Lilian Akinyi

Born into a Christian family with nine children, Lilian is no stranger to the concept of hard work. Growing up, their financial situation was touch because her parents could not find sustainable jobs. Lilian left school early to enter the workforce and married at 20. 

"I wanted to be a tailor," Lilian says. "My husband promised he would buy me a sewing machine." 

Lilian did work as a tailor to support their growing family. She and her husband had four children, but sadly, only two of them survived. 

After the Kenyan government declared HIV an epidemic, Lilian and her husband chose to be tested. Both were found to be positive, and later that year her husband passed away. 

Regardless of her struggles, Lilian has a positive outlook on life and death. "I am not afraid because I know the Bible says that when we pass away we are in the presence of Jesus." 

Lilian makes a living selling bajia, a type of potato she slices, breads, and deep fries. She spends her spare time at the CARE for AIDS center, which has provided her with medical care. advice on nutrition, and spiritual counseling. 

"I don't know what I would do without them. They visit us when we don't feel well. They encourage us. And I have faith that I can live longer this way."