Kimberly Vrudny

Participant 18

In 30/30 Participants, South Africa, Yabonga on August 12, 2010 at 4:00 am

“Participant 18” is a peer educator for Yabonga, and credits the organization for teaching him to live positively. He has turned his life around, and is studying for a bachelor’s degree.

I [was] born in 1968 [on] the 19th September in the North West Province of South Africa. I went to school in 1975 at Makgori Primary in Makgori Village. We then relocated to Tshidilamolomo in 1977. I continued with my education until 1985 when I pass[ed] my STD8 [standard eight, or eighth grade]. I couldn’t continue with my studies due to [a] lack of finance[s]. I stayed at home doing odd jobs to earn some income. [In] 1991 I went back to continue with my studies and I completed my matric. In 1994 I was employed as a temporary teacher. When my contract was terminated in 1997 I went back to do my odd jobs to earn some income. In 1999 I tested HIV-positive but didn’t believe in HIV/AIDS. I then moved to Cape Town where my brother is staying. I continued working in building construction as I liked working with sand and stones. In 2004 I went to do VCT [voluntary testing and counseling] again, hoping to be negative but FORTUNATELY I tested HIV-positive. I couldn’t do anything about it but to accept the results. I met the Yabonga HIV/AIDS Peer Educators who encouraged me to accept and forget about where I [got] the virus [from] but to continue living my life but differently. That’s changing my lifestyle. Living positively with positive mind. I joined the support group and that is where my future with Yabonga started. I went for an interview in 2006 at Yabonga and I went through. [In] 2007 I was trained to be an HIV/AIDS Peer Educator. I could speak openly [about] my status to everybody including my family and friends. A person living with HIV is a normal person. It was also my step forward. I am presently a student at the University of South Africa and am going to be graduating in years to come. Every person can fulfil his dreams living with the HI Virus. I am now taking my ARV medication and keeping well everyday. Thank you Yabonga for having me as [your] employee.

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