The people of Pambazana have been animal herders for generations, but in recent years the effects of HIV and AIDS have ripped apart the delicate fabric of their community. Households headed by widows and children are the norm, many women caring for extended family members because so many children have been orphaned.
But hope came in the year 2012, as Visionledd came alongside the people of Pambazana to help vulnerable widows and children find dignity and solutions amidst a life in poverty. In October 2013, our team sat down to listen and learn about the changes that have started to take place through income-generating programs and mobile medical clinics.
WOMEN WORKING TOGETHER
Forty year-old Mandalana is one of twenty-five women currently enrolled in tailoring classes. At the recently completed community centre, they have learned to make bags, shirts, uniforms and other goods to sell within the community. Small profits are starting to come in, but for now the women’s group is using all proceeds to invest in more materials to make more products. Eventually, they aim to make enough profits to share amongst the members of the group and contribute to other community projects, such as digging pit latrines near the community centre.
The opportunity to sew and earn an income has been a life-changing blessing for Mandalana and her family. With two children, a grandchild, and an ill husband to care for, the classes and support have given her hope and a way to provide for those that depend on her.
HOPE AND HEALTH
But income-generating activities are not the only initiatives that help families like Mandalana’s; the bi-weekly mobile medical clinic is providing critical, primary healthcare to persons who otherwise have no access to medical attention. Her family has used the clinic’s services many times to treat various ailments including malaria and chronic chest and back pains. With the constant, physical demands of carrying water and working the family’s small plot of land, the pain medications have been a source of great relief and healing.
The regular ongoing presence of caring nurses and access to medical care in Pambazana has been a major source of comfort and hope for the women here. Knowing that they have access to free, medical care right in the community is something for which they sing God’s praises.
We rejoice with Mandalana and the women of Pambazana, and continue to pray for the spiritual and physical transformation of this fragile community. Evidence of God’s hand is already so very clear, and we know He will continue to accomplish great things!