Kimberly Vrudny

Archive for the ‘Ikamva Labantu’ Category

Participant 19

In 30/30 Participants, Ikamva Labantu, South Africa on August 12, 2010 at 3:45 am

“Participant 19” cares for an HIV-positive daughter and her children, sharing openly their struggles with alcohol and drug addiction.

I am a 67 year old mother of 2. [My] daughter is 44 and son is 42. In 1994 my first-born daughter was diagnosed HIV-positive. She grew up in the Eastern Cape [and was] brought up by my mother. At first I blamed myself [for] not bringing her up myself. But later I accompanied her to the clinic for counselling. It took time for her to accept [her status]. She kept saying it can’t be her blood. I kept taking her to different places to be tested. At last she believed it and kept it [a] secret at home. I tried to go to workshops to learn more about this disease. It is very difficult to live with my child. She turned to drinking and gets very aggressive when drunk which is almost every day. She has two sons. I brought them up myself and put them through education. They are both working but [are] affected by the situation. The younger one is on drugs. They all stay with me. I am only sane by the grace of God. We pray together most of the time. I support them with my pension. I struggle to have [her take her treatments]. It is a miracle she lasted so long taking medication and alcohol. I praise the Lord for all blessings. I[t] affects me [for] whenever she is in pain she comes to me and I can feel the pain. The big blow was this year when I phoned a place she went to for chest X-rays. I was told she has no lungs. I nearly died. All in all it is not easy to nurse someone who sometimes blames me for wanting her to die. I pay for funeral policies. She doesn’t get [a] disability grant because she drinks. It is depressing. I just trust in the Lord to make me strong when the time comes.

Participant 20

In 30/30 Participants, Ikamva Labantu, South Africa on August 12, 2010 at 3:30 am

“Participant 20” raised her grandchildren when her daughter passed away. She advises people to get tested in order to prevent further spread of the virus.

I am 59 years old. I live in the township[s] of Cape Town. Ten years ago I discovered that my 27-year-old daughter was infected with HIV. I was very shocked, not knowing what to do, and at that time I was still in the dark about HIV. I knew my daughter was dying. I didn’t know what to do, but I manage[d] to share with my neighbours, my church collegues, and my fellow workers. They supported me with prayers. She became very sick and there was no help of ARVs at that moment. There was nothing I could do but to wait and pray. 

Apparently, I came to Ikamva Labantu for help, and the only help I could get at that time was support. She was fully blown and after a long time she died. I was in a trauma of accepting the death of my daughter and [taking] care of her two children, a boy of 9 and a girl of 3 at that time. I was open about it although I was depressed, but through [counseling] I survived.

I raised those two children out of my income. Now the boy has turned 20 and the girl is 14. They are very beautiful and fortunately they are not infected.

I would like everyone to accept the d[i]sease, but to try and prevent it. If you happen to be HIV[-positive], it is not the end of the world. There is help at the clinics. [I]f you don’t know your status go and get tested before it’s too late.

Participant 21

In 30/30 Participants, Ikamva Labantu, South Africa on August 12, 2010 at 3:15 am

“Participant 21” lost two daughters to HIV, and cares for their children. A third daughter is also HIV-positive. She encourages parents to accept their children.

I am a 61 year old who lost children, 2 daughters: 1 in 1999 and 1 in 2005. And [they both] were infected by HIV. The eldest daughter left me with 2 children who are now at the age of 25 and a boy of 13. Fortunately they are not infected. The second daughter died in 2005. [She] also left 2 children, a boy of 20 and another boy who is now 4 years. I struggle to raise them, but with the help of Ikamva I do survive. I was very hurt, but what can I do? The d[i]sease is here and everybody must accept the fact that it is here. I miss my daughter. I pray to God that I can live longer to take care of the little ones, because I am the only hope for them.

I have [a] third daughter who is 31. [S]he is also infected. I sometimes think that I am cursed, but again I know that is not the fact. It is just that we must be careful, and try [to] educate our children about HIV. To the parents out there, I would like to send a message: Accept your children and support them. They need you as a parent to give them hope.

I would like to plea to everybody: let us hold hands as parents and support one another in this pandemic. We have become carers and I support them out of my little pension. Its not enough but I survive.