Anna O. was dying. She is a widow with HIV/AIDS with six children. She lives in the village of Usoma in Kisumu, Kenya. When she was first introduced to FIOH-USA in 2006 she was very weak and thin. Her family had no access to safe water or healthy food. It was apparent she did not have long to live. She needed to obtain anti- retroviral drugs to control her disease but she was unable to pay for transportation to the clinic to receive the free medicine.
It was awareness of the needs of individuals like Anna that prompted FIOH-USA to initiate the HIV/AIDS transportation program. Each of the now 42 participants including Anna is provided monthly with the funds needed to travel to a clinic to obtain their medicine.
Now Anna is healthy and strong and a leader in her village. She is a member of the women’s micro-loan project and gathered a group of four other widows in her village with HIV/AIDS. They meet regularly to discuss concerns and support one another. In 2010 the group requested funding from FIOH-USA to purchase an impregnated dairy cow and start a dairy project. This successful project provides income from the sale of milk and good nutrition for the widows and their families. Through this self- sustaining project the group has earned enough to purchase another impregnated cow and the two cows have borne three calves.
One of the twenty- two borehole wells that FIOH-USA has funded is in Anna’s village of Usoma. It is providing safe plentiful water to hundreds of individuals in the area. The well water also allows the villagers to plant crops, thus improving their nutrition.
Anna and her family are doing better but they still have great needs. They live on less than a dollar a day like most of the people FIOH-USA assists.