Monday, 11 October 2021
Around the world there are 38 million people currently living with HIV¹. SIM’s Hope for Life
(HFL) Fund supports projects that are helping orphans, vulnerable children and adults impacted by HIV and AIDS.
SIM Australia supports HFL
programs in Africa and Asia, including Benin, Zimbabwe and Thailand. Some of the HFL
project activities include medical support, prevention workshops, education programs, home based care and volunteer training in order to break the cycle of poverty and infection.
Hope for Life
projects emphasise partnership with the local church. As the projects share knowledge and train volunteers, the local church is equipped to build relationships and care for vulnerable people.
Jacqui Croxon, who leads the global HFL Network
, focuses on fostering a connected community for all the HFL
projects around the world.
“The mission of the Hope for Life Network
is to connect, encourage and strengthen HIV-related projects. In so doing, our heart is that these projects will be supported to respond most effectively and, ultimately, bring about holistic transformation in people and communities impacted by HIV and related issues,” Jacqui said.
In her role, Jacqui also represents Hope for Life
projects within the broader SIM organisation, provides advice, advocates for HIV-related issues and contributes to new ministry development.
Looking to the future, she revealed, “I’m excited to see our network of Hope for Life
projects continue to connect with one another and be encouraged and strengthened in the valuable work they do! With the diversity of backgrounds and experiences represented by those who serve in our Hope for Life
programs, there is such a richness to the opportunity the Network provides for collaboration and learning together as we seek to bring hope and give life; and even as our collective knowledge might inform new compassionate ministry opportunities for SIM.”
“I love that the Hope for Life Network
can provide a global community – a place of shared understanding and a space for prayer and mutual encouragement – for our workers who serve and respond to often very difficult situations.”
Hope for Life in Zimbabwe
Operation Neighbour Care
(ONC) in Zimbabwe supports holistic care for adults and vulnerable children affected by HIV in rural Gokwe. The team do this by training church volunteers and others in the community to care for the sick, providing educational assistance for orphans and vulnerable children, helping reduce HIV transmission rates in the community, and ensuring food and nutrition security.
also addresses extreme poverty among people living with HIV, including widows and breadwinner orphans, by encouraging income generating activities and micro-enterprises. Education on prevention of HIV is important in Zimbabwe and the team raise awareness on the key drivers for HIV and STIs among adolescents and other vulnerable groups. They also raise awareness of non-communicable diseases (like diabetes, hypertension and cancer) that can be among people living with HIV and provide practical support for the management of health and wellbeing. During the pandemic, the ONC
volunteers worked hard to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that clients could continue to access their Antiretroviral Therapy (the treatment for HIV).
Below you can read the story of an orphan who has received help from the ONC
Tariro* is a 23-year-old young man who is determined to have a great future. After he was orphaned at the age of 5, Tariro stayed with his half-brother and wife in a small country town. Tariro faced further loss and trauma when his half-brother’s wife died in 2009.
When the half-brother married, Tariro’s life became more stable. However, his education remained a challenge because Tariro’s brother was unemployed and could not afford the school fees.
identified Tariro from his school register and the project paid for his school fees from primary school up until he finished his ‘O Levels’ in 2016, which is the equivalent to Australian year 10 or 11. Although he failed two of the five subjects he sat exams for, the young man is determined to improve. Five subjects are required for a full certificate so he supplemented and sat another exam last June during the pandemic. He plans to go to college to study mechanical engineering for diesel engines.
Before the pandemic, Tariro understudied a professional builder. He was able to earn money by working as a repair man and fixing walls and flooring. When COVID-19 restrictions were introduced in 2020, he started to work at a hardware store to assist his brother financially.
Tariro has been HIV positive since birth. However, he continues to work hard and strives for a brighter future. He adheres to his Antiretroviral Therapy and is grateful to be living in decent accommodation. Most people in his HIV support group who live in poor accommodation get sick frequently. He is also grateful for the education assistance he received from ONC
when his guardians faced financial challenges. He has attended a support camp which gave him hope and courage and he also receives the latest information on HIV and AIDS from frequent courses run by ONC
. Above all, Tariro says he is very grateful for his faith in God.
¹ www.hiv.gov, 2021
*Name changed to protect identity and representative image used.
Photo credit: naon-o via Unsplash
Do you want to support SIM’s Hope for Life projects (09330) around the world? You can give a tax-deductible gift by visiting sim.org.au/hopeforlife
Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.