The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day is “Working Together for an AIDS-Free Generation” and here at Heifer we join the effort to make this a reality. Many of our projects, from China to Uganda and Kenya to Nepal work directly with those directly suffering from HIV and AIDS and their family members.
Ladies of the Kacharet Women’s Group sing, “We are happy to God they have brought us visitors that have given us health today.”
No one knows about working together to create an AIDS-free generation like the Kacharet Women’s Group in Teso, Kenya. In 2004, 14 members of the community, seven women and seven men formed the group to learn to live ‘positively.’ All members of the group knew if they could do something to receive nutrition they could help better their lives and help their families.
Rose, the spokesperson for the women’s group spoke about how the group transformed from not being able to get out of bed to now being able to take care of their animals, their family and themselves. Through Heifer International’s model of providing livestock and training helps those suffering from AIDS in many ways. Participants are taught environmentally sound agricultural practices integrating livestock and crop production for better nutrition in the form of protein and vitamins to family diets making the medicine more effective.
Though the Kacharet Women’s Group still face challenges of livings with AIDS, through assistance from Heifer, a gift of livestock can provide milk and much needed animal source protein to the diet of those infected, as well as their families. In addition, the sale of excess animal products can provide cash to purchase supplementary food for well-balanced diets and for pertinent medicines. Involving communities in sustainable agriculture opportunities allows them dignified options for economic growth and survival.