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People Living with HIV/AIDS

Improving the quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS has always been at the forefront of the Chinsapo Rainbow Home Based Care Centre’s mission. Not only were infected people leaders in the charge to create the Centre, but they have continued to be at the heart of everything that occurs at the Centre, as child care volunteers, teachers, counselors, Home Based Care volunteers, group members and leaders, activists and friends to those in need.

The initial catalyst for starting the Centre was the need to organize a Home Based Care system that would function to reach all people living in Chinsapo. With the coming of ARVs, the number of chronically ill clients and those needing palliative care has been greatly reduced, but the fight against HIV/AIDS is in no way over. In terms of providing information, support and care to people living with HIV, the Centre’s Home Based Care program, which includes 30 volunteers (7 men and 23 women) trained in Home Based Care management, continues to be a success. Volunteers are currently caring for 412 clients taking ARVs, all of whom are members of the Ndife Amodzi (We are One) program. The Home Based Care volunteers, many of whom also live with HIV/AIDS, offer nutrition lessons and psycho-social counseling to their clients, as well as palliative care to the chronically ill. In order to sustain this project, the volunteers have taken to raising poultry in order to be able to provide additional comforts to their clients. They are also growing a vegetable garden in order to offer their clients fresh vegetables at affordable prices. The challenges this group faces include inadequate amounts of Home Based Care drugs for clients in the Home Based Care kits, the inability to train all volunteers in palliative care, and a lack of transport, which makes visiting clients quite difficult. In spite of these challenges, the volunteers continue their work unpaid, making a major difference in the lives of their clients.

Another program run for the benefit of community members living with HIV/AIDS is the Circles of Hope HIV/AIDS support groups. There are four Circles of Hope groups, including a group for all adults, a women’s group, a men’s group, and a youth group for children ages three to 16. These groups are run so that members of the Chinsapo community living with HIV/AIDS may provide support to one another, including spiritual, emotional and practical advice. Many of our Home Based Care volunteers attend these groups as members, offering guidance, new information and education.

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