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The art of living positive

the_art_of_living_positivelyLuido is a remarkable expression ,full of marvellous beauty and frightening truths. Any painter or sculptress would acknowledge that no artist has even been able to capture life better than the momentum itself. For sure talented men as Michelangelo and Picasso have struggled tremendously to produce such angelic images, almost grasping the essence with their stretched fingers. However the image held in their head always stroke a difference with what their brush was able to portray on canvas. No artist has ever come close to seize that intensity better than Life nor can one artist alive produce anything without Life as their muse.
Somehow we are all part of the ever changing painting of creation. Coloured with character and brushed with experience and therefore we might be able to state that life in itself is art.

The art of living positive is a common phrase when referring to dealing with the challenges faced by the people living with HIV/AIDS. On the 19th of August 2006 the management committee of the Community Programme for HIV/AIDS Alcohol and Drug Abuse decided to go out and meet several beneficiaries in Igwamiti whom are faced with such challenges. Accompanied by a community volunteer, Simon Karanja, a farmer and father of 5, the programme visited 3 homes in the field listening to the day to day experiences of the people they serve.

Although time was limited the committee members were able to ask many questions, eager to learn more. Great encouragement came from the story of Jane, a young strong and joyful woman. When her husband died of AIDS a couple of years ago in Nairobi she discovered her ‘positive’ status. Searching for the right assistance she soon discovered that the big city was not the best place for her. She took her young daughter and moved back to her family in Igwamiti. Through the help of the community volunteer she came in touch with one of St.Martin support groups for people living with HIV/AIDS. She was empowered with more knowledge on the disease and received a grant that enabled her to settle. Jane started a sheep rearing project and is now doing well for herself and her family. When talking about the challenges she faces she narrated the difficulties of dealing with other people living with AIDS. “They shy away from the support groups due to the fear of the stigma, which is terrible because now they can not receive medication or grants to improve their life and boost their immune system .This really gets me down some times”. Jane is not afraid of her status;” Everybody knows I am positive, my family my church community and almost everyone in the village. I often create awareness about the virus and encourage people to join the support groups. It has helped me so much and I know it can help them, being infected does not mean your life is over it only means you have to take better care of yourself and take all the opportunities that can assist you with that”.
Simon Karanja the community volunteer shared that the biggest challenge in Igwamiti is stigma. Jane is one of the great exceptions. In her fight for her own life and her daughter’s future she has become a master in the art of living positive.

St.Martin CSA Annual Reports


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