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USAID donates equipment to HIV patients, widows

HIV/Aids patients and widows in Nyatike Sub County have benefitted from a donation of equipment from USAID to assist them initiate income-generating enterprises.

USAID South Nyanza Representative Mr John Olang’o, noted that they had partnered with Blue Cross, a Kenyan NGO under the Nuru ya Moto Project with the aim of empowering vulnerable affected and infected HIV orphaned children and widows.

Some 11 sewing machines, five ecofriendly jikos, and 20 fish/chips frying pans were issued to 30 beneficiaries while 40 beneficiaries also received grafted seedlings that will help boost the nutrition of both infected and affected HIV patients.  Olang’o added that the seedlings will help HIV patients cut costs on expenses incurred in the purchase of fruits.

The official said that the Nuru ya Moto Project will be implemented in the next five years with a total budget of 21 million in the three sub-counties of Nyatike, Suna East and West. The project will be supporting 10,507 vulnerable children that are affected and infected with HIV from a household of 4,721.

Olango also lauded families who decided to house HIV orphans saying that the initiative will help curb child labour and forced marriages through the provision of basic necessities and catering for their education.

“We are only giving out relevant equipment as per the needs of the beneficiaries based on the social-economic status to ensure that they full benefit from them,” noted Olang’o.

He said 333 of the 4,721 households were living below a dollar and the only way to assist them was to ensure that the equipment donated served its rightful purpose to empower the beneficiaries economically.

The Executive Director of Blue Cross Community Mr Erick Omondi, said that the donation will assist the beneficiaries to have an alternative source of livelihood through economic activities.

He noted that the beneficiaries’ over dependency on support will drastically reduce because they will be able to generate their own income and become self-employed.

Omondi added that they will link the beneficiaries to markets and sacco groups to help the beneficiaries grow economically and expand their businesses.

“We want to reduce poverty levels in addition to achieving zero HIV infections among our people for the betterment of the Migori society,” said Omondi.

Mary Adhiambo, a widow and a mother of three stated that the sewing machine will help her educate her children while at the same time generate income to sustain and grow her business.

She thanked USAID staff for having the heart and will to give and support by uplifting widows and vulnerable orphans that were directly affected and infected by the HIV/Aids.

By Geoffrey Makokha

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