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Osopet and HIV/AIDS Advocacy Group
Main focus — community care and pediatric health
OSOPET WAS FORMED TO PROVIDE medical and spiritual care to a group of HIV positive people in rural and remote Kenya (Masailand). The group is situated seven km from Narok and 110 km from Nairobi. Peggy Frank was able to meet Pastor Peter Otuni and the group in July of 2007. During that initial visit Peggy discovered that ARVs were available at the local VTC (voluntary testing and counseling centre) but, to her horror, that the positive children were not receiving care because the nearest Centre for pediatric care was in Nairobi, and transportation costs alone, were more than these farming families could afford. This is where positively AFRICA/VIDEA donors stepped in and began sponsoring children for care.
Another goal of this HIV support group was to make life easier for the women who are HIV+ by providing families with animals — donkeys to carry water and firewood; and milk goats for nutritional enhancement. Again donors have helped in a substantial way. We would like to find donors to purchase donkeys and carts for the positive women who travel 10 km each day and carry 10 gallons of water for their families. If you are interested in purchasing an animal for an Osopet family please follow this link.
The Osopet team has 10 regional caregivers and is expanding its outreach in Maasai territory. Funding remains a challenge and positively AFRICA continues to encourage and support Osopet where they can. There are now 28 young children who require pediatric care. Peggy was in Narok area again in 2010 and was pleased to see the children at the clinic, at school and in their homes. It is only through the continued support of donors that these children stay alive and beaming their way to the future. Before the Osopet — positively AFRICA/VIDEA partnership several children died each year. Now all the children are growing up — and one of them dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon. She has earned a place in a Nairobi Boarding school because of her high grades, and we have no doubt that she will find a way to achieve her dreams.
Critical areas for the future of Osopet include continuing programs like the pediatric program and the provision of animals. Severe drought from 2007 to 2009 has had a huge impact on the numbers of animals these families have — and livestock are critically important to the people as they are barter (bank accounts) as well as food and labour. As well as expanding outreach the community would like to see adults receiving medical care — without care the adults will die of diseases that could be treated, diseases like pneumonia and TB. School fees are needed for the children who are qualified to enter secondary school and training for those who are not academically gifted.
Osopet is looking at several ideas for income generation. Until the community can find a way to generate significant income for their existing and expanded programming, positively AFRICA will continue to work with them.
For more information, please visit : Osopet
Soweto Junior School
LOCATED in Nairobi’s Kibera district, Soweto Junior School provides education, food and support for 150 children aged 3 to 12 years. A simple meal of porridge at recess and a bowl of rice or ugali at lunch, provided by the school and cooked over a wood fire, may be the only meal of the day for many of the needy and vulnerable children.
Parents who cannot afford the school fees for their children create unique crafts such as carvings, jewelry and bowls, which they donate to the school. In turn, positively AFRICA sells these fair trade goods and returns the funds to the school. Soweto Junior has 6 teachers and a cook. The high cost of food often creates difficulty providing nutritious food.
For more information about the school, please visit : Soweto Junior Centre
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