Submitted by Health on Tue, 2012-10-16 14:55
- STORIES FROM MAAI MAHIU, KENYA -
On Saturday the 13th of October, more than 1000 people came together to celebrate GAPA (Grandparent Against Poverty and HIV/AIDS) Advocacy Day. It is evident that we are making a positive impact on the community, with so many people showing their love for what CTC does and wanting to be part of it. The community joined hands with each of the 7 GAPA groups of grandparents, as well as orphaned and vulnerable children to celebrate a common theme: “Tuungane, tupigane na umaskini na ukimwi kwa kuwainua wakongwe wanaotunza mayatima” (We unite to fight against poverty and HIV/AIDS by uplifting grandparents and taking care of Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) due to HIV/AIDS. The groups showcased their different products (mats, maasai bracelets, liquid detergent and handbags) in which they generate income to support the orphaned and vulnerable children under their care. The grandparents shared the stories behind their products and how they have restored their hope and transformed their lives.
Sometimes our dreams may seem beyond our reach like some distant stars, but if someone believes in us and knows what we can do, it gives us the encouragement we need to get through. We begin to see the power and strength that we possess and we know that deep within us lays the promise of success.
Our greatest glory is never falling, but always raising. CTC has had its fair share of challenges in accomplishing what many would consider a success story. This is due to our ability to rise each time we fall and dust ourselves off. The guest of honor Mrs. Perry Okova from World Vision Kenya, shared the story of her life and how she lost 3 members of her family to HIV/AIDS and related ailments. Her story nearly brought people to tears. She emphasized the need for HIV/AIDS testing and adherance to Anti Retroviral medications. The CTC Kenya Executive Director Mr. Jeremiah Kuria, spoke on CTC’s mission, goals and how it is impacting the community. In addition, CTC’s Health Program Director Mr. Charles Wachira spoke on program growth, sustainability, it’s challenges and the future plans in place. He also introduced the program stakeholders and the various roles they play to keep it sustainable.
Entertaining the guests were several GAPA groups from Suswa, Duka Moja and Maai-Mahiu. There was also entertainment from the CTC Youth Dance Team, schools around Maai-Mahiu and local gospel musicians.
This day was successful not because it ought to be, but because people believe in CTC’s course and want to support us every step of the way. Every song has a coda, a final movement, whether it fades or crashes away, every song ends. Is there any reason not to enjoy your song? Ask some why they seem happy and they will tell you that a smile is the only curve that sets everything straight. For our GAPA members, CTC has given them a reason to be happy; a future to look up to and hope that comes with the thought that someone somewhere cares for them.
Elvis Ndung'u, CTC Kenya Finance Intern