This is Everybody's business

This is Everybody's business

“Lena yindzaba yetfu sonkhe” - this is everybody’s business.

These words from Swaziland’s “Summary of the Second National Multisectoral HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan 2006-2008” speak to the problem of AIDS as not just a Swaziland problem or even an African problem. It is our problem… now more than ever.

As we have grown to know and care about our neighbours in Piggs Peak, the unfathomable difficulties caused by the AIDS pandemic are now part of our life. The previously mentioned report paints the following picture of the face of HIV/AIDS. “In one of the homes of a person living with HIV/AIDS in Maphungwane, AIDS had claimed the lives of three out of a family of five. The only two still alive were a 3 year old girl and her mother who was intermittently ill and physically unable to find food, cook or bath herself. The 3-year old girl practically assumed all household chores: the ill bed-ridden mother would tell the child to light the fireplace and move the cooking pot back and forth for her to stir as the child looked on. She would then tell the child to wake her up once the food was cooked and bring the food by the bedside. The child would dish for herself and the mother and eat together. To the mother the child was the only care giver and to the child the sick mother was the only care giver. To the community worker taking the child away meant removing the only care giver for the mother and separating the child from her remaining family member.”

 

The impact of HIV/AIDS in Swaziland is complex and there are no easy solutions. But we have made it our business. John Lovett wrote to us last week that “there is hardly a day goes by when I do not run across another family that is in desperate need.  Yesterday it was a family of five children from five to fifteen years old.  The mother is bedridden in an advanced stage of TB.  The father has died.  The children are … going to school on empty stomachs and when I met them had not eaten for two days.  I was able to supply them with some basic necessities and it was good to see the kids eyes light up.”

 

The Hampton-Piggs Peak Partnership is involved in a number of significant projects like paying for school fees and vegetable gardens. But sometimes it’s simply a matter of providing food to a family that is hungry. The big projects are important… and they are making a difference. But the Piggs Peak Partnership is special because we have people like John on the ground who see the problem first hand and, with our help, can provide first hand assistance.

 

This is Everybody's business