To empower and support HIV positive patients, while fighting stigma and HIV misconceptions in the rural villages of Tanzania.
Support for International Change is a non profit, non-governmental organization, that has a mission to limit the impact of HIV/AIDS in the underserved communities of Tanzania. Several support services have been developed over the years of SIC’s existence, one being a volunteer awareness campaign. The current volunteer program consists of 41 zealous volunteers and teaching partners who are working together in Mamire Ward to bring HIV education to the community; little did they know the impact the HIV community would have on each one of them.
Within the first few days of working in Mamire, the group was introduced to the HIV positive support group. The support group consists of 20 of the most joyous and strong people we have ever met (including one of the homestay Mama) all of whom are openly living with their HIV positive status. Over the past few years, the group has combated stigma in the village and has been a huge emotional support to those who have recently discovered their HIV positive status. Despite all the barriers this group has overcome, HIV/AIDS is still a reality in Mamire and stigma is a constant struggle. Just this past week, a members of the group has past away from disease, reminding us of the true devastation HIV/AIDS has on communities.
While support groups do offer some basic emotional and instrumental aid for people living with HIV, often times these monthly meetings are not enough. We have found that our presence in Mamire may be an opportunity to bring a more tangible sense of stability, support and empowerment to these people. My fellow teammates and I have spent the last few weeks researching the building of a communal chicken coop for this HIV-positive support group. Similar “Kuku Projects” (kuku means chicken in Swahili) in the past have proven to be an extremely effective way of providing financial aid and a sustainable source of protein-rich food for people living with HIV. Kuku Projects have also done wonders in reducing the debilitating effects of stigma in rural villages.
It is our goal to make the Kuku Project a reality in Mamire. With the cost of chickens, feed, medicine, and coop materials, the estimated cost is about $2000 dollars. Any donation would be incredibly meaningful in turning our dream into a reality. Thank you for your support!
2. Limit the impact of HIV/AIDS in underserved communities in rural Tanzania
3. Almost 1.3 million peple are estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS in Tanzania