The Heritage Kenya Organization (HEKO) is a ministry in the Kibera slum of Nairobi founded by Monica and Peter Odero. The goal of HEKO is to improve the health and nutritional status of people living with HIV/AIDS in the slum. Since its creation, Peter has had a heart for sustainability and empowering those living with HIV/AIDS to become equipped with new skills. Women that participate in the program are taught skills such as knitting and jewelry making. Over the past several months, 35 women were taught from a local expert how to craft ladies’ handbags to then sell in the local market. One of the most exciting byproducts of the skills training meetings is that the program has noticed a dramatic increase in adherence to life-saving ARV drugs among those in attendance. Members shared that being in the groups and becoming more involved with HEKO has helped them improve communication in their families and avoid risky behaviors that might put others at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. Response has been so positive that Peter is on the lookout for additional meeting space so that they can offer more skills training classes and one-on-one counseling to the local communities living with HIV/AIDS.
Communities throughout the Kibera slum are experiencing real physical and emotional care thanks to the commitment of HEKO and Mocha Club members.