Picture of the week: Mary Kalhelhan

Thursday, March 1, 2012 - 12:29

Mary Kalhelan, 35, who is HIV positive, is a single mother of 4, and lives in Kongelei, a pastoralist community in North Western Kenya.

After a long dry spell, it started raining in October and families are starting to rebuild their day-to-day life as it used to be. Fifty of the families have received goats from ActionAid. Many of the goats are now in the hands of women trying to make ends meet.

For Mary, providing for her family has been a day-to-day struggle in recent months. With the five goats she received from ActionAid, she feels that her immediate worries have disappeared.

I was married, but my husband got AIDS and died. Now our four children are my responsibility.

“ActionAid has trained me in how to live a normal life with HIV. I and everybody else had many prejudices about HIV. Now I get my medicine every day and I feel much better.”

“I received five goats from ActionAid that I now keep on a small piece of land. With five goats, I can get enough milk for my children and I. However, the big change will happen when we succeed in breeding more goats. That will change our life status.”

“When it was very dry, a lot of livestock died and there was not many crops on the farms. At that time, we were starving in our family and it was a good day if we got just one solid meal. These days it is a bad day, if we only get one solid meal. On top of that, the goat milk makes my children strong. Things have gotten way better.”