An elderly lady attended the support group recently. Her daughter-in-law had just died (from AIDS related causes) and she had travelled 12 hours on an overnight bus to be there with her grand-daughter. She has a strong love for her granddaughter and has moved from her village to take care of her, and AIDSLink will help with things like school fees.
A shy, sweet-spirited 12 year old boy whose parents died from AIDS related causes is presently staying at the Care Centre. The hospital called to ask if we could care for him whilst he was in Kathmandu, being treated for HIV and TB. When he was established on treatment we took him back to his village, the plan was for him to live with his only other relative, an auntie.
However upon seeing his home situation we realised that it was very unstable and not a good environment for him. The house was filthy, his aunt mentally unstable, and she and her sons were clearly abusing alcohol. The likelihood of him surviving and maintaining his treatment, let alone thriving, in such a situation seemed impossible.
He is now living at the care centre and attending a local school. We are not sure what the future holds for him, but we know we cannot allow him to be another casualty and will do all we can to ensure a safe clean environment for him to live in whilst we find a better solution.
Unfortunately we have had to relocate the Care Centre as the landlord wanted to sell the previous home. The new place is a bit too small and a bit far from the hospital, it also has cracks in the wall from the earthquake – which a lot of places have – but it makes the team nervous. We are on the lookout for a better place, but post-earthquake the prices have sky rocketed.
The government of Nepal put a moratorium on rebuilding houses, this is so that they can get designs in place for simple earthquake resistant homes. However, this means that many families are still living under canvas and they will have to continue to do so through winter. Fifty-five families connected with ALN are affected by this. We plan to provide help to get them through the winter, and then help with some of the rebuilding of their homes. The team have also been couriering HIV medication to them, we do this for other families too and in total we are helping about 500 people in this way.
Martin Luther King said, “a riot is the language of the unheard”. Almost every day there are strikes and protests. Travel is extremely difficult as since India closed the border fuel is in short supply. This makes daily life very difficult, especially transport between the hospital and Care Centre. The team have also been couriering HIV medication to patients who cannot get to the city.