Community groups, even governments, are increasingly turning to Mothers’ Union worldwide to provide grassroots HIV/AIDS awareness, education, home-care, anti-stigma campaigns and HIV status-related poverty issues.
Mothers’ Union groups have been identified as having key skills and capacity to assist affected families at the local level, and to help communities meet the challenge of HIV/AIDS positively. In high-endemic HIV/AIDS regions Mothers’ Union hold training events to raise awareness of the disease and prevention, and tackle prejudice within communities. Mothers’ Union health clinics offer low-cost medicines, information, support and advice to those living with HIV/AIDS about home-care and staying well.
Often people living with HIV or AIDS are unable to work. Illness, stigma and resulting economic struggles can quickly destabilise families. Whilst it is widely understood that HIV/AIDS can cause suffering in developing countries, the immense hardship of people living with the disease in the UK is less understood.
Nora fled from Uganda in 2002 after her husband was killed, and arrived in the UK extremely ill with HIV. She has since recovered, but still suffers from physical problems. Nora now regularly speaks in communities to educate people about HIV/AIDs issues in Doncaster and she is one of 30 HIV-positive women, some with families, all asylum seekers or refugees from sub-Saharan Africa, who were helped by Mothers’ Union and local Doncaster charity, Pathways. Appalled at the shocking poverty afflicting these women - they received housing and vouchers for buying food and £10 a week for everything else, including travel and clothing - Mothers’ Union members from all over the area provided good quality second-hand clothes, toiletries, bedding and household goods, which made such a difference to their quality of life.
Nora said, `I have felt nothing but real acceptance and warmth from Mothers’ Union. It is a tribute to members I meet that I’m never afraid to say I am HIV positive.’
In many of the 78 countries it is operational in, Mothers’ Union assists HIV/AIDS affected and bereaved families, providing sustainable agriculture and income generation projects, and orphan care. Within the wider community Mothers’ Union carries out advocacy, sexual health education and HIV/AIDS training. So far this year Mothers’ Union have funded HIV/AIDS work in Antigua, Ghana, Burundi, Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Uganda, and supported many more local level programmes through volunteering, advocacy and locally-raised funding.
World Aids Day is just one of the 365 days a year when Mothers' Union offer HIV/AIDS support. If you would like to help us reach out to more communities please donate using our online facility
or telephone 020 7222 5533 and ask to make a telephone donation.