OBULAMU - HOW IS LIFE?
Rose very nearly didn't survive 2013. She had been diagnosed with HIV, but was unable to afford the medication and care she needed. One night she became so ill she was unable to eat or walk.
“I was so sick,” says Rose, reflecting. “Everyone told me to go home to my village to die.”
Moses Okotel, the founder of Child of Hope, learned about her condition. He told her to stay, and brought her to a local HIV/AIDS clinic where patients can receive treatment at a reduced cost. Eventually, Rose recovered, and remains on treatment today.
Rose is now an HIV/AIDS peer counselor at Namatala Health Center III, the health center in Namatala. She spends her days providing information on treatment, and giving hope to people in Namatala who have recently been diagnosed with HIV. On a daily basis, Rose shares the story of how she almost died from HIV, and her HIV positive status. Her openness is a true act of bravery. HIV is stigmatized in Namatala, and people are frequently shunned for having a positive status. Yet Rose believes it is important to share her story in the hope that others will get treatment.
You can find Rose greeting people in the Namatala clinic with “Obulamu?” (How is Life?)
“If you ask someone “Obulamu?” It allows them to feel comfortable and share their status,” explains Rose. “I want to encourage others to share their status and get help!”
CHARCOAL FOR PORK
Rose wants to switch things up. In addition to her duties at the clinic, Rose works with her friend to sell local brew. However, she doesn’t like the work, and wants to start her own business selling charcoal.
“Many people cook pork near me, and they all need charcoal. I want to sell charcoal to them!”
In Namatala, selling grilled pork is big business. Rose plans to sell her charcoal to the pork vendors, and with an identified customer, she is on her way to planning her charcoal business. Rose hopes to start her own business because it is more secure and she can earn more income than selling local brew.
“This is Emily. I got her three years ago. She is my friend, and I’ll never get rid of her. Hopefully she will have babies, then I will be able to sell the babies for more income.”