Gachie is a community on the outskirts of Nairobi close to the Westlands neighborhood. Many of the residents commute into the city to work casual jobs on the compounds of wealthy Kenyans or expats. Because of its proximity to the city, the community is known for its high rates of crime and violence. CARE for AIDS started a center in Gachie in partnership with Deliverance Church in May of 2010. John Mugwe and Sarah Kimotho (pictured below) have served as the center's Spiritual and Health Counselors since the center's launch in 2010.
SARAH KIMOTHO, HEALTH COUNSELOR:
Sarah joined the CARE for AIDS team in 2010 and has faithfully served as the Health Counselor at Gachie for seven years. She and her husband Daniel have two daughters and one son.
JOHN MUGWE, SPIRITUAL COUNSELOR:
John joined the CARE for AIDS team in 2010 and has faithfully served as the Spiritual Counselor in Gachie for seven years. He and his wife Fresia live in the Gachie and have three daughters and one son.
Year graduates Faith-Decisions Orphans prevented
2010-2011 77 13 229
2011-2012 74 13 196
2012-2013 60 15 235
2013-2014 65 7 206
2014-2015 74 15 304
2015-2016 39 19 231
2016-2017 38 22 149
2018-2019 69 9 181
Morris, 2019 Gachie Graduate
Early this year the CARE for AIDS counselors at Gachie received a desperate call from a former graduate. Her adult son, Morris, was suffering from seizures and had lost mobility in his left side because of a recent stroke. Morris was born HIV+, so she knew he needed specialized care. CARE for AIDS counselors Aggrey and Esther admitted him into the program immediately.
Morris is 23 years old and was raised by his uncle in Nairobi. Morris was working with his uncle as a tailors apprentice when he had his stroke. Morris was repairing the interior of a car when he suddenly felt dizzy and lost feeling in his left side. Shortly after his stroke, he started having frequent seizures and he noticed severe swelling in his left leg. He was admitted to the hospital where he was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis, pneumonia, and tuberculosis meningitis. His mother was terrified of losing him as she watched his health quickly deteriorate.
Agrrey and Ether visited Morris and immediately got to work. In addition to connecting him to medical care and physical therapists, they began praying with him and counseling him while he was still in the hospital. As his emotional health improved, his physical health followed suit.
When he was discharged from the hospital, Morris and his younger brother both started attending counseling, group therapy, and economic empowerment sessions at the Gachie CARE for AIDS center. Morris has gone from being completely bedridden to walking with the assistance of a crutch. He is continuing home-based physical therapy and has recently learned beadwork. Most importantly, Morris has regained his vibrancy and joy. He is determined to fully recover and has learned to manage his HIV status with good nutrition and consistent medication. He continues to work hard at his physical therapy appointments and is already using the skills he has learned to earn some extra income.
We are incredibly proud of the hard work Morris has put into his recovery- we are excited to see him, his brother, and his mother live long, healthy lives- lives beyond AIDS.
ALPHINE ODOYO NGON, 2016 Gachie Gradaute
Alphine was pregnant with her second born when her husband died from complications related to his HIV status. A week after her husband’s death Alphene delivered the baby and, tragically, a week after delivery the baby passed away. After the sudden death of her child she sought medical attention and found that she too was HIV+. Soon after her diagnosis she left her rural home in Kisumu and moved to Nairobi—she was depressed and in denial and she refused to take her medication. Within a few months of moving to Nairobi Alphine’s health deteriorated and she became bedridden. When she finally got to the hospital in Nairobi, her CD4 count was 3*.
Alphine was determined not to die, and she immediately started taking her medication. She was referred by a friend at the clinic to the CARE for AIDS program in Gachie, and she immediately joined the program in 2016. After a few months of counseling she made a decision to become a Christian and began studying the Bible and praying with her support group in the program. Her health drastically improved thanks to the medical counseling and food supplements she received from the center, and she quickly learned a variety of skills from the CARE for AIDS empowerment seminars.
By the time she graduated from the program in 2016 she was running two small businesses—a tailor shop and a vegetable stand. She has since hired two of her classmates from the program to help her run her businesses, and she is thriving physically, economically, and spiritually.