A selfless act of love to a young boy, living with AIDS in Kenya.
By Immaculate Salaon
His name is Abraham, a 5 year old boy from Kenya, Kajiado County, Kajiado South, Lenkisim division, Olooilalei village. His is a heart-rending story that tells a lot about the current situation that vulnerable and marginalized children living in rural Africa go through.
Its dawn, 6:15 am when we are finally ready to leave for Olooilalei village. We scrum into our vehicle, quiet and lost in thoughts over how the day will be for us. Our hearts are heavy with expectation as we anticipate the nature of our mission. It’s 1st December and our intent is to gift Abraham with the most basic need of life- water and shelter.
We travel halfway through tarmacked roads and soon after, we hit the rough all weather terrain of the unforgiving Kenyan savannah as we head to Abraham’s home. It is a rough ride, one that tests the commitment of Community Initiatives Agenda (C.I.A), which is to provide the less- privileged children in Kajiado with as much comfort as would help to ease their daily struggles, and most of all showing love. For once, the savannah terrain fails to charm us. Abraham is all we are thinking about- and the plight of thousands of other children like him.
Abraham is one of the vulnerable children that C.I.A supports in its Early Childhood Development program. C.I.A identified Abraham during one of the visits to the school he goes to, back in the year 2017. His class teacher introduced him and explained his condition and status.
3 years ago, this charming, lovable, jovial, and polite 5-year-old lost his parents to AIDS related illnesses. He has since lived with his frail grandmother and life has turned to a bitter experience that he has to endure every morning.
With no strength to work and earn a living, Abraham’s grandmother can barely provide a meal for both her and Abraham. They live under the constant consternation of lack and depravity, unsure of what tomorrow lays in store for them.
She remains to be the only defender and support for Abraham, who contracted HIV during birth. Abraham has not escaped the stigma of HIV/AIDS and the open discrimination and rejection from other family members, that leaves him no option but to remain under the care of his grandmother. His grandmother has also been left to herself, for taking care of the innocent boy who is otherwise regarded as an outcast by those who were supposed to be his protectors.
Abraham goes to school at Olooilalei Primary School, where he attends the Early Childhood Development center. This is one of the schools C.I.A regularly donates books to and other support stuff for needy children. He is often out of school due to the health challenges, which he faces. Although he is now on ARVs, the remoteness of his home is a constant challenge for his grandmother who has to travel more than 70kms to the nearest ARVs access point in town. She is not keen to visit any health facility within Lenkisim because she does not want many people to know that Abraham is sick.
With no income for Abraham’s grandmother to fend for their needs, Abraham lacks the proper nutrition, which is basic, and crucial for any 5-year-old kid in the world today. Through its welfare project, C.I.A has been rallying its support to provide food for Abraham and his grandmother every month. However, there are similar other needy situations under the scope of C.I.A and it is therefore not possible to allocate adequate provisions.
In one of the previous visits to Abraham’s home by C.I.A staff, Abraham’s grandmother asked Mrs. Immaculate Salaon, through Abraham’s teacher, if the organization would help in setting up a new home for her and Abraham.
Traditions in the Maasai culture befit women with the responsibility of building a shelter for the family. Unfortunately, Abraham’s grandmother is frail and old and she could not have made a new shelter all by herself.
Being a young organization, C.I.A lacked the means to meet this request, which was also not in the mandate of the organization. Nonetheless, later on as the World AIDS day approached, Mrs. Immaculate Salaon felt compelled to help in putting up a shelter for the family of two.
Mrs. Salaon rallied the support of her friends in putting up the new shelter for the family. She was able to raise enough resources for the building of a new home for Abraham.
It was a moment of sheer joy as the building work commenced. Every one including all the CIA staff, builders, and even the local pastor were there to see this family get a new home.
Nothing felt as fulfilling to everyone as the heart-rending moment when hands were held in prayer and the new two-roomed home committed to Abraham’s grandmother. C.I.A was even able to set up a water tank to cater for the provision of safe drinking water for Abraham and his grandmother.
C.I.A seeks the support of well-wishers like you, who are interested in furthering its mission of transforming and touching lives of the underprivileged. With your generous donations, love, and goodwill messages, C.I.A will continue trailblazing the urgent need of providing equal opportunities for children in marginalized areas in Kenya.