Red Cross Support
When the Red Cross care facilitator began working in my village in 2007, she advised me to go for voluntary counselling and testing and she was by my side the whole time. She told me not to be afraid of going to the clinic or what people think and to get help so I can live for my grandchildren and today, you can see, I am healthy,” Majoele says.
“Until 2010 when the Red Cross began teaching us about keyhole gardens I was only eating pap [maize] and pumpkin seeds once a day and sometimes I would go to sleep without food. But now my weight is increasing. It’s made a huge difference to my health and my children are happy.
“I received a watering can, spade, and fork from the Red Cross and I’ve also had training from the lead gardener who taught me about manure for the garden and compost and cleaning around the plot and watering my trees.”
“The care facilitator visits me monthly and reminds me to go to the clinic for my check ups as I can be forgetful,” Majoele says. “I talk about my status everywhere I go, because I have accepted it and if I didn’t I could have died, so I want other people to be aware of the issue.
“I’m now a member of a support group which the care facilitator encouraged us to set up. We choose to make a contribution each month and we want to use this money to raise chickens because with the medication we really crave meat. We also loan the money out so we can get it back with interest and we’ve used some of the funds to buy groceries.
“It’s very important the Red Cross continues with this support, especially as there are children who’ve been orphaned who go without food for some days but now they are at least getting something.”