Mary: 2016 Githurai Graduate

In 2015, Mary Nakhungu now in her 50s and HIV-positive, made a decision to head to Nairobi from her rural home in Western Kenya. She was coming to the city to find a better life and work. When she boarded her bus she didn't know that was about to be a turning point in her life. 

Seated next to her, was a stranger, a man she had never met before in her life.  When she narrated her story to me she referred to this man as bishop Earnest. Somewhere along the way, the bishop received a phone call and the person on the other end of the call was making inquiries on where to find help with HIV orphans. The conversation went on and on and it caught Mary's attention, she started overhearing-this time paying attention to everything the bishop was talking about. When the bishop was finished with his call Mary couldn't wait to take the bold step to engage a total stranger. She introduced herself to the bishop. After breaking the ice she got into her main question.

She told him that she overheard him talking over the phone earlier and she couldn't help but realize that he was in the business of helping people living with HIV. She told the bishop that she needed help, and he told her that he knew of an organization she should connect with. They exchanged phone numbers and their conversation ended. They both went their way when the got to their respective destinations.

Days later Mary received a call and the voice on the other end was the bishop. He kept his word! Mary was astonished.  He told her that he would connect her with the organization he told her about. It was then that he asked her to call a phone number of one of the employees of that organization. 

Mary called the number later and the voice on the other side said..." Hello, this is Fred, CARE for AIDS. How can I help you?"

She joined the program in Githurai in 2015 and her life changed drastically. She became physically healthy and was connected with a community of people who she remains close with today. She learned marketable skills that allow her to earn a living, and she faces her future with confidence.