Melika is HIV postive. She first fell ill in 2011. Despite anti-retroviral treatment for the virus and additional vitamin support, her condition is not improving. She now lives with her mother, grandmother and two young children because her husband failed to care and provide for the family. Melika’s brother who also lives in the home, occasionally works harvesting crops but employment is hard to find, with minimal pay. The family eats only one meal a day – maize porridge that has little nutritional value. Melika has almost no strength to walk. Community home-based care volunteers come to visit her regularly to pray with and encourage her.
Melika is not alone. Many others in the in the community are also homebound. The sick and dying are often bedridden. They cannot come to church on Sunday. They are unable to be a part of support groups for people living with HIV and AIDS. Volunteer home based care workers bridge that gap. Their presence at the homes of those who are seriously ill offers the support and fellowship that all of us need. For Melika, who can barely move around her own home, and others like her, these visits are a lifeline.