Keeping mothers alive, healthy, and self-sustaining so they can raise their children

alicenjoroge@africaheart.com

As an orphan prevention initiative, WEEP empowers women with HIV/AIDS. Our projects saves the lives of mothers suffering from advanced stages of AIDS, sparing their children from becoming orphans. Operating in impoverished areas, WEEP identifies HIV positive mothers who have been widowed or abandoned. WEEP commits to providing medical care, nutrition, vitamins, shelter, and access to ARV drugs. We also assure that their children have the resources to attend school. Once physically stable, the mothers are taught a trade at a WEEP center, where they come self-sufficient and break out of poverty.

In a country where unemployment is estimated to be close to 70%, a job allows the WEEP women to provide for their families in a way that would be impossible without this project. Beyond the devastatingly high unemployment level, the lack of information and the stigma associated with AIDS make it nearly impossible for an HIV positive woman to secure employment, support her children, or access ARV drugs. WEEP’s objective is to keep mothers alive, healthy, and employed, and protect her vulnerable children from becoming orphans.

Parent’s Rescue Orphan Prevention Strategy (PROPS)

Empowered HIV positive mothers help “prop up” other HIV positive mothers in their community
PROPS began with the belief that the best caregivers for sick HIV+ women are well HIV+ women. The now empowered WEEP women are given the opportunity and resources to go back into their communities, locate women in need and care for them in the same way that they once received care.

Medical

Through Medical, Surgical and Nutrition Intervention, HEART and its partners sponsor surgeries for children who suffer from physical deformities. These children are often ostracized in their schools and communities, and without HEART’s help, would have no hope of receiving expensive corrective surgeries. HEART provides specialized medical camps when medical volunteers visit Kenya through the program. Food staples, vitamins and information about proper nutrition are also provided on an ongoing basis during home visits to AIDS affected families.

Project Successes

  • 297 women living with HIV/AIDS served by Women Equality Empowerment Project (WEEP) an orphan prevention  program providing them with health care, nutrition, shelter, education, protection and  psychosocial support for them and their  children as we provide them with skills and business training to support their own children upon graduation from WEEP.
  • 10 women have purchased their own property
  • Our WEEP project was chosen by USAID to be visited by Dr Jill Biden and her children and granddaughter during Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Kenya.  Five organizations working with orphans and vulnerable children traveled to Kenya from, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and Mozambique to visit HEART in 2010 to learn from our successful model.

Opportunities to Make a Difference

  • Admission into the WEEP program: $2754.00
  • Pay for 1 woman’s expenses for 1 month: $153.00
  • School fees and uniform for one WEEP mother’s child: $75.00
  • Buy supplies for income-generating projects: $25.00
  • Buy a WEEP-produced mosquito net for an orphan child: $10.00
  • Medical teams of nurses and doctors to host medical camps are always welcome. 
  • Compassionate volunteers are always needed in this area to help sponsor surgeries and hospitalizations.
  • HEART volunteers who are not medical professionals have been helping with identifying children and adults with medical needs.
  • HEART is always looking for donations of multi-vitamins, pre-natal vitamins and children’s vitamins to distribute to those women and children in our programs.
  • HEART also helps provide food relief if drought has severely affected areas where projects are located