HIV / AIDS
Mwamko Mpya, which is the Kiswahili term for ‘A New Beginning’, was established in 2004 as a voluntary self-support group for a small group of women living with HIV&AIDS in Mukuru. However, as word spread, more joined, with up to thirty women, along with their children, now taking part in activities and training.
“Just being together in solidarity, friendship, and mutual respect, means so much to us”
Mary Kavete (right), a founder member of Mwamko Mpya, who sadly passed away in 2008.
In 2007 the group initiated a Home Based Care (HBC) Service, to care for those unable to leave their homes due to their conditions. A Palliative Care Programme was also included, with support from the Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association to cater for the terminally ill.
With the help of donations from Ireland, including industrial knitting machines, the group established an income-generation project to help members become financially secure and independent.
At present, there are up to thirty women in the group, and the HBC and Palliative Care team of volunteers caters for many more within the community.
Mwamko Mpya is looking forward to having a permanent Administration Office and meeting rooms soon, which will give the group a chance to expand and begin establishing new support groups in other areas of Mukuru. This is particularly important, given the social and economic conditions of the slums, where there is so much poverty and need in the community.
There is now an urgent need to expand the services of Mwamko Mpya into the other villages of Mukuru, training and recruiting volunteers to support women who have been isolated because of the stigma and prejudice associated with their condition.
HARAMBEE is working closely with the women of Mwamko Mpya, and continues to provide support and assistance in their efforts.