Help Ruth Become an HIV Counselor
Ruth Alouch Otieno is a young widow with 5 children, her husband died several years ago and Ruth works very hard to provide for her children.
Ruth’s business plan is unique as her priority isn’t for herself but her community.
Ruth wants to volunteer 3 days a week to her community to provide free HIV testing and counseling.
She aims to reduce the stigma currently associated with HIV, help people realize their status, set goals for living better with the disease and give people hope. She also hopes that her work will help prevent future infections and re-infections.
Ruth says, “In my community Rusinga Island the HIV prevalence is high compared to any other county in Kenya, its therefore important to help people within this community to know their HIV status and help them on how they can live longer by giving them hope through counseling.”
Health Care Workers on the Island estimate that 60% of the population is living with HIV. The stigma prevents people from finding out their status and going for the free ARVs (medication) that the government now provides after declaring HIV a national disaster.
Ruth believes that her understanding of her own community as well as her personal experience with HIV and her willingness to attend to people door by door will give her the ability to reduce the stigma, improve and expand the lives of people in her community and prevent future infection.
She says,”I have chosen to support my community members to know their HIV status based on personal experience. I had felt very sick and it took me time to know what I was suffering from until I was admitted in the hospital that is when I knew I was HIV positive. But after being counseled I have learned how to live positive with HIV. Many members in my community are still in the position I was before.”
Ruth goes on to say, “I would like to see Rusinga where everyone knows his/her HIV status, in which those who are positive get drugs and those who are negative protect their lives.”
Ruth plans to spend another 3 days a week working for the local health clinic and continuing various jobs she currently has so she can provide for her family.
Ruth needs $1060 to get her national HIV testing and counseling training by the LVCT Health Training Institute in Kenya. The training will take 2 full weeks and Ruth will begin providing these services to her community for free immediately after finishing her training.
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Amount Given So Far: $483