Mary: 2018 Githurai Graduate

githurai-mary-3.jpg
githurai-mary-1.jpg

Several years ago, Mary fell ill. Her husband had left her with their three young children, so she asked her sister to accompany her to the hospital. At the hospital that day, the doctor told her she was HIV-positive. Mary was devastated.

When her family found out, they rejected her. When she tried to visit their rural home, her brother beat her and didn't allow her to share a meal or even drink from the same water source as the rest of the family.

After being rejected by family, Mary moved to the Githurai community with her children. She began to collect plastic bottles to resell for income. She barely made enough money for her family to survive and she and her children often went 2 or 3 days in a row without food.

Mary learned about the CARE for AIDS program from other clients at the clinic where she got her medication. She joined the program in Githurai at the beginning of 2018. When she began the program, she still had a lot of internalized-stigma and shame because of her HIV status. Through the counseling she received in the program, she has found a new sense of pride and purpose. She has regained her confidence and is now willing to talk freely with close friends, her children, and people in the church about her status.

Mary has learned a variety of skills in the program- her favorites were business marketing and cake baking. She attends a savings group in hopes of having enough money to start her own business baking and selling cakes and samosas soon. Mary's life has changed completely since joining the program and she is now able to support her children and live a life full of confidence and hope.