This is one of the most remarkable women I’ve ever met. Part of our job at GLO is to tell inspirational good news stories. Here’s Beatrice’s:
She shared with such dignity as we sat with her. She was widowed ten years ago and left alone with her daughter when she was diagnosed HIV+ after endless chronic diarrhoea never getting better. She quickly lost 20kg, and initially gave up and drowned her sorrows in drinking: “The worst thing was knowing that soon I’d be dead and leave my daughter on her own.”
But then her daughter gave her a present. It was a pretty piece of clothing. She decided to sell it at a profit, and buy some paper sachets. She sold them in turn at a profit and bought many more. She ended up making enough money to rent some land to cultivate. The yield from her crops enabled her to rent more land. She then bought some land with the profits, and bit by bit scaled up to build her own three-bedroomed house!
We sat there listening, so impressed, and just filled with vicarious joy. She took us outside to show with quiet satisfaction her chicken hutch and vegetable patch – further little projects to generate income.
She thanked God for the loving and consistent support GLO partner World Outreach Initiatives had given her through all her tough times, providing counselling and anti-retroviral drugs to enable her healing, etc. “I’m so grateful to WOI that they were always there for me. Without their support, I truly believe I would have died before now.”
She helps other HIV+ sufferers now as a community program leader. One of the bedrooms in her home is for orphans. She has overcome the stigma of AIDS and is highly respected in her area.
We’d had some sad encounters today, one in which I’d cried. This was my happiest.
Beatrice, we salute you!