bake and sale bread. The problem during this time was that they could barely cover the costs for their medication. This continued until when the ADRA project came to their area in January 2007.

Anna developed an interest in voluntary services and joined the project as a Community Facilitator. Despite her sero- positive status, Anna’s curiosity grew as she continued attending meetings and trainings conducted by ADRA LEFAM staff in the area. She is one of the CHBC Providers trained by LEFAM. The more she attended these forums the more she gathered knowledge and skills that are being translated into meaningful service.

She learnt about: HIV&AIDS prevention, Food Security activities, psychosocial services,

participated in nutrition demonstrations and Community Dialogue Sessions and meetings conducted by Community Facilitators supervised by Community Worker at the site, among other things.

With great enthusiasm Anna shared her experiences with her husband and started planning positively. No sooner had she shared this with her husband than they jointly planned for the improvement of their small scale business as well as their health status.

According to her responses upon the interview conducted, Anna and her spouse are doing very well in their business. Apart from baking and selling bread, they are also frying and selling chips (Irish potatoes) at the trading center at a very profitable note. She reported that they are making a great deal in their business transaction. When further interrogated she mentioned how much they get per day as follows:

For Irish potato chips, they make K 2,500 to K3, 500 per day and for the bread bakery they make K2, 000 to K2, 500 per day as well. Their family is very happy and healthy.

Besides this business transaction, Idah and her husband are one of the most industrious farmers in the area. They use knowledge gained through ADRA and produce compost manure, and have a vegetable garden which is vibrant to date.

“This is all because of the ADRA LEFAM project that has given all the knowledge and skills in both food security and positive health living with the HIV. My husband and I are living very happy and physically strong. All our domestic chores are done by us and there is no more time for sickness any more.” Remarked Anna.

She is one of the most active Community Facilitators in the area. To them time for illness is a bygone.

Information collected and written by:Watson Chikopa (District Coordinator Liaison Officer)

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