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HIV/AIDS + Healthcare

HIV/AIDS + Healthcare, MOCHATERNS

Mochatern Monday 04.11.16: World Health Day

Greetings, Mocha Club!

It’s Monday again. My Mondays are always set to the tune of the very popular song by the The Bangles (It’s just another manic Monday…). I don’t actually dread Mondays as much as I used too. Every Monday is like a miniature fresh start, or a reminder that whatever we feel like we didn’t do well or couldn’t accomplish the week before is in the past. We get to start anew each week! On another positive note, I think that spring has finally sprung. The world seems a little greener lately. And despite a slightwind chill, the sun is back in business to supply warmth yet again.2W2B0363

Last Thursday was. World Health Day is a global health awareness day falls on April 7th each year. World Health Day was started by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948, and the decision to make April 7th the official date came two years later in 1950. The importance of World Health Day is that it is an annual opportunity to bring people’s attention to the state of health worldwide. Each year, WHO organizes events for World Health Day based on a specific “health theme.” The organization sheds light on the statistics of certain health issues that affect the us on all on a global level, and offer ways in which we can work together to prevent certain diseases and ailments from taking over our lives. The theme for 2016 was Beat Diabetes.

As many of you know, one of our five project areas here at Mocha Club is healthcare. It is of major concern that many of the countries in Africa do not have proper healthcare systems, or any healthcare system at all. Therefore, when people of all ages are faced with sickness and disease, they often have nowhere to turn. Therefore, another important aspect of the awareness brought about by World Health Day is that it brings attention not only to the theme for the year, but also the need to provide decent, accessible healthcare to all people, no matter where they live. While we have much and varied access to healthcare and modern medicine here in America, it is important to recognize that we are very lucky, and that we should be working to see that what is provided for us, can be provided for all people.

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Fortunately, Mocha Club is able to work to provide healthcare for people in Africa because of you, our members! For instance, the development of the New Dawn Clinic in the Huruma and Githogoro slums near Kenya and HEKO in Nairobi’s Kibera slum were made possible with your help, prayers, and kindness. Through these clinics, people are able to seek treatment for HIV/AIDS, be provided with vaccinations, and have general ailments fixed, such as bandaging wounds. I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for helping us reach beyond our borders and help to provide healthcare and assistance to those suffering from sickness and disease. We cannot do these things without you!

I hope you all have a wonderful week, and I will see you next Monday!

Thank you for giving!
Austill

AFRICA NEWS, FROM THE FIELD, HIV/AIDS + Healthcare

End the stigma now!

It is not just the physical deterioration of the HIV/Aids epidemic that makes it so painful but a HEKO3more emotional and spiritual attack that takes place that most people don’t know about.  To be affected with HIV is to be outcast.  Teenagers and young adults who are affected either from hereditary reasons – their parents passed on the infection at birth – or they were involved in at-risk behavior that led to the spread are dealing with a heavy stigma & discrimination that they must deal with alongside their physical health.

“As a result of delayed treatment and the overbearing stigma and discrimination associated with being HIV positive, about 29 percent of all new infections are among adolescents and young people according to a survey released by the Ministry of Health on World Aids Day this year on 1st December 2015.

As a result, HIV-AIDS related complications are the leading course of deaths among the adolescents and young people with 9,720 adolescents and young people dying of such in 2014 alone.”

HEKO2Our partners at HEKO – Heritage Kenya Organization – work with HIV+ members of the community. Peter, founder of HEKO, shares his insights from his many years of work in the field. The stigma and rejection from their community and peers “makes it challenging to attract and sustain their focus on maintaining their health, particularly for those with chronic illnesses and this explains why those infected with HIV would rather stop taking ARVs than keep answering questions on why they are on pills.”

Sarah*, a 17 year old high school student was invited to speak during World Aids Day. Born with the HIV virus, she has been on ARVs (antiretroviral medication) since her childhood. When her time came to address the gathering, her message was very simple, “end the stigma and discrimination”. She did not ask for a great deal but instead something every human being could afford.

