John is a 42 year old HIV+ and disabled man married to Bulandina and they have10 children(3 with current wife and 7 with another woman), from Nabiswa Village, Kirika Sub-county, Kibuuku District. John joined KWA in 2010, following double discrimination of being HIV positive and physically disabled. Self stigma was part of John’s life style and the community perceived him as a disgrace and a curse given his disability and positive status. He felt less confident, never knew his rights and frequently fell sick as a result of poor drug adherence. Time came when John was bed ridden with no hope and a neighbor told him about KWA and the outreach session which was being conducted at his trading center. Following KWA’s ‘Omaite’ outreach session in Nabiswa trading centre that addressed issues around stigma and discrimination, Joseph with that neighbor though very weak but he saw hope in KWA and sought on how to become a member. Joseph asked if he could speak to one of the volunteers that day and he was reffered to the volunteer of that area who is Nyole who continuously counseled him and his carers about positive living and encouraged him to join KWA to benefit from a range of services which included the mobile clinic treatment since he was very sick, the Home Based Care Kit at the time when he was bed ridden, attend the omaite sessions as to reduce on the isolation.
He notes “…on seeing Tabisa ,it was as if I had resurrected from the dead, by that time my wife was equally ill, I had no money and life was very miserable”.
KWA mobile clinic frequently visited Joseph’s home, counseled him and his wife prayed for them as a way of rekindling hope. He became confident enough to seek the available services through attending the omaite sessions which are facilitated by the positive voices, psychologically rehabilitated , accepted his situation and move on with life from a positive angle.
In 2011, John benefited from agriculture and business skills training at KWA which refocused his thinking about his dream venture that is brick making which he started on immediately after the training. John since then has made many bricks and currently he has Eighty thousand (8000) smoked bricks ready for sale at 100 shillings each.
John also acquired two cows after exchanging 10 hens for a goat which he later sold and bought one cow and eventually bought a second cow early this year after the sale of his bricks. He attributes all this success to KWA’s agri-business training. He is able to supplement of his children’s school requirements on top of KWA’s support for the children under school’s choose project and he notes that he can have at least two meals a day as compared to before when they used to go hungry without food. The children are equally grateful and indebted to KWA for the support given to them and their family, more so in empowering and supporting their father.”… if It was not for KWA our parents would be dead by now because they could fall very ill almost every day and we were not going to school, no food at home and we just cry, but when KWA started helping us we are now very happy, we have food,’ obbaba’ (daddy) makes bricks and sells and we also help him in arranging on weekends and we have two cows, hens, food that we even carry to school like roasted maize and me and my siblings are happy…”narrates Namudewuke Bulandina 7 years year old daughter
Given his busy schedule, John cannot forget to attend monthly support group meetings because he feels that these meetings have helped build his confidence and the educative drama (MDD) has helped change his attitude and perception towards self and he is now a positive voice in his community and encourages other men to attend services at KWA with their wives.