Katherine found out she was HIV-positive in 2005 after her husband passed away because of AIDS. Sadly, he had refused to see a doctor about his condition. When he passed, Katherine went to the hospital and got tested. When she found out she was positive, she had her kids tested and her youngest daughter was positive as well. They started on ARV treatment together. Now the sole provider for her family, Katherine began selling firewood to make money. Eventually, she added baby diapers and socks to her supply and began selling as well. Once she had enough money, she built a small kiosk next to her house where she could set up her business each day. She was making enough most months to keep her children fed and their rent paid, but she felt alone and tired.
Katherine found out about the CARE for AIDS program at Ujamaa from a friend who was part of the program in a nearby community, Mtongwe. She joined Ujamaa center and has made many new friends in the program. For Katherine, the best part of the program has been these new friends who feel like family. They visit one another in their homes and encourage one another. Katherine no longer feels alone in this journey.
She has already started using what she’s learned in the seminar skills training to add items to sell in her shop. She is now making and selling keychains, bead necklaces, table decorations, soap and stain remover. She’s also teaching her daughter the skills she’s learning and they practice together after her daughter gets home from school each day. Katherine wants to go far and doing something meaningful with her life to glorify God. Her dream is to make enough that can share her profits with those who have less.