At the age of 9 years AJ has not had a happy moment to cherish in her child hood. With not only poverty being a hindering factor, her Father was a victim of the HIV/AIDS pandemic when his wife was only four months pregnant with AJ. Being the youngest in the family, she and her siblings like many others have been unable to finish primary school. We all know that education should be part of every child’s life. But unfortunately AJ like many others do not have this opportunity we ourselves may take for granted.
Her mother a 47 year old resident of Nyakabungo cell, Nyakambu-Mugabe village Southern division. AJ first reported to Amasiko street children project on 20th April 2016. Like we usually do after some time, we decided to visit he home to get some more information and look at the home situation. When arriving, we were immediately saddened as we saw her busy digging in the scorching sun at 2pm, with rags tied to her head. As soon as she saw us se hurried to welcome us, with a smiling face that we could see was hiding her pain and exhaustion.
She narrated how hard it has been to raise the family of five children [orphans] single-handedly for the last ten years. She lives in a sickly life characterised by vicious cycle of poverty. She says being HIV positive, the medical personnel ordered her not to dig nor do other straining work because it reduces her CD4 count (immunity level). Instead, she added, she was cautioned to always eat a balanced diet with at least a fruit, vegetables and have enough rest every day. But she often goes to cultivate in other people’s gardens, carry bricks and sand on construction sites to make ends meet.
Mary is evidently sick of full-blown AIDS (in a clinical state) looking so bonny, with protruding ankles, elbows and sunken eyes. She looks malnourished and weak; she worries a lot about how her children will survive if she passes away especially AJ who is only nine years old. The attached pictures are AJ and her mother in front of their house which was constructed by her husband before they were married. Those standing poles were put in place to act as a kitchen; any time it rains heavily or the wind blows them away they are likely to fall and cause an accident. She told us that cooking is also a hard task since the fire flames are always destabilized by both wind and rain. What a life!
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