I can finally say that I am now writing this piece from my own space. I am engulfed among learned friends and once in a while we engage in animated debates that usually end in an impasse. Nonetheless, we all go about our business thereafter with that fleeting feeling of intellectualism. The wise prudently shake this feeling off. The rest hang on to it a little bit longer to their detriment. I try to be among the former but most times, I fail terribly. Anyway, that is not the chief import of my writing today.
I have been carrying out attachment assignments at the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare, otherwise commonly referred to as AMPATH. We serve clients who are living with HIV or are caretakers of orphans and/or vulnerable children living with HIV. My core business is ensuring that clients who are supported by the World Food Program through food assistance are also enrolled in Groups Integrated Savings for Empowerment (GISE). The aim of GISE is to ensure a smooth exit for clients once they are weaned off the food program. GISE’s operation is borrowed heavily from the success of Mohamed Yunus in India who used a simple savings, loans and social fund system to empower women. In my going about this noble employment, my respect for women has gone up a notch higher. I believe women are a more resilient lot than men. I also believe women are a more social creature than men. A recent appraisal of GISE performance conducted last year revealed that women constituted 80 % of membership in GISE. This essentially means that the level of women accepting their HIV status is way much higher than among men. It also means that women realize the vulnerabilities they are exposed to. Hence, they seek to have the necessary safety nets in place to protect them from such vulnerabilities. It goes without saying that by improving their income security, their food security is improved as well.
I am privileged to hear stories of resilience right from the horse’s mouth. I am further privileged to have the women behind such inspiring stories as friends. They remind me what love is all about; looking without and finding the reason to go on in the loving eyes of another. There are two groups under my immediate care, one which I am delegated to from time to time. It is my honorable duty to see them through till graduation where they share out the proceedings from their operations. When that time comes, I too will graduate; from an observer in the sidelines to that player, passionate about completing his God-given tasks. I too will graduate.