The CARE for AIDS center in Mikindani was the first center to launch in Mombasa. The center launched in January 2015, and has been met with a lot of excitement from clients and community members throughout the region. The partner church, Deliverance Church Mikindani, is led by Pastor Robert Ngatia and his wife Rachel. They are both very involved in the CARE for AIDS program- Rachel even helps lead group counseling for some of the female clients during the week.
Medical Counselor, Sarah Njeri Githaiga
Sarah grew up in Mombasa, adopted by her aunt. She began serving as a medical counselor at the center in 2015. “I had a passion for the hopeless people to know that there is hope and they can live a good life.” She dreams for her clients to see their lives improving and to be filled with joy.
Spiritual Counselor, John Dono Jacob
John grew up in Kwale county in Kenya. Today he is married to Zulea and has one child, Emily. In 2015 he began serving with CFA. “It is an avenue of helping my people especially my parents who are HIV/AIDS victims. Helping other people with the same is like helping my own.”
YEAR GRADUATES FAITH-DECISIONS ORPHANS PREVENTED
2015-2018 66 35 283
2016-2017 63 29 264
2017-2018 65 24 182
2018-2019 79 24 229
The message below is from 2018 Mikindani graduate, Elizabeth.
Jacky, 2017 Mikindani Gradaute:
Jacky is a 28-year-old mother of two kids. She lives in Mikindani, Mombasa and learned about CFA through former clients.
Before she joined the program in 2016, she defaulted on her meds and was very sickly. She had given up. She didn’t know what to do to put food on the table, so she resorted to brewing and selling illegal, home-brewed alcohol. She had to do it at night because it was illegal, so she rarely slept. She was really struggling and was also constantly afraid that authorities would find out what she was doing. She feared she would end up in jail and away from her kids.
One day, a neighbor pulled her aside and said, “There’s a place you can go to get food”. That was enough for her to go and find out what this program (CARE for AIDS) was. She needed to feed her kids.
Jacky graduated with the latest group in January. Faith, our empowerment coordinator in Mombasa, says “Jacky is one of the most transformed clients from this group. She was so quiet and shy when she came to us. She didn’t have any way to take care of herself. Now, she is confident and so hardworking. She comes as a facilitator and shares her story with current clients before training them on skills. She is such an encouragement to them”.
Jacky uses a lot of the skills she learned in the program. Currently, she is making and selling mats, donuts, cakes, soaps, and some beadwork jewelry. She actually modified the cake recipe herself to make donuts, and they are her best selling item.
Most importantly, Jacky gave her life to Christ during the program. She has found redemption and joy and is no longer living in fear.
In March we celebrated with Jacky when she found a part-time job with Compassion International as a community mobilizer and trainer for women living with HIV. So, in addition to her own business, the payment she receives from CARE for AIDS for facilitating, she also receives some money for her work with Compassion.
With all this, she is able to pay her rent, bills, she pays her kids school fees, buys food and household items, and after all this, she has been able to save an average of $30 dollars a month every month this year.
Esther, 2017 Mikindani Graduate:
Esther is a widowed mother of two. In 2010, she had been living in Kisumu with her husband when he died in a car accident. She didn’t have any social support because both Esther and her husband had been orphaned. Through a friend, Esther was convinced to move to Mombasa to look for a job. After a year had passed without finding a job, Esther was desperate to take care of her kids. She turned to commercial sex work.
Early in 2011, she got very sick, and after a few months was not getting better. She went to the hospital and after being admitted was tested positive for HIV. They immediately put her on medication and her health began to improve. After about two years of being relatively healthy, and continuing as a commercial sex worker, things changed. She started getting sick again. The medication stopped helping, and she felt sick and weak every time she took her medicine. Due to the nature of her work, she was likely exposed to HIV multiple times, and the makeup of the virus in her body had probably changed. She needed a new diagnosis and a new prescription. Instead of going to the hospital, though, she decided to stop taking the medicine altogether.
When she joined the CARE for AIDS program in Mikindani in 2016, she was still not taking her medicine and had grown thin and weak. During one of her first counseling sessions, John and Sarah talked to Esther about the importance of taking her drugs, and also about the risks of re-exposure to the virus. On the advice of the staff, Esther went to the doctor to get a new prescription and began taking the medicine again.
Over the course of the nine months, Esther’s health steadily improved. Her attitude also changed. She had been depressed when she joined the program, and in her words, had “completely given up on life”. As her health and her attitude improved, she took some of the skills she learned from the program and started baking and selling cakes. She has left work as a commercial sex worker and has turned back to living a life of faith.