I just opened my email to find this picture (above) of Jaliya and news that she is studying hard for next round for exams that are coming up very soon.
This makes us immensely happy – and is giving me a great reason to share this little film we made with you today so you can see just how your support is changing the lives of children in Kampala.
Please, please watch it. If it makes you feel half as proud as I do right now, it’ll make your day too. And when you’re done, please share it with everyone you know – through twitter, facebook, youtube – to spread the word about awamu and help us to change even more lives for the better.
Jaliya is the inspiration behind awamu. You may recall that Jaliya suffered extreme neglect at the hands of her uncle when she was sent to live with him following the death of both of her parents from AIDS. She was just seven years old.
Fearing she too had the illness and may “contaminate” his children, she was kept in isolation in a tiny hut, barely big enough for her to stand in. Little Jaliya slept alone each night on a sack and was forbidden to play with her cousins, go to school or even touch the family’s possessions.
Regina pledged there and then to look after Jaliya, offer her the love and comfort she so desperately craved and nurse her back to health. Although she knew it would be a struggle, she found a place in her home for her alongside the 10 other children in her care who’d also lost their parents to AIDS related illnesses.
Five years on, Jaliya is a healthy and happy 11-year-old. She’s doing well in school, she plays with her friends and brothers and sisters and, most importantly she has the love of a grandmother (or ‘ja-ja’) from Regina. A love that is so obviously reciprocated.
And this is thanks to you and your support of awamu. 100% of your donations and proceeds from your purchases go to support orphaned children like Jaliya, in the slums of Kampala and the wonderful, selfless women that take them into their care.
We help to train women in the communities in income generating schemes so they can earn a living to support themselves and their extended families.
And we support networks of women who have been similarly affected by HIV who give their time and energy to helping the most vulnerable in their communities. They walk the street of the slums, seeking out children and adults in need of their support. They encourage them to confront their fears, navigate the medical system and offer care and protection to those who are too weak to look after themselves or their families.
With very few overheads (the cost of website/the materials we buy for our products) a little goes a long way…