|Monica, a 9 year old girl living in rural Tanzania, is one example of the positive impact made by FHSSA’s CHAT program in Tanzania. Born with HIV, Monica’s chances of survival were limited, especially after the death of her mother when she was 2 months old. Like so many others in Africa facing a similar situation, Monica’s grandmother committed to raising her grandchild.
Her grandmother had no support, but knew she must do what was necessary to sustain her granddaughter. Throughout the first several years of Monica’s life, her grandmother was unaware of why her daughter had died and was being told by neighbors they believed her daughter had AIDS and that Monica might also be infected.
Struggling to maintain a home environment for her granddaughter, she was unable to provide her with many basics such as regular meals, regular transportation for medical appointments, and uniforms that are required if Monica was to attend school.
Living in the same village, a local volunteer of FHSSA’s program in Tanzania identified Monica as a candidate for the program. She is now assessed during regular home visits by the team, is provided with nutritional support, bedding, and has been supplied with school uniforms.
As a result, she is now flourishing. Her lab results continue to be encouraging, she is interacting with children her own age at school and she is excelling in her studies. On a recent home visit, she was asked about her standing in school and happily reported that she is ranked 20th in her class of 150 students.*
Shared by John Mastrojohn III, Executive Director, November 2009. *FHSSA has received copyright permission to use these stories and photos on this website.