Thursday, July 26, 2012

January 2012

CHILDREN’S VILLAGE For the past two months a 17-year old girl named Jasia has lived at the Children’s Village while she waits to berth her first child. At the beginning of January doctors here said Jasia was seven and a half months pregnant. Jasia is mentally disabled, and is HIV positive. Jasia’s older sister (Eliza, 20) is taking care of her now, as their parents have thrown both of them out of the family for having children out of marriage. This is a sad reality for girls in their situation as both of them have been taken advantage of by men in the village. On January 20th Jasia went into labour, and was ready to deliver. Children’s village manager, Jenny Peck and Eliza took Jasia to Mdabulo where they met Nurse Midwife Paulina Visulu, and the three of them delivered Jasia’s baby together! Jenny is the mother of two, and Eliza has one two year old, but this was the first birth for them to witness in person. Communications with Jasia during the labour was difficult, but after about an hour, Emily was born at 2.3 kilos, and has since been taken care of by Jasia and Eliza, with help from the mothers at the Children’s village. Eliza was so grateful for a healthy birth, and has been thanking God since Emily came into this world. Eliza is planning on building a house in Kidete village where she can live with Jasia and their children. We are happy for this family that they get some joyous news at the end of the otherwise difficult path they have lived. Toni is a 4-month-old boy from the village of Mlevelwa. He joined us as well this month, along with his 19-year-old mother. Mama Toni (Justina Mtende) is currently taking sewing lessons from our resident seamstress, and we hope this will be the catalyst for a full sewing class that could start this year! Mama Toni is sewing with her teacher every day, and eventually will start her own business, which will help her support her child. We’re glad her story will have a happy ending. The children at the children’s village continued their community service this month. It was sad to see the passing of Seti Mdalingwa this month. Seti was an HIV positive man who was suffering from debilitating cancerous sores. The home based care volunteers in the area cared for Seti in the last few months of his life. Hundreds of people came to Seti’s funeral, and many gave their appreciation and thanks to the NGO, and to the volunteers for caring for their community. Construction of House number one (the final orphans’ home) is going on really well. All of the exterior walls, and most of the interior walls are now complete! We are nearly ready for the ‘ring beam’ level, and after that, roofing will begin. We are hoping for construction to be complete by the end of April. After completion, all housing will be finished and a major accomplishment will be achieved! COMMUNITY OUTREACH Milk Formula The Milk Powder Program is going strongly and our example case, Shamira, is up to 3.86 kilos. This month 6 new babies joined the program, and we now have 37 families enrolled in the program. We received some good news regarding this program as well- funding has been found that will give some security to the program for the next few years! We are excited about this development, as we will get to see the impact of the program now without worry of becoming unable to continue due to lack of funds. Bibi’s Houses (Care Homes) The Bibi’s houses project has been a bit quiet recently, as construction has been complete for some time. Decisions on how the facility will be best used have taken quite a while to be realized. Everyone wants this to be a valued resource to the community. Three homes have been built on land donated by our very own Treda Pius (Mama Ivan) and the community will decide who will live in these houses. They will be selecting those most in need of shelter. This month, the NGO took its final steps in turning over this project to the community. A meeting was held at the Bibi’s house complex to discuss forming a committee that will manage this project for the village of Igoda. The Village Executive Officer (VEO), the Chairman of the village, a house guardian from the Children’s Village, Geoff Knight and Jenny Peck from the NGO, and members of two existing committees all attended the event- 15 people in all. The leaders from the orphaned and vulnerable children committee, as well as the committee for people living with HIV, brought local experience to the meeting, as each member has first hand experience in caring for those most in need. The attendees have formed a specific committee to decide how the Bibi’s house complex will be used, and each member has ideas of who can benefit from this service right away. It was decided that it may not necessarily just be the elderly who live in the complex, but the service may be extended to others who may need temporary emergency shelter. The committee is coincidentally made up of many people whom the NGO has helped get out of poverty, and now they are wanting to ‘pay it forward’ and help others who are in need of assistance. EDUCATION Igoda Community Hall The village itself used the Igoda Community Hall a number of times this month. First, the district representative in Parliament, Mendradi Kigola, came to address the village of Igoda and surrounding area, and promised to help the development of the community by donating pieces of iron roofing to primary schools in the area. Secondly, the two committees for people living with HIV/AIDS in Igoda village (total 62 people in the committees) met for three days at the Hall to receive education supplied by leaders from a private Hospital (Lugoda) on how to manage money as a registered group through savings and loans. The lauded Bibi and Babu chai events happened on the 2nd and 25th of the month, and the big event this month organized by Titus Nyunza and Treda Pius was a seminar on proper food and medication for those living with HIV. Two medical professionals from the area came to teach about proper foods, and adherence counseling to over 300 people who attended. This seminar further helped the community learn more about this disease, thus banishing stigma even further from our community. We are happy to see the community make use of this great resource!

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