Be the Cause

Another letter from the Akado Clinic

Please receive kind regards and best wishes from Akado ladies. It is with lots of thanks and gratitude that we wish to express our heartfelt appreciation for your organization’s humanitarian aid and life saving support to desperate and needy orphans below the age of five from the poorest marginal child headed households/families in Mbita.

Note: If you are interested in the lastest news about this project go to http://www.bethecause.org/hopeheartandlove

Our meeting with Jane, the Project Co-ordinator was brief but very informative, educative and impressive. I sincerely learnt a lot from our short discussion with her. She was very welcoming and friendly and I would wish to express a lot of thanks to William (Vickie’s driver) for his kindness and support. He took his time to take me all the way to Ngong (WEEP’s office) and back to town with the nets. May God bless him and Jane.

Vickie was very helpful to me though it was not possible to meet her personally. We talked over the phone and she managed to arrange for transportation and other things. I found her support very important as it easened my problem of reaching there by public means. Thanks to her!

I found WEEP Project very innovative and inspiring. Such a project can greatly help in reducing stigmatization, victimization, the risk and vulnerability of widows and orphans in regard to HIV/AIDS. It promotes self-reliance and improves the income status of many widows who could undergo untold suffering.

Like in Mbita, where many helpless widows are forced to succumb to sexual demands of fishermen with whom they are compelled to “trade sex for fish”, I found the WEEP Project worth replication here in Mbita. The project, in my view is also relevant in promotion and enhancement of widows’ human rights since it empowers the post-test group (widows) in their fight against repugnant cultural traditions which expose many, especially in Mbita as easy targets of sexual exploitation i.e. widow inheritance, widow cleansing among others.

I was impressed to learn that the widows can support themselves and improve care for their families without having to rely on relatives. This is very important in reducing stigmatization associated with the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

WEEP project can also greatly enhance psychotherapy through sharing of experiences and problems and possibly finding solutions.

Akado carried out a household survey in January 2005 on HIV/AIDS, Malaria, water and sanitation in our project area where 13% (1,844.96) were found to be orphans while 5% 709.6) were widows. The survey further indicated that only 51% (7,237) out of 14,192 were using mosquito nets. Majority of those not using nets were found to be widows, orphans and the elderly from the poorest and marginalized households.

In brief, within this first quarter, the nets provided by “Be the Cause” are going to be distributed to 100 desperate orphans we are currently supporting. Later on, we shall seek means of supporting the large number of children under 5 years and pregnant mothers and the elderly in our project are who are at greatest risk of catching malaria.

During the distribution of the nets, Akado will invite all the beneficiaries (care providers and orphans) to a Malaria Care Clinic/Workshop to educate them on the use and treatment of the nets in malaria prevention.

According to our survey about 375 orphans aged below 5 years are desperately in need of mosquito nets. ould very much wish to have a meeting with Vickie to discuss any possibility of replicating a similar project in Mbita.

In conclusion, kindly express our heartfelt appreciation to the “Be the Cause” family, WEEP Project and Power of Love foundation and especially Alka, Sukh and his team. You are very special to us.

May God bless all those involved in this vital project.

Yours sincerely,

Joyce Ouma.

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