Maua Methodist Hospital, Meru
MAUA AIDS ORPHANS PROGRAMME
Director Stanley Gitari
This a truly holistic programme of care offering hope and support to over 1,700 orphans through feeding, education, counselling, health care, ARV drugs, provision of uniforms, building shelters and enabling child-carers to provide for their siblings.
Through their comprehensive outreach these children and young people gain the skills to reach their potential and be independent enabling them to stay safely together as a family, protecting them from abuse and ill-treatment. It offers the children a positive alternative to running away to a life on the streets.
Another branch of the programme supports surviving AIDS widows who form self-support groups for micro-finance schemes, physical and emotional support of each other, and care for one another’s children during sickness. Many of these widows are managing to live longer with HIV because health care and drugs are more readily available through the hospital outreach clinics and support of their peers. This in turn means that they are able to care for their children for much longer, so delaying the time when they will be orphaned and giving them the chance of education and life skills.
Karibuni Trust sends a grant each term to this programme which has support from many agencies.
MERU NORTH DISABILITY COMMUNITY CENTRE
Director Melchizedek Ouma
This is another self-help group of adults and children with disabilities. Our emphasis is on the children in the programme and we have been involved in completing a classroom and re-furbishing others for children with special needs. It is exciting to see children in school and making progress both socially and educationally, who would otherwise be hidden in a mud house with no stimulation and no knowledge of ‘outside’. Many of the children are able to progress to Vocational Training and learn a skill to eventually earn some money and be seen to be ‘worthwhile’ people.
We heard of one girl who was unable to walk following an accident. She was given a wheelchair, but unfortunately there were only two ways out of the village, one across a stream in a deep ditch, impassable for her wheelchair or a detour of several miles over rough tracks – impossible to travel to school each day by that route.
The DCC provided the materials for the village people to build a bridge across the stream. Suddenly everyone recognised her worth; they could all take the short route across the stream and save miles of extra walking for water, the hospital and town!
Karibuni Trust sends a grant every term to this programme which has support from many agencies.