HUMANA Child Aid saved my life
Jane Botsheja felt like she was at her very end when she met our people from Humana Child Aid. A resident of the town of Selebi Phikwe, Jane felt she had no more hope and had lost interest in all that was going on around her. She had no job; she had no source of income and as a result had no way of providing for her family. They were living in poverty, but to add on to this, she was caring for her child who was very ill.
"When I first met them, they were going door to door to assess the well being of children in our area, and were looking for children who were affected by HIV," she recalls. "Mme Monica and Mma Mokgwathi introduced themselves to me, and I showed them my child." She describes how the child was so very sick at the time and even had sores all over her body. Her child had also been unable to complete her Form Five for two successive years, because of her illness.
Jane was offered counseling by the Child Aid officers, while working closely with the child, Lebo. They counseled Lebo, and also referred her to other service providers to get treatment. "They gave me such intense counseling, if you had seen the state I was in when they came here, you would just not believe it!" she laughs. That was in 2009, and she remembers that the Humana Child Aid offices were housed at the Selebi Phikwe Town Council then, and it is at this time that she began her journey with Humana.
They informed her about the Child Aid Teen Club, and she was urged to bring Lebo along to join the other children at the Teen Club, and for her to also come and see what it is they do at Humana Child Aid. She found out that the Teen Club brings together HIV Positive children to train them on positive living with HIV, and helps them stay on treatment. So she took her child there, where they found the other children as well as other parents in a similar situation like her, and it gave her courage to see that she was not alone, after all. It strengthened her resolve to fully utilize the support she was being offered and see it through.
The child took a keen interest in the Teen Club and made sure she never missed the meetings. Jane proudly shares the change that she sees in her child now. "Lebo is more liberated; more active, more interested in what goes on around her. She speaks openly about her status and talks a lot about what they do at the Teen Club. This is someone who could not even bath or dress herself before due to illness, now she is a young lady who, at 12 years of age now is very certain of herself, all because of Humana Child Aid. She has become the motivator in our family, so confident; and I realize how much she has benefited from the Humana assistance."
Jane is currently able to support herself and her family, for as part of the assistance, Child Aid let her know about government assistance programs that she could apply for, and referred her to the Council. She was therefore assisted to open a home based laundry business through the Government Poverty Eradication Scheme, out of which she is now providing for her family. She also cleans houses for her business and maintains a small kiosk of sweets from home. She shares that she is even able to hire people to assist her temporarily when the workload increases, to show just how far she had come.
"The people from Child Aid gave me love and helped my child. They were really determined that she would go back to school. They never gave up on us; they maintained their support and never ever wavered to this date."