Our first week here has been wonderful, seeing A Call to Mercy’s program with Project Hope thriving and in action. It is so beneficial for us to be with those who are in the program and to talk to them about their lives and concerns. We are so proud and grateful to be partnering with Project Hope, whose dedication and concern for their community is only matched by their skill at creating and implementing programs that really work.
THRIVING! Two years ago, we met 9 yr old Carine and her grandmother at the family compound. Carine is HIV+, had lost both parents, was not in school and had defaulted on her medicines because her grandmother could not afford her clinic visits or school fees. She was enrolled in A Call to Mercy’s OVC program and today is thriving. We met Carine again last week when she came for her clinic visit. Note that Cameroonians are proud people and wear their Sunday best when coming to the hospital. Here is Carine, before and after two years in the program.
HOPE! This little boy, Achia is from Anjin village. During a field outreach there on Friday, the Anjin support group (more on that later) alerted Project Hope about a sick child. Achia was diagnosed HIV+ one year ago. He had recently became very ill and developed fluid in his stomach. His mother could not afford the transport or hospital fees. Project Hope provided transport and enrolled this child immediately into the program so he could be treated at the hospital – 100% covered by support from A Call to Mercy. By Monday, he was feeling much better!
GRATITUDE! On Saturday we were taken to Anjin village to meet with the people there whose children benefit from A Call to Mercy’s program. Because this village is a few hours walk away on rough, rocky terrain, Project Hope has created an HIV Support Group there. The group helps to raise awareness, lessen stigma, and teach the community what it has learned from Project Hope, specifically about nutrition, hygiene and the importance of taking their meds. Project Hope will deliver 2 months of HIV meds to the support group to save the people from the long journey every month. They only come to the clinic when their lab work needs to be done. The women greeted us at the opening of the compound with traditional song. Beautiful and sweet. They had prepared a small program in the meeting house, the home of the groups’ President. They expressed heartfelt gratitude and sincere appreciation that people a world away would care about their wellbeing. Some of their words after mentioning the support they received… “from the beginning we never believed that such dreams could ever be true. So we were shocked when everything was a reality. In the past days our lives were hopeless. Today, thanks to the efforts of A Call to Mercy to make us have hopeful lives. Your visit here today is remarkable in the history of this village.” We then were given their sentiments in writing, a meal, and gifts of beans and bananas from their subsistent farm plots.