“we the young people are the most vulnerable group. We are one of the segments most at risk of HIV”. “We need prevention strategies tailored and testing campaigns-focused especially on adolescents”. “Many of us are dying young because we do not know our status or because we are of the stigma and discrimination associated with the HIV virus!” Sometimes our parents think we are too young to know our status or to know about the sex and or HIV. Nobody wants to discuss these things with us! They mistakenly think they are protecting us by not disclosing it to us on how it is spread! Yet some of us were born with it and yet still HIV and sex amongst the youth and teenagers is a reality. The earlier you know your HIV status the better because then you are put on medication and you will protect yourself and others”.

Our friends at HEKO are dedicated to not only bringing nutrition education & health care HIV+ women but also to inform the community, friends, and family that the discrimination needs to stop. Your support of this health care program through Mocha Club allows for this important message to be shared and for eradication to come quickly.

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Before working as part of the staff at the Mocha Club, I joined as a member back in 2007 supporting the health care projects and HEKO. And this summer after 9 years of support, I will get the chance to go visit Peter and Monica at HEKO and see this life-changing work first-hand. Will you join me? For some of you, traveling to Africa may not be the call for you. But maybe joining me to support these women for $9 a month is – we can’t do this work without your help!

End the stigma now!

Written by: Fallon Klug

*Out of respect & safety of our partners, names have been changed.

HIV/AIDS + Healthcare, Uncategorized

HEKO Stories: Relationships Formed

The relationships formed through African Leadership and HEKO are very impactful! They change women’s lives by giving them hope and by simply showing them love.

Here is the story of one woman who changed her life after meeting the people from African Leadership and HEKO:

Teresa Anyango Odiawo was diagnosed HIV/AIDS positive after her husband died from the disease. She was living with her two children and her HIV/AIDS positive younger brother. She was having a hard time coping with people mistreating her because of her disease.

She was introduced to HEKO, where she participated in psycho-spiritual counseling. She also met Barrett Ward and Emily Blackledge from African Leadership who supported her micro-finance training. The support and help shown by these two organizations gave her hope and inspiration.

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Teresa and her brother

Teresa started a bead work business and trains other people living with HIV/AIDS on knitting, beadwork, and crocheting. She has become a role model for people living with the disease and volunteers as a social health worker.

She now understands the importance of community and having relationships with people. She would not have gained this confidence without the example shown by Emily Blackledge being there for her third child’s birth, Barrett Ward’s support and teaching, or HEKO‘s compassion and training.

When you give to Mocha Club, you are helping create relationships that build communities.

 

 

HIV/AIDS + Healthcare, Uncategorized

What are we thankful for this year?

YOU!

Project C.U.R.E. is an organization that Mocha Club donations help support by giving medical and healthcare supplies to different countries in Africa. And year-after-year, YOU have been providing life-saving medical care + supplies to communities all over the continent.

The last donation was used to provide care to pregnant women through an organization called Saving Mothers, Giving Life. The movement works to reduce the number of deaths that happen while women are giving birth. In many countries in Africa, women do not have the right medical care to prevent death while giving birth if complications arise such as severe bleeding, infections, high blood pressure or unsafe abortions.

Donations from Mocha Club were used to ship this container full of medical supplies including boxes of disinfectant bottles, wipes, thermometers, stethoscopes, drip stands, and beds to help provide care for many mothers receiving care. With the Mocha Club’s help, lives are being saved!

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Thank you again for your donations and the life-saving care that you are helping provide to the women in Africa!

#mcjourney2016, HIV/AIDS + Healthcare, Uncategorized

Mocha Club Journey Stop #2 : Heritage Kenya Organization (HEKO)

Next summer we are headed out on a journey to Africa with visit Ethiopia and Kenya! Our trips provide an opportunity for Mocha Club members and their friends to visit Africa and witness firsthand what giving up a few mochas a month can do, while having a chance to serve the African people. 

We will take the next couple of weeks to introduce you each of the spots we will be visiting on our journey!


Next up: our partners at HEKO.

We will finish up our visits with our partners as we travel to Kibera, one of the largest slums in Africa and home to the Heritage Kenya Organization (HEKO). HEKO provides mental, physical, and spiritual support primarily to women impacted by HIV/AIDS. We will spend the day meeting, engaging, and praying with members of a HEKO support group, alongside founders and group leaders Peter and Monica Odero.

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Mocha Club
P.O. Box 2888
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HIV/AIDS + Healthcare, Uncategorized

HEKO Stories: Education is Power

There is a need and YOU are answering the call.

