The group met on 29 April and again really enjoyed their time together. Jogbeth and Aline led the meeting; five clients attended and one client also brought along her daughter.
From the start of our planning for a Home Based Care Program, we felt it was important to work towards starting a support group. Carers visit the clients, normally once a week, and can be a real help and encouragement to them in their homes. But unless the Carer is also living with HIV or AIDS and in a similar situation, they can’t really know what their clients have to face everyday.
In a support group the members can help and encourage each other in a different way because often they have like experiences and face the same circumstances. When two of the newer clients met each other at this group they were so surprised – “Oh, are you also a part of this group?” They already knew each other from meeting at the hospital for treatment, or at the clinic to collect their medication. Learning how someone else has practically dealt with an issue or condition can be invaluable in tackling it yourself – much more than hearing, “This is what I think you should do…”.
The clients are already interested in gathering more often than the current plan for once-a-month meetings, so we’ll have to see if more frequent meetings are possible.
As the Home Based Care is expanding, more people in the church are expressing interest in it. So we are holding Home Based Care training from 21 to 25 May, especially structured on evenings, public holidays (the 21st and the 25th) and the weekend so that even people who are working will have a chance to come. So far there are 16 people who are interested in attending!
Those of us who have completed the course previously will have a greater opportunity to lead some of the training this time also. We have a great partner organization in the AIDS Care Trust and they are constantly encouraging us to upgrade our training skills. So I am in charge of the training program and next week Jogbeth and I will finalize the planning and see who can be involved in leading the different topics.