This morning’s post comes to us from Kisumu Regional Coordinator, Geoffrey Otieno.
It was the year 2010 January when CARE for AIDS officially kicked of operation in Kisumu. CFA started it’s partnership with Central Baptist church, a center in the heart of a needy community. It only took three weeks to get over 100 clients. The center workers had to shortlist the most needy and accept 80 clients for the first class. Within the next four months, the second center was opened in Nyalenda slum, approximately 5 kilometers from the first center. CARE for AIDS, being vibrant and passionate, continued its vision and got a third church partner soon after. It again proved that the work was God’s initiation.
The noble task continued and the hunger to transform Kisumu region expanded. Five centers were in operation within one and a half months. Most of the churches within the region could now approach us for partnership. Some of them already had a similar vision or had started operation in a more or less similar manner and were doing something about HIV/AIDS. As a Regional Coordinator, I was asked, along with the Director, to look out for other potential churches with whom we could partner. I passionately opened my ears for churches that could be our friends in the journey.
Cornel, who is one of the founding Directors, kept on asking us how we could make the partner churches own the project. This could enable them do something even in the event that we no longer partner with them. In the renewal of our partnership with our original partners, we challenged the committees to partially [financially] support the project through the congregations and their outside influence. I personally took this as my role to keep on reminding them in our every meeting on monthly basis. As we were renewing our last partnership with ACK Nyamasaria, they loved the idea and even promised to mobilize resources from the church members. This was the same scenario with Manyatta A.I.C church during their opening.
I want to thank God because it was my dream that this year could bring a difference in operation. The senior pastor, Joshua, Manyatta A.I.C asked me to help them have an over view of what the annual food budget looks like. I prayed with optimism that something good would happen. The senior pastor then asked me to give a speech of what the importance of the project is to the church and how the local members could be of assistance and possibly participate. By the time the center was due for graduation, the church had collected approximately 11,000 Kenyan shillings. This was then exchanged into maize grains of two and half bags to help support the CARE for AIDS project. It was indeed a surprise to the center staff for this big financial move on the part of the church. This has increased ownership of the church and more of this will allow the local community to become a vibrant agent of change.
We are proud not only to empower clients through the program, but churches, and whole communities as well.