The money raised through giving up mochas helps support the HEKO program in Africa. Last year, as the HEKO program was conducting door-to-door visitations where they prayed over famScreen Shot 2015-09-28 at 9.39.05 AMilies, they met a woman named Jane Akinyi Obonyo.

Mr. and Mrs. Peter Odero of HEKO later learned that the woman they were visiting was living with HIV/AIDS. Jane was abandoned at home with her two children and feeling hopeless.

The Oderos invited Jane to be a part of the HEKO ministry where she got regular support and hope. She learned about the importance of nutrition and how to take care of herself then she began spreading the ministry to those around her.

So when you give up a mocha and donate to the Mocha Club, you are helping people just like Jane and impacting an entire community!

 

AFRICA NEWS, FROM THE FIELD, HIV/AIDS + Healthcare

HEKO Stories: Spreading Compassion

Esther Nekesa is a single mother of four that lost her husband to HIV/AIDS related illnesses in 2002. She was also positive for HIV/AIDS herself and ended up bedridden with no hope. She had no husband, no way of taking care of her children, and no strength or health to live.  Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 10.07.21 AM

Mocha Club and HEKO began to take care of her by providing food vouchers and giving her education to sustain herself. With their patience, Esther felt their love and kindness being poured into her.

From the ministry, Nekesa says that she learned the importance of being compassionate to those with the disease. She says that she now loves to encourage and help others who are discriminated and abandoned because of HIV/AIDS. She wants to show them that they are important and can be loved.

What are you doing to spread compassion to the people in your community? You can start by joining Mocha Club to impact thousands of people in Africa!

HIV/AIDS + Healthcare, PERSPECTIVES, Uncategorized

“…From being frustrated and broken to inspired and powerful.”

Wondering what you are supporting when you support the Mocha Club and its mission?

You help support the HEKO program, a program for mostly women who are suffering from HIV/Aids. Through this program, they receive counseling and nutrition education on how to take care of themselves with this disease.

Here is the story of one member of the HEKO program that has been impacted in a meaningful way through YOUR support!

Dorcas Atieno Oluoch was 44 years old when she began herdorcas new life as a single parent of six after being stigmatized and discriminated by her husband upon learning of her positive HIV status. Soon after, he abandoned her and the children and moved in with another woman.

When Dorcas joined the program after learning about it from an awareness workshop organized by HEKO through elder Peter Odero and his wife Monica, she instantly felt encouraged. The program helped her change her life and make a positive change for herself and her children. She moved from being frustrated and broken to inspired and powerful.

At HEKO, she says she learned the importance of good nutrition and how to manage stigma and discrimination. She was also trained in micro-business finance for self sustainability.

She later formed a group at Kiberia DOs office and became a leader for the community. Today Dorcas lives a normal life with her children and volunteers in her community with social health work.

Thank you to everyone who supports the healthcare efforts of our organization at HEKO.

By joining Mocha Club, you too can change the life of a person just like Dorcas!

 

 

FROM THE FIELD, HIV/AIDS + Healthcare

HEKO believes in every life

In Kenya, 1 in 5 teens has sex before age 15. Nearly 10,000 young adults died of HIV/AIDS in a year. That’s why HEKO is so important. Believing every life matters, they are working with these young adults to keep them healthy, educate them about the risks they can avoid to reduce their chance of getting HIV+, and what to do if they are.

From April – June of this year, HEKO:

  • Helped 38 women gain occupational skills and go through group counseling, all while keeping on anti-retroviral medication (ARVs) to keep them healthy.
  • Gave food to 57 more people who are HIV+ and taking ARVs to keep healthy.
  • Taught 57 people about ways to stop the spread of AIDS through the “Prevention with Positives” program.
  • Provided 123 people with sports and recreational activities, as well as group therapy, to help them cope with their disease.

This is hard work. So many organizations around the world are combatting the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Cheers to Peter and his team for so directly impacting the lives of people learning how to live with their disease.

FROM THE FIELD, HIV/AIDS + Healthcare

An SUV Turned Ambulance

We recently helped the caregivers at Lizulu Orphan Care get an SUV to make life a little easier…and just in time! Recently, malaria has struck the region hard. Everton, our pastor on the ground there, wrote: “This time I have no problem taking sick children to hospital as the vehicle is working perfectly any time anywhere in the area we are operating.”