Wow! Our total number of steps for the past three weeks adds up to
We are half-way there. While achieving those kilometers, we passed some amazing community-based organizations working with the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
Mothers 2 Mothers – Lesotho
In a country characterized by mountains and small rural areas, Mothers2Mothers began providing Mentor Mother Services in Lesotho in 2007. M2M Lesotho recruits, trains, and places mothers living with HIV in health facilities and within communities to ensure that other women and their babies access the full cascade of health services to protect their babies from HIV infection and stay healthy. Through our family-centred approach, they use their contact with mothers and babies to interact with
entire families, educating them on prevention and HIV counselling and testing, and linking them to health centres for the care they need.
Credit: BC Interior Regional Gathering Information Sheet on Projects by Country
Siphiwe Hlophe is the co-founder of Swaziland for Positive Living, an NGO that provides counselling and education, and seeks to improve the living conditions of people who are affected by or infected with HIV in the rural areas. The organization has been described as "Swaziland's most innovative and motivated HIV/AIDS mitigation program"
Siphiwe was one of the first women to publicly declare her positive HIV status. "SWAPOL was forged from the suffering our founding members. That may be why people respond to what we are doing, and we are getting so many requests to help communities where HIV is rampant. We are not an NGO that works out of a plush office. We are people who know what it means to face discrimination and rejection, but who have the will to live", says Siphiwe Hlophe.
Above, she leads 2000 grandmothers and others through the streets of Manzini, Swaziland at the African Grandmothers Gathering in 2010
Mozambican Treatment Access Movement
Mozambique has a high prevalence of HIV. Civil society lobbied government into creating a National council to fight AIDS, and now HIV is a component of the Ministry of Health National Strategic plan. Civil society needs to be actively involved in issues of HIV/AIDS rather than wait for government to do everything. Community-based organizations are seeking to have an impact at the national level. They’re taking the knowledge they’ve developed about the realities of HIV/AIDS in their communities and applying it to advocacy efforts with their governments. The Mozambican Treatment Access Movement, which the SLF supports, is recognized as a major player in the country’s HIV/AIDS responses. Credit: BC Interior Regional Gathering Information Sheet
Chiedza Child Care Centre
Chiedza’s mission is to provide an expanding program of holistic psychosocial support to orphans and vulnerable
children including those affected by HIV/AIDs or disabilities. We work with caregivers and young people to empower them to improve their lives. The center runs a community home-based program for the vulnerable orphaned children and assists the care givers of children in dire circumstances with immediate needs therefore empowering them through life skills development. Above is a session on the importance of getting tested for HIV/AIDS.
April 22nd (Earth Day).
Let’s celebrate the end of a fun, rejuvenating, and encouraging challenge. We are planning a fun walk in the early afternoon with refreshments to follow at James Bay United Church. More information will be in the next bulletin.
Visit this site to see the resilience of the amazing African Grandmothers
Sandra, Judith, Barbara, and Dale enjoy Rithet’s Bog.
Christine counting her steps in Frutillar, Chile with the backdrop of Volcan Osorno.
The beauty of our city and the promise of spring captured by Mavis
Judy and Barbara count their “ride” steps to the Nest coffee shop.