CARE for AIDS partners with local Kenyan churches to operate life transforming centers that serve the physical, spiritual, economic, and social needs of men and women living with HIV/AIDS. Each of these centers operate from within the local church and serve 80 clients at a time. These 80 men and women go through a nine month process of education, training, and support in order to live full, productive, and healthy lives. Below is a detailed breakdown of the services that each client receives.
Each CARE for AIDS center is staffed by community health workers who are trained by our kenyan CARE for AIDS team. The staff is charged with the critical task of meeting both the physical and spiritual needs of each client. Clients are required to visit the center once per week and are guided through the health counseling process.
During their weekly visit, clients meet privately with the center’s spiritual counselor. The counselor encourages clients to share their hopes and fears as a way to cope with the stress associated with HIV infection. During this time, the Gospel is shared with those who have not committed their lives to Christ. Clients who do have a personal relationship with Christ often require encouragement and affirmation of God’s love for them despite their HIV status. In addition to continuous prayer for each client, the spiritual counselor also provides resources such as Bibles and Bible studies in Swahili. The counselor continues to disciple each client throughout the program but always encourages the client to become an active member in a local Bible-believing church of his or her choice. The workers reassure the clients that their spiritual beliefs will not affect the quality of the treatment and medical counsel they receive. Spiritual counseling allows us to ensure that each client has a chance to achieve life eternal through Christ.
The primary aim of CARE for AIDS has always been to empower HIV-positive Kenyans, so they can take control of their physical and spiritual well-being. However, we have witnessed how our work with individuals inevitably spills over into our clients’ churches and communities. This is the true beauty of empowerment – it is contagious and has the capacity to spark enormous change.
All of our clients are equipped with self-care skills to help them lead longer, healthier and more productive lives. In order to ensure that they will be able to maintain these behaviors after leaving CARE for AIDS, we partner with local microfinance institutions to provide job training seminars every two weeks. By teaching clients trade skills such as farming, animal tending, and soap making, we provide them with the means to sustain themselves and their families.
Probably the greatest beneficiaries of this program are the children of our clients. Our average client has at least three dependents that rely on him or her to provide daily food, shelter, health care, and education. With the proper training and administration of the ARV therapy, we are equipping these parents to live 20 or more years longer than they otherwise would. Therefore, these children will grow up in a loving, caring household instead of on the street or in an overcrowded orphanage.
By partnering with local churches in the fight against HIV/AIDS, our efforts have equipped the church to serve as a nexus of healing and restoration for the HIV-positive population of Kenya. Further, by demonstrating God’s love in such a tangible way, our church partners have experienced unprecedented growth. Community members want to be part of a church that is fulfilling its calling in such a mighty way.
By employing only local Kenyans, we gain the trust of our clients and the community at large. Also, when the community sees the church conducting an empowerment program targeted towards HIV-positive adults, stigma and discrimination begin to dissipate. By demonstrating that HIV/AIDS is not a death sentence and that a productive, fulfilling life with this disease is possible, we are able to change the community’s perception of HIV/AIDS.
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Contact us. CARE for AIDS is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Copyright 2013.