In March 2011, The Kindu Trust introduced the Mothers’ Coffee Morning initiative to bring together mothers of our sponsored children who are affected by HIV. Mother’s Coffee Morning meets once a fortnight and is regularly attended by over 10 women.
The original aim of the sessions was to facilitate discussions around the health issues these women face by inviting local health counsellors who offer free and impartial advice. The project has since expanded to become incredibly important in a number of other respects. The women attending have discovered a mutual support network where they can chat freely and offer advice and exchange information without feeling stigmatised. In a society that continues to shun those affected by HIV, making friends has been difficult for these women. Through this safe environment, Mother’s Coffee Morning empowers these women to speak honestly and openly about the struggles in their daily lives.
The Mother’s Coffee Morning continues to make a big difference to both the physical and mental wellbeing of the mother.
“Although stigma was apparent at some level, the Mothers Coffee Morning Group proved to be an amazingly strong and mutually supportive band of women. My work with the Mothers Coffee Morning Group was extremely interesting and rewarding. I am optimistic, that with some further assistance, the group will continue to go from strength to strength, improving their own lives and the lives of their children.” HIV Specialist and Kindu Trust Ethiopia Volunteer, 2014
Toy Box Project
The Kindu Trust recently introduced a new income-generating activity with the participants from Mothers’ Coffee Morning. This initiative is operated in partnership with the Malnutrition Ward of Gondar Hospital.
Pioneering work by Dr David Gordan – an American doctor working at Gondar Hospital – has shown that children suffering from malnutrition show a more rapid and sustained improvement in their development if they are given an opportunity to play. Dr Gordan and his team have designed a range of simple toys that can be made from locally available materials, and through the Toy Box Project, the women from the Mothers’ Coffee Morning are empowered to make these toys for children. The women receive 10 Birr for each toy that they make and these toys are given to the children for their enjoyment. It is this kind of community link that The Kindu Trust aims to incorporate into all of its income-generating projects.