When Fred visited us at the Impala Eco Lodge a few days ago he explained that Odede was the kind of place that nobody wanted to come from or live in, with a massive fatality rate from HIV.
As a place where the majority live in poverty, sadly, many women in desperate need of feeding their families commonly trade their bodies for fish at the port on Lake Victoria contributing to a huge rise in HIV in the area.
Everywhere we went, our group was greeted with singing and dancing of traditional Kenyan songs, and Odede was no exception. When we arrived there were very few of the staff and villagers around, as most of them were preparing for the funeral of a young boy who had sadly died a day or two before.
Fred and his team had a big job ahead of them starting a foundation but have made such impressive changes in the community through founding the Child Development Centre which is a combination of a school and orphanage, and the establishment of the health clinic there, which has saved hundreds of lives and treated thousands of illnesses since being established in 2011. We had he pleasure of witnessing Fred unveil a special dedication to Paul & Masami for the work they have done to support this amazing cause.
They have a maternity ward at the clinic which has positively contributed to the healthy delivery of babies in the area. Previously, these babies would have been born in risky conditions at home without medical supervision with no follow up care.
Now, they can test the mothers and babies for HIV and offer treatment. Something I learned on this visit it that there is a medication (Zidovudine) that babies born HIV positive can take for 18 months, which, if taken correctly can lead to them eradicating the illness and being HIV negative. It is taken for this period of time due to HIV being passed through the breast milk to the babies.
Learn more about World Youth International: https://worldyouth.org.au/donate/friends-of-odede
After spending time at the clinic, we walked down the road to where a local family had been the recipients of the last mud hut building exercise from the B1G1 study tour of 2018. It wasn’t far, and the local women sang. We got distracted by some local kids who modelled for our photo taking.
On return to the clinic, we met with 20 woman business owners. It was a fantastic meeting as 3 of them presented their businesses to us and 2 of our group shared their businesses with the Kenyan woman.
We were able to share the challenges we each have in business and exchange ideas on how to overcome them.