Seeing with One’s Heart

Shambani Village, Kenya


Mzee has been going through some hard moments after he learned of his HIV status. He was disowned by his own family as well as his neighbors. The whole community abandoned him, and he was totally stigmatized because of his condition. Nobody wanted to associate with him and, at one point, he was bedridden and waited for death.


As part of our Transformational Community Development (TCD) program, we give hope to those who are hidden and hurting. When we learned about Mzee, we took the initiative to help him realize that he is not the only one with HIV. We helped him to learn to accept himself and live with a positive outlook. We also took the community through some lessons on how to give hope to villagers living with these kinds of conditions. We taught the Committees on Health and Wellness (CHW) about prevention and how to care for HIV and AIDS patients. We also sensitized the community on the need to help these individuals live positive lives, and that no one is immune from this disease unless they are very careful with their lives. After the Committee on Health and Wellness (CHW) got these lessons, they went from house to house to teach others these same lessons.


Since these lessons, Mzee now has hope of being accepted and living a normal life without being segregated from others in his community. He is living positively and is taking medication. The community got some important lessons and is now accepting and accommodating those infected. Best of all, Mzee is on the front-line teaching from his own experiences and giving hope to many like him.