The strength and endurance required to care for a family member wrestling with AIDS would take its toll on anyone. When that burden is coupled with scarce resources, limited income, multiple dependents, and in some cases a personal HIV diagnosis, a sense of utter hopelessness ensues. Njamba Mayumbelo of the Sikaunzwe community in Zambia understood very well how demanding it was to manage and care for those afflicted with AIDS. After being on ARVs (antiretroviral therapy) through Chreso Minitry’s clinic for many years and learning to thrive, Njamba felt he had something to offer the many weary caregivers within his community.
A CAREGIVER TO CAREGIVERS
When caregivers and counsellors are introduced to the HIV/AIDS support group in Sikuanzwe, chairman Njamba introduces himself as the caregiver to the caregivers. With over three hundred people on ARVs in his support group, Njamba educates his community about the medicines needed to mitigate the virus and the treatments Chreso’s clinic can provide. But Njamba leadership doesn’t stop there, he has decided to address the everyday challenges of providing adequate food and resources.
“They are still getting used to living with the virus and have had their own challenges from the beginning. Before (medical aid) began many people passed away due to lack of knowledge. When Chreso began to give us medicine and continued on in their work, the people were beginning to gain in health and able to work in their fields again but it is still hard to gather enough food.”
THE PIGGERY PROJECT GETS WINGS
While ARVs help mitigate the effects of HIV/AIDS, Njamba knew that adequate amounts of nutritious food were critical to ongoing health. The piggery project was born out of a growing need to alleviate the strain of providing food to the village’s most vulnerable citizens. Upon completion, it should provide enough profit to ease the difficulty of feeding the large numbers of orphans within the community. With plans drawn up, tools made available, and the foundation dug, the piggery project is dear to the hearts of every community member. They are determined not to rest until the project is complete and running smoothly.
VISIONLEDD IS THERE
Visionledd’s WOW program supports the development of Sikaunzwe by working with their local healthcare partner, Chreso. Medical care, tools, and education resources empower leaders like Njamba to transform his community and change the lives of the vulnerable. Njamba told us, “God is amazing to bring people from so far away to provide assistance. It is unimaginable that we could have even heard of them in this village, we are wishing the best for you people. This is indeed God’s work because we could not see the issues but God did and brought people in to assist. God is really amazing for what he is doing. Please continue to help and sustain these projects.”
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