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Faith through action case study: building the house

Building the house
Ethogon was a seven year old boy, orphaned by AIDS and living with his ageing grandmother. This small family was discovered by Wanjiku, a St. Martin volunteer in the HIV/AIDS programme, living in the same area.
Wanjiku is a 40 year old lady, mother of 5 children, who derives her income from farming. She decided to join the organisation she had seen many people in her neighbourhood infected and affected by the organisation.
Wanjiku found Ethogon and the grandmother in a pathetic condition: living in a shanty single room house, sleeping on the floor with their only pair of clothes as beddings.
Both grandmother and boy were malnourished and seriously infected by jiggers, impeding proper use of the hands and feet. Wanjiku took Ethohon to the St. Martin Recue centre to regain strength and to be treated for the jiggers. Wanjiku took care of the grandmother after having learned from the social worker how to remove the jiggers apply disinfectant. She then started to mobilize the community, using the mobilization skills she had gained during a training course. Since the single room shanty was heavily invested by parasites, it had to be burned down and a new one erected.
In response to Wanjiku’s appeal people donated construction materials and under the guidance of a local carpenter the community build a new house. Others provided a bed, beddings and clothes.
The grandmother is now able again to fetch water, fire wood and cook for her self. Her direct neighbours support her with her work on the land. As she was unable to take care of Ethogon it was agreed that a foster family was found for the boy.
With the few skills she was given, Wanjiku was able to facilitate a real change in the lives of these two people. This achievement gave her a great feeling of satisfaction and the drive to continue working as a St. Martin volunteer.

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