World AIDS Day 2016
Today is World AIDS Day. A day when the world renews its collective efforts to fight HIV/AIDS. Kenya is badly affected this devastating decease. 32 years ago the first HIV case was registered in Kenya. About 10 years later it was one of the major causes of mortality in the country. Efforts to prevent the spread have been stepped up with some positive results. Yet, statistics reveal that Kenya has the fourth-largest HIV epidemic in the world.
Currently 1.5 million people in the country have been diagnosed HIV positive, there are 1.1 million children orphaned by AIDS. Every day around 35 children are newly diagnosed with HIV in Kenya. This makes 12,940 children per year.
There is a reduction in national HIV/AIDS numbers, however results confirm that HIV still remains a significant challenge in Kenya. For the country to realize an Aids-free generation the prevention of new cases is crucial. Awareness programs have been a major boost in fighting HIV/AIDS in Kenya.
The ChildsLife Live, Learn, Earn project (LLE) is a unique and effective program for women and men infected with HIV receive care and support to help them on their way to a better future. Women infected with HIV and AIDS living in the Kenya slums receive care and support under the umbrella of ChildsLife for 15 months. The goal of LLE is to provide hope through high-quality and appropriate care that helps ill people and families regain their independence and achieve the best possible quality of life. Since the program began in the year 2000, more than 1,200 women and their 6,000 children have been reached with this program.
More about the LLE program HERE.
This is the story Sarah, a proud Live, Learn, Earn graduate:
“My name is Sarah and I am a single mother of two kids. A few years ago I was diagnosed with HIV, I was doing really bad when I joined the Live, Learn, Earn program. The program has empowered me through the Business Training Sessions and provision of grants. When I entered the program my weight was at 45kg, now I am back to 71kg. I take medicines every day and my health improved a lot. LLE encouraged me and helped me find work. I can take care of my family and myself now that I earn money with the work that I do. My kids can go to school because of a scholarship program. I have chosen to live a positive life and nothing will put me down!”
(Picture: Sarah (right) receiving her LLE Certificate on the Graduation Day at Mukuru Kwa Reuben slum.)
For ChildsLife, World AIDS Day means more than just a red ribbon. It is a day to draw attention to the HIV epidemic around the world; to raise awareness of HIV, to remember loved ones who have died, to show solidarity with people living with HIV, and to celebrate survival and good health.